The noise around the New York Islanders and Nazem Kadri continues to get louder and louder as the days go on. The experts have weighed in and interestingly enough, although they all believe the Kadri and Islanders connection to be true, there are differing opinions on how to fit the soon-to-be 32-year-old Stanley Cup Champion on their roster. The latest expert to weigh in believe's Anthony Beauvillier is the prime candidate to be on the move if and when Kadri's contract with the Islanders becomes official.
Tracking back a little bit, The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta joined NHL Network on Monday to shed some light on what he's heard about the Kadri situation and who might be on the move to make it all work:
"There are a few different dominos that are eventually going to fall here once this does come into play and is officially finalized. (The Islanders) have some house cleaning they need to do with some of their restricted free agents, my understanding is that’s moving forward as well - It’s just a matter now with $11 million in cap space, clearing some additional space to make all the pieces fit. The one player that is continuously part of (trade) speculation is Josh Bailey. He’s got two years left on his contract, $5 million cap hit, my understanding is that he is a player that is still out there that is somebody they’re trying to move. "- David Pagnotta, The Fourth Period
Trading Josh Bailey seems to make the most sense in a pure salary cap dump situation. As Pagnotta stated, relieving his $5 million cap hit helps free up space for other dominos to fall, but the reason why he makes the most sense is that the veteran Islander forward doesn't own any trade protection.
However, on the latest DFO Rundown with Frank Seravalli and Jason Gregor, Seravalli stated he believes Beauvillier is the obvious candidate to be on the move:
"You hear and see the rumors out there and you don’t really know quite what to make of it with the New York Islanders because anyone could see them signing Kadri and the fact that it’s gone on this long, you think back to… last year or two years ago when they announced four signings in September. You gotta move money. Noah Dobson needs a new deal, (Alexander) Romanov needs a new deal. My guess, if the Islanders are indeed signing Nazem Kadri, they’re gonna have to move someone and my guess would be Anthony Beauvillier. We’ve heard his name in the mix to move, and this was pre-(NHL Draft). Clearly, that’s the one player the New York Islanders have on their roster that I think they can actually get something of value in return for as opposed to having to push to try and unload a contract."- Frank Seravalli, DFO Rundown
Seravalli's inkling that it's Beauvillier rather than Bailey to be moved comes with the idea that the Islanders would receive something of value in return. Maybe that means Beauvillier is packaged with something in order to bring in a scoring winger the Islanders have been desperate for. Or maybe it means they'll be able to retrieve some significant assets to elevate what's believed to be a thin prospect pool while they make an effort to return to the playoffs.
Whatever the case, there are clearly going to be multiple moving parts in order to fit Kadri under the Islanders' salary cap. There are few assets on the Islanders' current roster that could fetch a significant return, but there's no arguing that if Kadri signs and the Isles are able to pull off a deal that adds an impact-scoring winger, they'll be better than the team that was iced in the 2021-22 season with the hopes of returning to the playoffs well in May and June 2023.