Islanders: 3 Trades Lou Lamoriello Can Make To Clear Cap
By Matt O'Leary
Lou Lamoriello is trying to clear cap space. Here are three moves he can make as Islanders GM to do just that for the 2021 season.
With the season set to begin for the New York Islanders in exactly a week, Lou Lamoriello still has work to do. He still has to sign Mathew Barzal, who is without a contract right now as an RFA, and time is running low.
Both Elliotte Friedman and David Pagnotta have reported that Lou is still looking to clear cap before the season. Obviously moving Johnny Boychuk to LTIR would help that but it appears like Lou wants to do more.
So today, I wanted to look at what Lamoriello could do via trade to clear up some more room. Here’s what I came up with:
Here we have Leo Komarov and his $3 million cap hit going out west to Los Angeles. The Kings have $12.4 million in cap space with nobody left to sign and are in rebuild mode. Offering a rebuilding team a second-round draft pick in a year in which you have two of them (2022) should be enough to get that done.
They can put him in their bottom six or taxi squad if they wish. It’s not like the Kings have this great bottom-six and they don’t have a spot for him.
The Islanders get back “future considerations” which is basically nothing which is fine. The $3 million in salary relief is enough for me.
This time we have Lou Lamoriello calling up his former team and offering up Thomas Hickey. Hickey has no more signing bonuses left and carries a $2.5 million cap hit. Honestly, he would probably be an upgrade over Dmitry Kulikov who is slotted in to play on their second pair.
If anything, they can put Hickey on the taxi squad or as a seventh d-man they have the space to do it, and getting another second-round pick from Lou seems rather appealing.
Again, Lou Lamoriello is probably going to have to just take “futures” back but for clearing out the $2.5 million for Hickey you do that every day of the week.
This one is a little bit different. So the Ottawa Senators are getting Thomas Hickey, who could easily be in their d-core in 2021 and then upgrade at a couple of other spots. The Arnaud Durandeau and Matthew Peca swap is an age upgrade.
Both guys are similar at this point in their career, Peca is just 27 and Durandeau is 21. For a rebuilding team getting younger seems to make sense while Peca provides additional cheap depth for the Isles in the AHL who could get called up if there’s an injury or in an emergency.
We also see a pick swap here giving the Sens a fifth, a pick they don’t have while giving the Islanders a sixth. Essentially, it’s a sweetener to move up in the draft likely somewhere around 15-20 spots.
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Look for Lou Lamoriello to busy in the next week as he tries to get his team ready for the 2021 season. A trade like one of these three options would make sense.