NHL free agency officially opens today, as every team across the league will be vying to land the best available players on the open market. It’s been a whirlwind last few days with plenty of trades and signings, and much more will come this afternoon. Follow all the day’s action with NYI Hockey Now’s live blog to get the latest information on the New York Islanders and the rest of the league.
Isles extend Sorokin; Re-Sign Mayfield, Engvall and Varlamov
The Islanders made four moves as the NHL’s free agency period opened on Saturday, extending Ilya Sorokin while re-signing Scott Mayfield, Pierre Engvall and Semyon Varlamov.
Wotherspoon Headed to Boston:
Parker Wotherspoon was a serviceable depth defenseman for the New York Islanders last season, and he’s found a new home with the Boston Bruins.
Varly Reportedly Back With Islanders:
Free Agent goalie Semyon Varlamov is reportedly re-signing with the Islanders
Before Things Get Crazy:
The Islanders have already taken care of one item from their offseason to-do list after ridding themselves of Josh Bailey’s contract. Now, with an estimated $10.3 million in cap space, Islanders president of hockey operations and general manager Lou Lamoriello will be looking for pieces that can add to the team’s scoring arsenal and improve their abysmal power play. Mainly, a puck-moving defenseman and a middle six winger.
While improving the team’s scoring will take precedence, Lamoriello will also be on the market for a goalie to back up Vezina Trophy finalist Ilya Sorokin. Semyon Varlamov is a strong candidate to return to the Islanders, but he is also one of the strongest second-tier goalies available this offseason and a bidding war could put him out of the Islanders’ price range. Along with Varlamov, Pierre Engvall, Zach Parise and Scott Mayfield are all free agents as well.
Lamoriello has expressed interest in bringing back all four players to the Islanders after each one had strong performances last year. However, with limited cap space, it’ll be difficult to retain them.