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Islanders: 5 reasons Lou Lamoriello is already GM of the Year

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello attends the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello attends the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Ladd Trade

It was said Andrew Ladd was untradeable. Moving Andrew Ladd and his monster contract would require the Islanders to move mountains of value to whatever team they were hoping to pawn him off on.

But Lou paid very little to move Ladd to the Arizona Coyotes:

Sure, three picks might seem like a lot, but then again the Islanders cleared a full $5.5 million off the cap for the next two years. That’s a huge win in-and-of-itself for the cap-conscious Islanders. And Lou didn’t have to mortgage much of their future to enable this to happen.

Remember, Ladd played exactly one game in 2020-21 in the AHL and 39 games between the Isles and Sound Tigers in 2019-20. Forty games of hockey over the last two years is not good. Ladd’s contract was paying him as a second-line winger but he couldn’t even get into one of the worst AHL sides.

Again, moving that deal seemed either impossible or it would require the Isles to give up a lot to convince someone to take it. And by “a lot” I mean at least a first-round pick and a top prospect (like Samuel Bolduc, Kieffer Bellows, or Robin Salo). But no, Lou was able to keep all of those assets.

Lou still had to create more space on the cap after the Ladd trade, but moving him gave the Islanders some vital breathing room. Room no one thought the Isles could make. But Lamoriello found a way.

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