Every year in early summer, hockey fans all over the world fantasize over what their team may do to make their lineups stronger and more effective. Each fanbase has dreams that sometimes are made realities by their front office. And for Islanders fans, free agency is often a disappointing time. But Mitch Marner can change that.
Many people believe that Mitch Marner is the perfect fit for the Islanders. He is a young forward with the abilities that make him one of the NHL’s top playmakers. Marner has been in the NHL for three years and his point total has grown by the year. He started with 61 points in the 2016-17 season, slowly working up to 69 and finally 94. Marner’s ability to be a strong playmaker is very evident.
Mitch Marner has been hanging out with Islanders at Matt Martin’s bachelor party. These Islanders include Josh Bailey, Casey Cizikas and Nick Leddy. While this could just be friends celebrating a friend about to get married, you can never predict what people talk about and what friendships develop. This leads many to wonder, is Mitch Marner a good fit for the Islanders?
First, Marner is a restricted free agent which means signing him would come with a big price tag. Not only would he require a substantial amount of money, it would also mean a compensation of up to four first-round picks. That is a major risk that could cost a team like the Islanders immensely.
The big question becomes, is selling off four first-round picks and a very large amount of cap space is worth it for just one player?
As of June 17, the Islanders are projected to have around $22 million dollars in salary cap space. However, Anders Lee and Robin Lehner still are yet to be signed by the team. If both Lehner and Lee are signed, it would make signing Marner nearly impossible. The Islanders also have center Anthony Beauvillier and winger Michael Dal Colle becoming restricted free agents on July 1.
Signing Marner would mean that most likely at least two of those key players would need to be let go. Lee, Lehner, and Beauvillier were all very crucial parts of the Islanders team that made it to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs this past year.
With free agency beginning in exactly two weeks, the Islanders have many major decisions that still need to be made prior to free agency beginning in July. While Mitch Marner does seem like a very risky option for the Islanders, adding a superstar that could play besides Mat Barzal could be very beneficial. But would it cost too much for the Islanders? Only time will tell.