The New York Islanders are hoping to begin contract negotiations with restricted free agents Josh Bailey and Travis Hamonic in the near future, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday. Staple reports that the Islanders hope to reach long-term deals with both players.
Bailey finished the 2013 season with 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) in 38 games and averaged 16:22 of ice-time per game, which included time on both the penalty kill and power-play units. Originally selected with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, Bailey is coming off a two-year, $2.1 million contract, which carried an annual average value of $1.05 million against the salary cap.
Hamonic played in all 48 regular season games in 2013 and registered three goals and seven assists for 10 points. In addition, the 22-year-old defenseman averaged the third-highest ice-time of any other player on the team (22:48), which included substantial time on the penalty kill and power play. Hamonic finished the final year of his entry-level contract in 2013.
While the Islanders have interest in retaining these players, Staple also reports Evgeni Nabokov is expected to be re-signed by the team prior to July 5. Brad Boyes is not expected to return next season, but the two sides are apparently still engaging in discussions.
Staple believes the Islanders are not going to pursue a trade for Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo. Originally proposed by Bob McKenzie of TSN last week, the Islanders are believed to be interested in Luongo. However, Staple doesn't think the Islanders would be willing to give up the assets necessary to complete the exchange, in addition to taking on Luongo's lopsided contract.