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Can Lou Lamoriello pull it off?

There was no way the New York Islanders could survive the 2020 off-season unscathed. Top center Mathew Barzal, top defenseman Ryan Pulock and key puck-moving blueliner Devon Toews were RFAs and, thanks the flat salary cap of $81.5 million, the Isles couldn’t afford to re-sign even two of them, let alone all three. Whether Barzal was going to settle for a mid-term deal or a max-term deal, it was always going to cost a significant investment to lock him up: maybe Jack Eichel money at a $10-million AAV in a pre-COVID world and at least $8 million annually in a flat-cap world.





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