Currently, the best-case scenario for Bellows and Koivula is to be one of the New York Islanders’ extra forwards. That’s not a role any organization wants for a young player.
No Role for Bellows & Koivula
With the announcement of this week’s signings (Kyle Palmieri, Casey Cizikas, & Anthony Beauvillier) and Zach Parise confirming to The Athletic he has signed with the Islanders, there appear to be no spots for either Bellows or Koivula.
Not only is there no roster spots for Bellows or Koivula but both guys must clear waivers to be sent down to Bridgeport of the AHL. Considering both Bellows and Koivula just turned 23 recently have to figure teams like Buffalo, Arizona, Columbus, Anaheim, or Seattle would gobble them up.
Given that what makes the most sense is for Lamoriello to trade them before the start of the season and get something in return.
Package for LD
After the Isles make Parise and Zajac official (probably this coming week) the Isles will have a little over a million dollars in cap space. They could create more cap space by burying Leo Komarov and Richard Panik in the minors.
Can Lamoriello move Bellows and or Koivula along with a draft pick (second-rounder perhaps) to a team like Anaheim for Hampus Lindholm? Lindholm is a veteran on the last year of his deal and could fit in well regarding the Isles second left defense spot. He does have a $5.2 million cap hit so Anaheim would have to take back salary to make it work.
Seattle has an abundance of defensemen, especially those who can play on the left side. Plus Seattle could use some young forwards. Could a deal where the Isles send Bellows and a draft pick be a possibility? For those of you wanting Vince Dunn from the Kraken keep in mind Seattle is going to want someone like Beauvillier in return, which Lamoriello does not want to do.
In a perfect world, Lamoriello can turn Bellows and or Koivula plus into a package to fill his left defense opening. Time will tell if that’s a realistic option. One thing is for sure hard to see either Bellows or Koivula clearing waivers if the Isles try to send them down to Bridgeport.