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Free Agency

Lamoriello: Cory Schneider Rumor Likely to Come to Fruition

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Cory Schneider
Photo Credit: Lisa Gansky

It seems like it’s all but a done deal.

New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said that there was a good chance that Cory Schneider would sign with the team. Multiple reports earlier in the day on Monday indicated that the Schneider and the Islanders had come to an agreement on a one-year deal for the 34-year-old goaltender.

The signing was first reported by The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun and later confirmed by Craig Custance of The Athletic. It would be the Islanders first free-agent signing since the market opened on Friday.

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“I had Cory in New Jersey and I think that he’s trying to resurrect his career,” Lamoriello said during a Zoom call following the trade of Devon Toews to Colorado. “I’ve had several conversations with Cory. That rumor I think will come to fruition.”

Devon Toews Traded to Colorado for Second Round Picks

Schneider was bought out by the New Jersey Devils ahead of free agency after he was placed on waivers on Thursday. The 34-year-old had two years left on a seven-year, $42 million deal, which included a no-trade clause, he signed in New Jersey in 2014.

Lamoriello traded for Schneider at the 2013 NHL draft during his time as general manager in New Jersey. Schneider has struggled to live up to the contract he signed during his time with New Jersey as he has struggled with injuries over the years.

The decision to buyout Schneider will cost New Jersey a  $2 million cap hit over the next four years.

“It’s no secret where our goaltending has been over the last couple years, and this isn’t just all on Cory Schneider,” New Jersey general manager Tom Fitzgerald said, via NJ.com. “(Telling Cory about the buyout) was one of the hardest if not the hardest phone calls I had to make because of the person and what he’s done here on the ice, what he’s done off the ice, he and his wife Jill. It meant a lot to him, the New Jersey Devils. A lot. And it wasn’t a pleasant conversation, to say the least. But I felt it had to be made and it was time to move on.”

He appeared in just 13 NHL games this season with New Jersey and posted a 3-6-2 record, with a .887 save percentage and a 3.53 goals-against average. In AHL Binghamton, Schneider made 14 appearances and had a 2.71 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage.

The move is likely a depth one for the Islanders, who lost their regular AHL Bridgeport starter Christopher Gibson in free agency last week. The opportunity presents Schneider the chance to help revive his career and provide the Islanders some more goaltending depth heading into the 2020-21 season.

A less likely scenario could also include the Islanders trading Semyon Varlamov to free up cap space while having Schneider serve as a backup to rookie Ilya Sorokin. Varlamov’s name has been linked to a possible move that would help the Islanders free up some much-needed cap space.

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[…] The Islanders signed goalie Corey Schneider as a free agent. The question is: why? (NYI Hockey Now) […]

Free Agency

‘I love it on the Island,’ Mathew Barzal Puts to Bed Thought He’d Want to Play Elsewhere | NYHN+

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Mathew Barzal

It was as if Mathew Barzal was answering all of the naysayers directly on Saturday afternoon after news broke that he had signed a three-year, $21 million contract extension with the New York Islanders.

As the days went on and Barzal remained unsigned, many wondered what the hold up had been. What was taking so long? Former NHLer and Spittin’ Chicklets co-host Paul Bissonette even suggested Barzal hold out for “as long as possible” and that he didn’t think Barzal was having fun playing in Barry Trotz’s system.

That didn’t sit well with Islanders fans.

But Barzal put all of that to rest when he spoke on Saturday, expressing his love for Long Island and reiterating his excitement to be an Islander.

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Free Agency

SIGNED! Islanders, Mathew Barzal Agree on 3-Year Bridge Deal

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Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders

The long wait is over for fans, the New York Islanders, and Mathew Barzal.

The team and Barzal agreed to a new three-year contract on Saturday, per the Fourth Period’s Dave Pagnotta, who delivered the news.

Mathew Barzal’s three-year deal carries a $7 million AAV, according to PuckPedia. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that Mathew Barzal will be paid $4 million in the first year, $7 million in the second year and $10 million in the final year of the contract.

The news is a welcomed relief to Islanders fans who had been waiting with bated breath after weeks of negotiations between the two sides. Training camp opened earlier this week without the Islanders’ star player on the ice.

However, his absence didn’t concern teammates, who expressed confidence that a deal would be worked out in short order.

Barzal was on the ice for the first time with his teammates on Saturday morning, just after news of the new contract had broke. Making up for lost time, Barzal scored twice in the Islanders’ third scrimmage of training camp, Andrew Gross reported.

Part of the holdup for the deal had been the Islanders’ complicated financial situation. General manager Lou Lamoriello had reportedly been working to try and move some pieces to free up more cap space.

The Islanders had been working with $3.09 million in free cap space.

With Mathew Barzal now agreed to a new deal, the Islanders are now $3.09 million projected over the salary cap with a 21-man roster and Johnny Boychuk’s $6 million cap hit, according to PuckPedia.

The Islanders could still make a move before Tuesday when they need to become cap compliant to start the season.

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Free Agency

CLOCK IS TICKING! Mathew Barzal Remains Unsigned as Training Camp Nears

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Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders

There wasn’t much in the way of an update on where things stand with Mathew Barzal on Thursday when Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello spoke with reporters.

Lamoriello had no update on the Islanders star player, who remains unsigned just days away from the start of training camp. However, Barzal is on Long Island quarantining for the start of camp on Sunday.

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“We will certainly work at this with the hope to have him on the first day of training camp,” Lamoriello said on a Zoom call.

Talks between the Islanders and Mathew Barzal have appeared to be in a holding pattern since the season ended in September. Things between the two sides have picked up recently, but hockey insider Darren Dreger reported on Thursday that a deal was not close.

As the days have inched closer to the start of the season, concern has started to rise among the fanbase. And the Islanders are now in a situation where Barzal may not be on the ice for the start of camp.

Lamoriello wouldn’t even contemplate that thought when asked about it on Thursday.

“We still have a few days until training camp, so I don’t want to get into any hypotheticals,” Lamoriello responded. “It is our intention and his intention to be there and hopefully that will happen.”

Lou Speaks: Ho-Sang Snub, UFAs and Barzal Drama

The expectation is that Mathew Barzal will get a bridge deal in the neighborhood of two or three years worth around $7 million per year. Earlier on Thursday, fellow restricted free agent, Pierre-Luc Dubois signed a two-year, $10 million extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Islanders have been in a bit of a cap crunch since the offseason began. They currently have $3.9 million in cap space, but with Johnny Boychuk ending his career in November, the Islanders will get a bit more cap space to work with.

The Islanders could make an additional maneuver to free up some more cap space before the season begins.

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