In this five-man trade between the New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs, who says no?
We’re all trying to figure out what the New York Islanders are going to do in the lead up to the 2020-21 NHL season. With three prime RFAs to re-sign and little cap space to work with the Islanders will be active leading up to puck drop in 2020-21. Whenever that may be.
The Islanders also have to try and make the team better going into 2020-21. While the Isles were at the top of the league at the start of the season, that wasn’t the case in the second half.
With Ilya Sorokin signed for next season, we don’t have to worry about goaltending. And assuming RFAs Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews are re-signed the blueline will be fine as well. It’s their offense that has been suspect since 2018-19. With 412 goals for over the last two seasons, the Isles offense ranks 25th in the NHL.
So with that in mind, every week I’ll go around the internet to see what fans believe are fair trades and see what team (if any) say not to that deal.
I found this idea going around CapFriendly’s Armchair GM tool. It involves a five-man trade between the Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs with the big pieces being Scott Mayfield and Kasperi Kapanen.
The idea seems clear.
For NYI: The Islanders need help offensively and, ideally, that player has a low cap hit. Kasperi Kapanen is a 40+ point player with a $3.2 million cap hit through the 2021-22 season. This CapFriednly Armchair GM isn’t the only one to think Kapanen could be moved by the Leafs, The Athletic’s James Mirtle (subscription required) believes the Leafs might have to move the righty to make space.
Kapanen can give the Isles 20 goals from the middle six and maybe more depending who he lines up with.
Petan is a good AHL level defender and veteran that could help the Sound Tigers.
For TOR: Unlike the Islanders, the Maple Leafs don’t need help offensively. What they need are shutdown defensemen to stop the team hemorrhaging goals. Since 2018-19, the Leafs have the 20th ranked defense with 471 goals against.
With Scott Mayfield, the Leafs get a top-4 right-handed shutdown blueliner who’s deal carries a $1.45 million cap hit through the 2022-23 season.
Vande Sompel and Dal Colle give the Leafs cheap bottom tier depth.
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Who Says No: New York Islanders
The Leafs might say yes to this return. Scott Mayfield is a good top-4 defender and would likely fit well in a Leafs lineup that could be quite short on right-handed defenders in 2020-21. Justin Holl is the only righty on the blue line signed to a deal.
The Islanders on the other hand likely say no here.
This deal adds about a million to the Islanders cap. In a flat cap world, and with those three RFAs needing deals, the Islanders aren’t in the business of adding to their cap.
While the Islanders need help offensively I don’t think that Kasperi Kapanen is the guy for them. He’s had one 44 point season and was on pace for 43 this season. They’d be more willing to try Oliver Wahlstrom or Kieffer Bellows who both have sub-$1 million cap hits.