May 25, 2019 | 11:56am ET
LEE, LEHNER NEW FOCUS FOR ISLANDERS
Anders Lee, captain
Having signed centre Brock Nelson to a six-year contract on Thursday, the New York Islanders will shift their focus to trying to lock up captain Anders Lee and goalie Robin Lehner to new deals.
According to TFP Editor-in-Chief David Pagnotta, the Islanders continue to have an open dialogue with Lee’s camp. Both sides have an understanding of where they each stand, and it’s now a matter of finding a middle point to a multi-year contract.
Lee is believed to be looking for a deal worth around $8 million, per season, while the Islanders are hoping to sign him for closer to $7 million, depending on term.
With Nelson locked up, Isles will focus on Lee & Lehner. Lee talks ongoing; both sides have understanding of one another’s position - matter of middle ground. Lehner talks will likely pick up soon, told no numbers discussed yet. As of now, sounds like Eberle will hit UFA market.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) May 24, 2019
Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello is expected to begin negotiations with Lehner’s agent in the coming week. Both sides have expressed a desire to work out a contract, but it numbers have not yet been exchanged, according to Pagnotta.
The Islanders have roughly $29 million in available salary cap space and plan on being active this off-season, even if Lee and Lehner are inked to new deals.
One player likely on the outs is right wing Jordan Eberle, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, like Lee and Lehner.
One pending free agent the Islanders may pursue this summer is Columbus Blue Jackets star Artemi Panarin, who is poised to test the waters. The Islanders expressed interest in trading for Panarin last summer and kept tabs on him during the season.
Lamoriello is also expected to scour the trade market, as defenceman Nick Leddy could be moved.
Leddy, who currently sits at No.7 on the TFP Off-Season Trade Watch list, has three-years left on his contract and comes with a $5.5 million salary cap hit.