The New York Islanders are going to have to submit their expansion protection list in less than two weeks (July 17th they are due). It’s quite possible the Islanders and the Seattle Kraken could be perfect trade partners.
Lou Lamoriello and the New York Islanders front office and coaching staff have some big decisions to make regarding their expansion protection list. A trade could be beneficial to both the blue and orange and Seattle.
Seattle’s brain trust led by General Manager Ron Francis may not be enthralled with who the Isles expose in expansion. Their choice could very well come down to Nick Leddy, Kieffer Bellows, and Otto Koivula. It’s unknown how Seattle feels about this trio.
Leddy only has one year left on his deal and turns 31 during next season (Seattle’s interest in Leddy would be turning him into draft picks). While Bellows and Koivula are youngsters with attractive qualities but neither is considered a top prospect.
If this is the case Seattle could be very open to trade talks with the blue and orange.
What Seattle covets the most are upcoming draft picks and talented youngsters to build the franchise around. The Islanders could offer Seattle such a deal while helping themselves out at the same time.
Isles & Seattle Talk Turkey
The Isles would like to free up some cap space and at the same time protect some of their players from being picked off in expansion. As stated above Seattle covets draft picks and youngsters who could become full-time NHLers.
The first thing someone will say is why in the world would Seattle be interested in Leo Komarov? Komarov could be a very good asset for the Kraken. He could be a role model for the young players to start the season, as Uncle Leo plays the game the right way to quote Barry Trotz.
Then come next year’s trade deadline Seattle can flip Komarov to a contending team that needs help in their bottom six. Komarov plays physically, defensively, is a good penalty killer, and gets under other people’s skin. All great attributes come playoff time.
Komarov only has one year to go on his contract with a $3 million cap hit (only owed $2 million in actual salary). He would be a much sort after rental and should net Seattle a 3rd round pick in 2022.
Seattle would wind up with one of the Islanders’ two 2nd-Round picks in 2022, along with a 3rd-round pick in 2022, and a center prospect in Ruslan Iskhakov (turns 21 a day after the expansion draft & was a 2nd round pick in 2018).
In this deal the Islanders and Seattle both come out winners.
Lou and the Isles brain trust need to find creative ways to find cap space and keep their core. The deal above would tick those boxes for the Islanders and make Seattle a happy trade partner.