With the dust from the trade deadline settling, it's as good of a time as ever to look at the Islanders roster for next season. The CBA mandates a 50-contract limit which covers all players signed to the Islanders (including guys on two-way deals in Bridgeport), with an exception: Age 18 and age 19 players who were returned to Juniors, and who have not played 11 NHL Games in one season, shall be exempt from inclusion in the 50-player limit. This means that currently Nino Niederreiter and Calvin De Haan do not count towards the limit. Teams generally operate below that limit, in part to leave room for injury emergencies.
Currently Signed and Counting Against Limit
That's 21 players already signed for next season. After the jump we break down the rest of the roster.
Currently Signed and Will Be RFAs
That's 16 RFAs. If all of them are brought back that would put them at 37 for next year.
Currently Signed and Will Be UFAs
That's 9 UFAs. If all RFAs and UFAs are brought back that would put the Islanders at 46 contracts, possibly 48 if both Nino and Calvin leave juniors. Obviously this isn't likely as some of the UFAs aren't coming back (Weight, Martin, Nabokov) and some of the RFAs are more then likely gone (Figren, Reese).
The Islanders also have to make decisions on the following players:
|Tony Dehart||Already playing overage year in OHL|
|Anders Nilsson||Will lose rights if not signed
|David Toews||Already playing overage year in WHL|
|Brian Day||Graduating college|
|Shane Sims||Graduating college|
|Casey Cizikas||Could still play overage year|
That would be another 6 players signed, meaning if all free agents are retained and all prospects signed the Islanders would be at 52 contracts, possibly 54. Going with 54, we can expect that neither Weight or Nabokov will be back next year. At the same time Lawson and Martin can both be considered gone if Nilsson is signed. That would put the Islanders at 50 contracts for next year with De Haan and Nino not returning to juniors.
Obviously the Islanders won't go into the season at the limit, in case somehow injuries cause them to use seven different goalies. There's also the possibility that they will add a free agent or two during the offseason and that they might need to sign their first-round selection to an NHL deal.
What are your thoughts on who stays and who goes?