The Isles want to keep “The Identity Line” intact.
New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello made clear that he wants to bring back forwards Casey Cizikas and Kyle Palmieri on Tuesday.
Both players can be unrestricted free agents on July 28. As potential unrestricted free agents, Cizikas and Palmieri are not eligible to be selected by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, which will be held on July 21.
Cizikas scored 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 56 regular season games and five points (two goals, three assists) in 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games this season. His line with Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck has been one of the catalysts for Barry Trotz’s team.
“There’s no question what Casey Cizikas has brought to the team,” Lamoriello told NHL.com. “We will do everything we possibly can to try and have him come back. Certainly, his set of circumstances are unique, and also is maybe positive for us because he’s an unrestricted free agent and we do not have to make any decisions with expansion.
“We will continue to talk with him. He has expressed his desire to come back, but we also know that when you get into free agency, that’s a time for the player to make whatever the best decision is for him, his family and his future. We respect that, but we will do everything to retain Casey that we possibly can.”
The Islanders acquired Palmieri from the New Jersey Devils, along with forward Travis Zajac, on April 7. He went on to score nine points (seven goals, two assists) in 19 playoff games for the Isles.