Looking at who Islanders could make available at trade deadline
Yesterday I wrote that the " target="_blank">New York Islanders have 58 days to decide what to do with their season. Are they close enough to a playoff spot to go for it or are they well out of it?
The loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday doesn't honestly change anything. The 3-1 loss was tough because the team just didn't seem "in it" but the loss doesn't move them closer to deciding where they are on the year, as in, should they sell or not.
But that doesn't mean fans aren't seeing the loss as one too many on the year.
There are a lot of calls to sell and retool after dropping another two points. So, what does that look like exactly? Who can the Islanders ship out at the trade deadline if the plan is to retool as some are suggesting and what can the Isles hopefully get back?
Looking at who New York Islanders could make available at trade deadline
The first and most obvious group of players that would be made available are the players who will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the year. The Islanders have five players who are pending UFAs on the NHL roster:
Cal Clutterbuck (RW)
Zach Parise (LW)
Austin Czarnik (C)
Zdeno Chara (D)
Andy Greene (D)
Guys who are UFAS and off the roster are:
Thomas Hickey (D)
Andy Andreoff (C)
Paul LaDue (D)
Cory Schneider (G)
Ken Appleby (G)
I included off roster players just to give a full picture of the Isles pending UFAs. I don't expect most of them to be traded. The one exception might be Thomas Hickey.
Chara and Greene could bring back a second or third-rounder as depth defensemen typically return at the deadline. And the return is likely the same for Zach Parise who would be an incredible depth addition for any team.
I'm not sure the Islanders move Austin Czarnik, especially if Clutterbuck is moved. Czarnik seems like the perfect replacement for Clutter on that Islanders fourth line.
Shedding Cap Space
The next group of players is those that could be moved to create even more cap space for the Islanders:
Semyon Varlamov (G)
Josh Bailey (F)
I started off by saying that these players could be moved. I say that because deals like these aren't typically done at the trade deadline, shedding cap space usually happens in the offseason, but if the return is there in March why not make the deal a little early?
The Islanders will get more calls for Varalmov surely than they will for Bailey, on account of Varly playing a position that is more in-demand. And of course, only having one year left on this contract (to Bailey's two extra years) makes the veteran goalie an even more attractive trade target.
Can the Isles get a first for Varlamov? No, but a second+ seems feasible. When it comes to Josh Bailey the return would be quite low, but moving $5 million would be key to opening up the Isles wallets for a promising free agent pool.
Scott Mayfield could yield a good return for the Islanders. The right-shot shutdown defenseman brings size, physicality, can run the PK, and even add a bit of offense. And the cherry on the cake is that he has a $1.45 million cap hit this year and next.
We know GMs love players with size, we know they love players that play with an edge, and they looooove players on cheap deals. Scott Mayfield checks all of those boxes.
Can Scott Mayfield return a first? Maybe. No one can say he would definitely return a first. But we can all agree that he could return value for the Islanders. And with Grant Hutton ready to jump up to the NHL this might be a good time to move Mayfield.