Is Travis Konecny a realistic target for the NY Islanders?

Los Angeles Kings v Philadelphia Flyers
Los Angeles Kings v Philadelphia Flyers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Rumors are swirling that for the Philadelphia Flyers to take a necessary step forward, the organization could be making certain core players available and that includes talented right-wing, Travis Konecny. The 26-year-old has been a mainstay on the Flyers for seven seasons and was a point-per-game player last year, scoring 61 points (31G, 30A) in 60 games.

The second-cousin of Bo Horvat fits the needs of the NY Islanders, but does GM Lou Lamoriello have enough asssets to acquire him? Would he be willing to make an all-in move like that?

Konecny signed with the Flyers in September 2019 for a six-year deal worth $33 million. In 488 career NHL games, he's scored 141 goals and 191 assists for 332 career points. He has two years remaining on his contract, carrying a modest cap hit of $5.5M AAV. Heading into his prime with term left on that deal, he is an attractive, yet costly trade target for teams looking to bolster their offense.

Last week, The Fourth Period, reported that the Detroit Red Wings, armed with two-first round picks and three second rounders could be among the teams interested in acquiring Konecny. The Isles don't have the draft capital of the Red Wings this year and are already without a third round pick in 2024 following the acquisition of Pierre Engvall at the trade deadline.

So, what would it take for the Flyers to trade Konecny to a division rival?

A lot. A whole lot.

First things first, the Isles would need to create cap space, which would mean buying out Josh Bailey and then likely letting a UFA such as Scott Mayfield walk and be replaced with a cheaper option on defense. The Isles (for the time being) still have their 2024 first-round pick. That selection, plus prospects Matthew Maggio or William Dufour, plus another NHL-ready player such as defenseman Samuel Bolduc. It's a similar framework to the deal that acquired Horvat in January. A current NHL player, a prospect and a pick.

If the Islanders want different results, they're going to have to be willing to make significant changes and make bold decisions. Going after a player as young and taleneted as Konecny fits that mold. There was no more deterent to the Isles success last season than the PP and that is where Konecny excelled, tallying five powerplay goals, and 10 powerplay assists. Konecny also picked up three shorthanded goals and five game-winning goals.

With the uncertainty surrounding free-agents Zach Parise and Pierre Engvall, the Islanders are in a position where they could become overly depedent on a healthy Oliver Wahlstrom to take the next step and Simon Holmstrom to find his offensive game. Likewise, Hudson Fasching was a nice story last year, but has yet to prove he can be a 15-20 goal scorer at the NHL level. Depending on what happens with Parise and Engvall, a team that struggled to score at times last year could start next season with worse offensive depth.

While one player won't make or break the team next season, the Islanders' front office need to act in a way they haven't been willing to in recent off-seasons and make a bold move, even if it means giving up more than they feel comfortable trading. While trading a young, under contract scorer seems unlikely, the Flyers appear to be in rebuilding mode and may want to make Konencny available for the right, and hefty price.