Everyone and their mother know that the New York Islanders had to trade Devon Toews because of cap space problems. Then all of a sudden, Johnny Boychuk retires and frees up a good amount of cap space. Now everyone is calling for Lou Lamoriello’s head because of this. This is interesting for many reasons, but a primary one is that no one knew how bad Boychuk’s eye was.
Boychuk was ready to play another season just two weeks ago, and now his illustrious career is over. I believe trading Devon Toews was the right move, and it’ll remain the right move.
Devon Toews was traded basically right before his court hearing. Lou Lamoriello has stated many times that he didn’t know how much they would award a player of his caliber. It’s not like Toews was being shopped the entire offseason like Boychuk was. But in the end, Toews got traded, and it’s the right move. I mean, let’s say we kept Toews and Boychuk still retired, those contracts almost cancel each other out, and the Isles still have no money to resign Mat Barzal.
The Islanders would have no room to sign Mat Barzal. Through my estimations, they would have around $6 million to sign him, Greene, Martin, and Schneider. This is not NHL 21; this is an unrealistic scenario. These players deserve money, and that’s what they’re going to get. How much Barzal wants remains a mystery.
Barzal could be asking for $9.5 million for all we know. I assume it’s lower than that based on what Ryan Pulock said when he resigned. But still, you could not keep Toews, Pulock, and Barzal on the Island if they re-signed Toews. The Isles chose the better two players, their franchise players stayed as they try to win a championship.