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Islanders and Josh Ho-Sang agree to one-year deal, avoiding arbitration

Josh Ho-Sang's offensive skills could be a useful

Josh Ho-Sang's offensive skills could be a useful asset as either trade bait or to boost the Islanders' attack. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Josh Ho-Sang is getting at least one more chance with the Islanders.

The team announced on Tuesday the former first-rounder — loaned to the St. Louis Blues organization in February — has agreed to a one-year deal, avoiding an arbitration hearing set for Friday.

Ho-Sang, a fleet-skating playmaker who has seven goals and 17 assists in 53 games with the Islanders. He was selected 28th overall in 2014, has struggled defensively, and signed a two-way deal worth $700,000 in the NHL.

His signing leaves top-pair defenseman Ryan Pulock as the lone restricted free agent in the organization still with an arbitration hearing scheduled. Pulock will have his case heard on Nov. 6 if the sides cannot reach a new deal by then.

The Islanders also announced the re-signing of minor-league RFAs A.J. Greer, a forward, and defensemen Mitch Vande Sompel and Parker Wotherspoon. All agreed to two-way deals with Vande Sompel and Wotherspoon signing two-year contracts worth $725,000 in the NHL. Greer, acquired from the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 11 for defenseman Kyle Burroughs, agreed to a one-year deal worth $700,000 in the NHL.

Ho-Sang’s new contract is no guarantee he will remain in the Islanders’ organization as president and general manager Lou Lamoriello can continue to explore whether he has any trade value.

Ho-Sang requested a trade after failing to make the team last season out of training camp. Lamoriello then instructed Ho-Sang not to report to the team’s AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, Connecticut while he tried to find a trade partner.

No trade happened and Ho-Sang finally reported to the Sound Tigers on Dec. 17, compiling three goals and seven assists in 16 games before being loaned to the Blues’ AHL affiliate in San Antonio, where he had one goal and two assists in six games.

Still, Ho-Sang’s offensive skills could be a useful asset as the Islanders struggle to score at times, particularly on the power play.

But Lamoriello’s priority right now is to reach a new deal with Pulock and RFA top-line center Mathew Barzal, who does not have arbitration rights.

The Islanders have approximately $8.9 million available under the flat, $81.5 million salary cap.

Pulock, who had a salary-cap hit of $2 million last season, is in line for a significant raise, potentially in the $5.5 million range.

Former Islanders defenseman Devon Toews, traded to the Avalanche on Oct. 12 for two, second-round picks after filing for arbitration, agreed to a new four-year deal with the Avalanche with a $4.1 million cap hit.

New York Sports