Going into the roster freeze prior to the expansion draft, the New York Islanders had two goals. Create cap space and make sure to not be forced into exposing an important piece of the blue line to the Seattle Kraken through the expansion draft.
Leading up to the roster freeze Lou had already created $4.125 million in cap space by sending Nick Leddy to the Detroit Red Wings for a second-round pick and Richard Panik at half off. Goal number one was achieved.
New York Islanders GM has legendary day leading up to the roster freeze
Not only did Lou get that defenseman who is under contract for the 21-22 season and who played at least 24 NHL games in 20-21 by signing Andy Greene to a one-year $1 million deal, but he created even more cap space.
Lou did the unthinkable and traded Andrew Ladd. To the Arizona Coyotes. He sent two second-round picks – one in 2021 (acquired in the Devon Toews trade) and one in 2022 – he also sent a conditional third-round pick in 2023. Arizona will get that third-rounder if Ladd plays one NHL game in 2022-23.
With Ladd gone Lou created $9.625 million in cap space in two days. Include the cap space the Islanders already had and they’re sitting with $12.170 million before even considering Johnny Boychuk‘s $6 million contract that’s on LTIR.
The Islanders easily have the space to sign their three top RFAs and Casey Cizikas. And we still don’t know who Seattle takes from the Islanders. And Lou achieved this by moving Ladd which was unthinkable until he actually did it. And he lost little of value to do so.
His first-round pick in 2022 remains. The better of the two 2021 second picks remain. And his top prospects (Kieffer Bellows, Robin Salo, and Samuel Bolduc) all remain.
This is was an epic day for the New York Islanders GM who reminded everyone around the league why he won back-to-back GM of the Year awards. He knows what he’s doing.