The Islanders and Josh Ho-Sang avoided arbitration Tuesday morning, settling on a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000 and $225,000 in what appears to be his last chance with the organization.
Additionally, forward A.J. Greer agreed to a one-year, two-way contract for $700,000 and $100,000 with $125,000 guaranteed, per his agent Peter Fish. The team also announced that defensemen Mitch Vande Sompel and Parker Wotherspoon signed two-year deals.
Ho-Sang, the Isles’ 28th-overall selection in 2014, was tendered a qualifying offer from the team earlier this month but filed for arbitration to general manager Lou Lamoriello’s surprise.
It’s been just over a year since Ho-Sang formally requested a trade through his former agent Ian Pulver, which prompted Lamoriello to tell the promising right winger not to report to the team’s AHL affiliate in Bridgeport while he explored trade options. It seemed like a tipping point on a contentious relationship that was rocky from the start when Ho-Sang overslept on the first day of training camp in 2015.
Ho-Sang’s current agent, Patrick Bedell, released an official statement to The Post on behalf of his client Tuesday.
“Josh is ready to give everything he has to earn a spot in the National Hockey League. This contract provides him with some financial security at the AHL level, but he intends to force his way into an NHL line-up,” the statement read. “We believe this contract best allows for that as well. There was interest from teams overseas, but again, at the end of the day, Josh’s focus is being a contributor for an NHL team.
“Conversations with the Islanders in furtherance of this deal were strong, and no matter how the upcoming season shakes out, we are focused on achieving our goals. Josh would like to thank the Islanders for believing in him.”
With 53 NHL games under his belt, Ho-Sang was the last forward cut out of training camp before he cleared waivers last Oct. 1. However, the demotion to the AHL evidently didn’t sit well with him.
Lamoriello was obviously unsuccessful in trying to trade Ho-Sang, who was training on his own in his hometown in Toronto during his hiatus from the organization. Ho-Sang then made his return to Bridgeport in December when Oliver Wahlstrom was loaned to the U.S. team for the World Junior tournament, posting three goals and seven assists in 16 games for the Sound Tigers.
In what appeared to be further confirmation that Ho-Sang wasn’t in the Isles’ future plans, he was reassigned in February to the San Antonio Rampage, the AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues.
Considering the current cap crunch the Islanders are under because of the coronavirus pandemic, working things out with Ho-Sang is an ideal situation. He has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his tenure on Long Island and could contribute immediately for a bargain price.
Should Ho-Sang make this upcoming opening-night roster, he’ll have an opportunity to raise his trade value as well.
Over the course of three seasons, Ho-Sang has collected seven goals and 17 assists for the Islanders.
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