The protected lists for every NHL have slowly started to leak early on Sunday. The Athletic’s Arthur Staple leaked the New York Islanders protected list, and some of the names protected from Seattle were a surprise.
As expected the Islanders went with a 7-3-1 protection scheme. There was no surprise who Lou decided to protect when it came to the goalie and defensemen, but there was a big surprise when it came to the forwards. Two high-priced veteran forwards were left unprotected in Josh Bailey and Jordan Eberle.
New York Islanders expansion protection list has a few surprises
Again, most of the players protected by the Islanders won’t shock anyone, but having both Eberle and Bailey exposed is pretty surprising. Here’s the full list of protected played by Lou:
We all expected that one of Jordan Eberle or Josh Bailey could be exposed for Seattle, but not both of them. The fact that Lou chose to protect Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin is certainly interesting. That means Lou has protected Matt Martin in back-to-back expansion drafts (he protected him when he was GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs).
You’d think there was little risk of Seattle taking Martin or Clutterbuck. And even if they did, the Islanders have players on the roster that could replace them. Ross Johnston could easily plug into Martin’s spot while Leo Komarov could step into Cal’s role.
There’s no guarantee that Seattle takes either one of Eberle or Bailey. Ron Francis has stated that having cap space is one of the Kraken’s priorities.
If the Islanders lose Eberle you’d have to think they’ll quickly re-sign Kyle Palmieri to a short-term deal to fill the gap on the right-side. They could do the same if they lose Bailey to Seattle. But losing the ninth overall pick in 2008, who’s third in career games on the Island would be a big emotional loss.
Again, there’s no guarantee that Seattle draft either, or that Lou doesn’t have a deal worked out with Seattle to take someone else. We’ll wait and see what happens on the 21st.