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Islanders Correction: Why trading Leddy prior to expansion doesn’t work

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - FEBRUARY 18: Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders controls the puck during their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on February 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - FEBRUARY 18: Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders controls the puck during their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on February 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
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We all make mistakes, right? My most recent one was in my last article on Eyes on Isles, where I wrote that the New York Islanders need to trade Nick Leddy prior to the Seattle expansion draft.

My argument was that Leddy should be traded rather than possibly lose him for nothing at the Seattle expansion draft. But there’s something I overlooked in my article. And that’s the exposure requirements for the Seattle expansion draft.

That is what the Islanders need to expose when it comes to their unprotected list

New York Islanders issue protecting defensemen for expansion

I want to thank @26beach26 on Twitter for bringing this to my attention. Here’s what the expansion draft rules say about exposure requirements for defensemen:

"In addition, all NHL teams must meet the following minimum requirements regarding players exposed for selection in the draft:* One defenseman who is a) under contract in 2021-22 and b) played in at least 40 NHL games the prior season or played in at least 70 NHL games in the prior two seasons."

The Islanders only have 12  defensemen under contract for 21-22. But most of those either don’t meet the NHL games played requirements or are exempt for having less than three years of professional experience.

The only defensemen they have that meet this requirement are:

That’s it. So, if the Islanders protect Ryan Pulock and Scott Mayfield they need to keep Nick Leddy around so that they can meet that exposure requirement. They can’t trade him away for picks as I suggested. Unless they leave Scott Mayfield or Ryan Pulock exposed and that’s just not going to happen.

Now, the Islanders can still get around this by signing someone to a contract before July 17 when the expansions lists need to be submitted, and then expose them. For example, they can sign Andy Greene to a one-year deal at $1 million before July 17. Doing so would allow the Islanders to meet the exposure requirements and trade Leddy.

Will they? I don’t think so. Considering that requirement means the Isles will certainly expose Leddy. That’s why missing on that exposure requirement is a pretty big gaffe on my part.  Sorry about that.

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