The Seattle expansion draft is two days away. Things haven’t really calmed down since the protected lists have been released. Sure, GMs like New York Islanders Lou Lamoriello aren’t making any trades on account of the roster freeze, but they’re still actively working to better their team.
Or at least not make it a whole lot worse by Seattle picking a really important player.
So, let’s go over some of the more popular rumors out there to discuss what they mean for the Islanders and if that’s a good thing or not.
New York Islanders rumors ahead of Seattle expansion draft
With the break in activity and basically radio silence from all 32 GMs, the media and fans have been left alone to figure out what’s happening around the league. Here are a few rumors surrounding the Isles.
Take Eberle (and more)
It seems the Isles aren’t done clearing cap space. Not only do they want to move Hickey and Komarov (that’s a combined $5.5 million in savings) but Eberle as well. Altogether that would create an additional $11 million in cap savings. Add Ladd’s $5.5 million and Leddy’s $4.125 million to the pot and that’s an incredible $20.625 million.
That would be a massive help for the Isles, but they’d have to spend that money (wisely) to fill gaps on the blueline (Leddy) and on the top line (Eberle).
So while yeah this sounds like a good thing, it’s a lot of space to plug. And it could backfire if not done right.
They Want Bailey
According to Christian Arnold of NYIHockeyNow, the Seattle Kraken wouldn’t mind taking Josh Bailey, in fact, they’d make him an instant leader in the dressing room if they select him at the expansion draft. That is something the Islanders would rather avoid according to Arnold’s sources.
Say what you will about Josh Bailey, but he’s an important player for the Islanders (he leads the team in post-season production since 2018-19).
Would losing Josh Bailey be a good thing? It depends on who you ask. Some blame Josh Bailey for not winning the Stanley Cup last year for a play he made in May against the Sabres. They might say losing him is in fact a good thing.
Emotions aside, I’m not sure if losing Bailey would be a good thing. He’s a great plug to put just about anywhere in the top nine and when the playoffs come around Bailey is one of the Islanders better players.
This last rumor isn’t necessarily an Islanders rumor, but it might as well be.
The Isles are widely seen as in play for Tarasenko. So if his final destination isn’t Seattle the immediate thought is that Lou Lamoriello could be working to get the Russian sniper to Long Island. What that deal looks like is anyone guess. But if Seattle pulls a draft-and-trade with Tarasenko, the Isles could be the ones on the receiving end.
Is this a good thing? Again, it depends. In a vacuum getting Tarasenko is easily a good thing (assuming he’s healthy of course), but things don’t and won’t happen in a vacuum. So it depends on how much the Islanders have to give up to sway Seattle’s hand to draft him and then trade him.