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Aside from the ongoing negotiations with Mathew Barzal that appear to be headed in the right direction, Lou Lamoriello says he has the team he wants to take into the start of the shortened 2020-21 season.
The Islanders general manager announced Thursday during his preseason media availability that Matt Martin and Andy Greene, the team’s remaining unrestricted free agents, have agreed to their respective terms. Additionally, Lamoriello confirmed former Devils goaltender Cory Schneider signed a contract with the Isles as well.
Though he had nothing new to report on the ongoing conversations with Barzal and his camp, Lamoriello said the 23-year-old star center is in New York and quarantining in accordance with the league’s COVID-19 protocol.
“It is our intention and his intention to be there [at the start of training camp], and hopefully that will happen,” he said on a Zoom call.
Lamoriello has seemingly made it a priority to free up cap space this offseason to be able to sign Barzal, shipping Devon Toews to Colorado and having Johnny Boychuk unofficially retire. He locked up Ryan Pulock to a two-year deal and acquired Dmytro Timashov, a restricted free agent who still needs to be signed, from the Red Wings earlier this month.
When asked if he was planning on bringing any additional players in for a tryout, Lamoriello indicated that the roster would remain unchanged heading into training camp Sunday.
“I think we’re going to, at this point, stay with the group that we have,” he said. “Things can always change. There’s a lot that’s going to occur throughout the season. But this will be the group, at this point.”
One player who won’t be joining the Islanders for training camp this season is Joshua Ho-Sang, whose tenure with the organization continues to take twists and turns. It was reported, and confirmed by The Post, that Ho-Sang wouldn’t be receiving an invitation to training camp despite avoiding arbitration at the end of October and signing a two-way deal.
The Islanders tendered Ho-Sang a qualifying offer in early October, but the former 28th-overall pick in 2014 filed for arbitration to Lamoriello’s surprise.
When it came time to evaluate the current roster for training camp, Lamoriello said he didn’t think Ho-Sang would even crack the four-to- six-person taxi squad that all teams will have this season.
“We made a decision that we would be taking four goaltenders, 12 defenseman and 21 forwards that is seven lines, knowing once we received the transition rules that it would be a roster plus a taxi squad of a max of four, minimum of six,” Lamoriello said. “When we went over our whole group as to who we felt had the best chance of making that four to six, he was not one of them.”
After defensemen Adam Pelech (wrist) and Casey Cizikas (detached retina) underwent successful surgery at the conclusion of last season, Lamoriello confirmed Thursday that the two are “100 percent healthy” and will take full practice in training camp.