For the second straight season, the Islanders are in a situation where their captain is currently slated to hit unrestricted free agency. Winger Anders Lee is having a good season but his numbers are down quite a bit from last season, especially in the goal department where he reached 40 for the first time in 2017-18. There’s no doubt that New York has interest in keeping him around but Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman notes in the latest 31 Thoughts: The Podcast (audio link) that there is some concern about the term of the deal that Lee is seeking. He’ll turn 29 in early July so it’s quite possible that he’s looking for close to the maximum eight years in the hopes of making it his final contract which is something the Isles would likely want to avoid if they could.
Elsewhere in the East:
- While it was known that the Maple Leafs had looked to get winger Kasperi Kapanen locked up by the trade deadline, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports (Twitter link) that they also tried to do the same with winger Andreas Johnsson. The rookie has been quite productive as of late and is just one goal away from cracking the 20-goal mark which will have him in line for a considerable raise on his current salary of just under $788K. However, Dreger notes that Johnsson’s preference at this point is to wait, presumably until the offseason when his arbitration eligibility will become a factor as well.
- Senators defenseman Cody Ceci acknowledged to Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun that he thought he was going to be dealt, especially after being sat at the request of a team that was trying to add him. Instead, the deal didn’t happen but between this and his $4.3MM required qualifying offer this summer, it’s fair to say that his future with Ottawa remains in question. Ceci indicated that he plans to sit down with GM Pierre Dorion at the end of the season to determine whether or not there’s still going to be a role for him on this team moving forward.