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Islanders: Finding every NHL team with a surplus of LHD

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JULY 21: Mark Giordano is selected by the Seattle Kraken during the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft at Gas Works Park on July 21, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Kraken is the National Hockey League's newest franchise and will begin play in October 2021. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JULY 21: Mark Giordano is selected by the Seattle Kraken during the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft at Gas Works Park on July 21, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Kraken is the National Hockey League's newest franchise and will begin play in October 2021. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
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The opening of the 2021-22 New York Islanders training camp isn’t far away and still, there’s a gap on the team’s blueline that needs to be filled. There are no obvious options in the free agency market and it’s hard to believe that Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz will staff a blueline with an unproven rookie.

The trade route seems like the best option for the Isles to find that left-shot defenseman they need for their second pair. So, I decided to look at every that has a surplus of left-shot D.

What I’m doing is looking for teams with more than seven defensemen signed to NHL deals and where at least four of those are LHD. I’m using every team’s CapFriendly page to get these numbers.

(As I was writing this news broke that the Isles were bringing in Erik Gustafsson on a PTO. Which might be the option they’re looking for.)

Finding all the possible LHD trade partners for the New York Islanders

Carolina Hurricanes

D-men signed: 8
LHD signed: 5

Jake Gardiner is the target, right? The former Maple Leaf would be the perfect fit on the Isles blueline. But he was injured for a large portion of 2021-22 and it seems those issues could still be an issue this year. Which means he isn’t an option. It also means there isn’t an option out of Carolina for the Isles.

Colorado Avalanche

D-men signed: 8
LHD signed: 5

The Avs are Cup contenders just like the Islanders. So they aren’t about to move an NHL’er off their roster. If they’re moving anything it’s futures, which the Isles aren’t in the market for. Obviously, Devon Toews would be perfect, but we all know that isn’t going to happen.

Columbus Blue Jackets

D-men signed: 9
LHD signed: 6

Vladislav Gavrikov is perhaps the best option here. I really like Mikko Lehtonen but I think he’s a bit of a risky option for the Islanders. Gavrikov on the other hand is a more established option who can provide some offensive upside for the team.

Edmonton Oilers

D-men signed: 9
LHD signed: 6

The Oilers seemingly have a huge surplus of defensemen for the 21-22 season with nine D-men signed and six of those being lefties. But there isn’t a good target in the lot of them. Oscar Klefbom would be a good consideration, but it seems that he might be destined for LTIR this year. Which leaves Kris Russell as the next best, and well, I don’t have to tell you how that isn’t a good option.

Los Angeles Kings

D-men signed: 8
LHD signed: 4

Olli Maatta is the best option here. We know he can put up a decent amount of points (29 points in 2013-14 and 2017-18). He didn’t have a good 2020-21 but who says he can’t bounce back if put on the Islanders?

New York Rangers

Dmen signed: 8
LHD signed: 6

I had to include them because they have the numbers but we all know a trade won’t be made between these two rivals.

Ottawa Senators

Dmen signed: 8
LHD signed: 4

Victor Mete is the best option here for the Isles. The puck-mover showed some good potential last year. But he isn’t quite a top-four player at the NHL level.

Seattle Kraken

D-men signed: 8
LHD signed: 6

Everyone wants Vince Dunn. Including the Seattle Kraken who signed the former St Louis Blues defender to a two-year $8 million deal just over a month ago. Can a deal for Mark Giordano interest anyone then? The former Flames captain still has something to give and, as we all know, can put up points, QB a power play, and kill penalties. Seems like a good fit, right? But making the money work will be difficult.

St Louis Blues

D-men signed: 8
LHD signed: 4

In a few weeks, I don’t think the Blues make this list. There’s no doubt in my mind that Steve Santini (the 4th LHD on the roster) will be in the minors where he’ll make $300,000.

Vancouver Canucks

D-men signed: 8
LHD signed: 4

They have the numbers but they don’t have a single viable target for the Islanders. They’re on this list because they have the right numbers and that’s it.

Winnipeg Jets

D-men signed: 8
LHD signed: 5

Nathan Beaulieu would be the best target here. He was once a 28 point player at the NHL level. But that was four years ago now. That was also the only year where he averaged over 19 minutes of ice time. Stops in Buffalo and Winnipeg haven’t seen him get back to that level. Can he hit that level on the Island? Maybe I guess, but I seriously doubt it.

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