Islanders reportedly looking at trading Semyon Varlamov

The New York Islanders are reportedly exploring the option of trading goalie Semyon Varlamov in order to create some cap space.

New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello had his sights set on Semyon Varlamov for a while before he finally signed him as a free agent on July 1, 2019. Signed to a four-year $20 million deal, Varlamov he was going to be with the Isles for some time.

That was before the COVID-19 pandemic turned the sports landscape upside down.

Now, with the Islanders needing to make space on the salary cap, Lou Lamoriello is reportedly looking to trade his goalie and his $5 million AAV.

In and Out?

According to Newsday’s Andrew Gross, he’s heard that the Isles have been contemplating moving Varlamov as an option to clear up some much-needed room on the salary cap and keep backup Thomas Greiss.

Obviously, moving $5 million off the cap and with Ilya Sorokin signed for 2020-21 moving Varlamov makes some sense. But then you factor in that full no-trade clause built into Varlamov’s contract.

There are some teams still looking for a starter in the market. Teams like the Detroit Red Wings and the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers were trying desperately to get Jacob Markstrom and just missed out with Calgary signing the former Vancouver Canucks goalie with a six-year $36 million deal.

But again, that full no-trade clause pops up. Will Varalmov waive it to go to Edmonton? Probably not.

Lou Lamoriello has to look at all of his options to make cap space. Moving Varlamov and his $5 million cap hit and then bringing in Greiss to a lower cap hit than his previous $3.3 million AAV creates valuable space. But there are a number of hurdles in the way, primarily that full no-trade clause this year. We’ll see what Lou gets done and whether Varlamov stays or not.