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The New York Islanders have seemingly resigned to letting pending unrestricted free agents Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin leave at the deadline. How the club replaces these players remains a mystery.
It’s possible that they dip into the free agent market themselves. The Islanders have already been linked with interest in the big fish in the market: Steven Stamkos. But how do they actually wrestle his signature from all the other teams in the league?
One such avenue would be to trade for his rights. The Islanders have already done it. Luke Fox of Sportsnet lists some of the most recent trades involving players rights, where New York pops up in the deal that brought Halak to Long Island back in 2014.
But trading for a player’s rights is rife with pitfall and peril. Go through the list and you’ll see a number of occasions where the player’s rights had to be traded a number of times simply because the player didn’t want to sign with the club that made the trade.
The Islanders pop-up a second time in the list when they traded for Christian Ehrhoff’s rights. The Isles offered Ehrhoff more than what his previous club, the Vancouver Canucks were going to give him.
Luckily they got back what they lost in a fourth round pick for Ehrhoff’s rights from Buffalo. But the danger doesn’t stop there.
As Fox points out, UFA’s can effectively start negotiating as of June 25th, five days before the actual deadline. Teams have time to negotiate with players without the fear of losing picks if said player doesn’t sign.
So trading for Stamkos could be dangerous if he doesn’t want to play here. And on the other side of the coin, we can’t squeeze out any extra value out of a departing UFA such as Kyle Okposo thanks to an extended negotiation window before free agency.
New York Islanders Round-up From Around the Web
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We ran a poll a while back asking who fans would like to see behind the bench instead of Jack Capuano. One person interestingly responded with Hall of Fame defenseman Scott Stevens. Unfortunately for him, the Minnesota Wild were listening. (CBS)
The Hockey Writers looks at how the Cizikas deal effectively seals Matt Martin’s fate in Brooklyn. (The Hockey Writers)
The Islanders reorganization starts with the signing of Casey Cizikas and will trickle down trough the lineup. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)
We show that now news isn’t always good news when it comes to the New York Islanders and their pending unrestricted free agents. (Eyes on Isles)