The Flames and Oilers just dealt James Neal (on a bad deal) for Milan Lucic (on a bad deal). The New York Islanders should do the same thing.
Bad contracts are unfortunately a part of the NHL, like any sport. The New York Islanders have their fair share of bad contracts, just ask Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic. The obvious one that always comes to mind is Andrew Ladd.
On July 1, 2016, Garth Snow made the mistake of signing Ladd to a seven-year deal with an AAV of $5.5 million. Of course, the deal was riddled with No Move and No Trade Clauses too making it very difficult to move. There are four more years left on the deal, but there’s hope.
Today we saw the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers swap bad contracts with the Milan Lucic for James Neal trade. There’s a conditional pick in there too, the Flames could get a third-round pick out of it too and both teams rid themselves of unwanted contracts.
Regardless, both Neal and Ladd are coming off bad seasons and look to be on terrible deals. The Oilers retained $750,000 which means they are adding $500,000 to their cap after the switch with Neal making $5.75 million.
If the Oilers could move Lucic who had a no-move, then the Islanders should do the same thing with Ladd and I know just the team. The Ottawa Senators.
The Senators are going full send on the tank for the second year in a row. Yes, with Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot the Sens have some hope for the future but this year is very much a tank year with five picks in the first two rounds of the NHL Draft.
Like the Islanders, the Senators have one obvious contract blunder, Bobby Ryan. What if the Islanders and Sens swapped bad contracts?
The Islanders would be getting three years of Bobby Ryan at a $5.25 million cap hit. Ryan, who is coming off a 42 point season likely isn’t worth $5.25 but he is much more effective than Andrew Ladd at this point.
Keep in mind, Ryan was playing on an awful team last year. If he plays with Nelson and Bailey there’s a chance that he can produce around 45 points, which would actually be an upgrade to the Islanders second line (sorry Kuhnhackl/Beauvillier).
This trade actually helps out the Senators too. They take on Ladd’s awful deal but they gain a second-round pick (make that six picks in the first two rounds for 2020) and they are able to hit the cap floor with the retained money on the Bobby Ryan contract.
Ladd could fit on that Senators third line, and it allows Colin White to move up to the second line and see an expanded role. Ottawa is clearly trying to rebuild so enticing them with picks and freeing them of a bad contract is a great way to do it.
Also, look at Andrew Ladd’s contract. His total salary drops to $4 million after this year. So the Sens are getting a $5.5 million cap hit but not actually paying him as much money. It helps them reach the cap floor while the owners save a few bucks.
Lee – Barzal – Eberle
Bailey – Nelson – Ryan
Beauvillier – Cizikas – Dal Colle
Martin – Komarov – Clutterbuck
It’s not a perfect lineup, but it’s better than what the Islanders are running out there right now. It also allows Ryan to be a placeholder on that second line until a Wahlstrom or Bellows is ready and then he can bump down to the third line providing good depth, while the Isles save money with Bellows or Wahlstrom in the top-six on ELC’s.
Honestly, this deal would work out for both sides and has a higher impact than that Lucic and Neal swap we saw early today. Somebody get Pierre Dorion on the horn and let’s get this done.