The latest trade rumor buzz surrounding the New York Islanders is that the Vegas Golden Knights are sniffing around a possible Semyon Varlamov trade.
According to the Fourth Period, the Golden Knights have inquired with the Islanders about the availability of the veteran shot-stopper. So how serious are they? Or how serious could they be in acquiring Varlamov?
New York Islanders: How serious is Vegas with trade target Varlamov?
Well, it depends on how long Robin Lehner is out. At the time of writing Lehner is still out with some sort of injury. But there's no word on how long that injury will take to heal, or if he'll need surgery to fix it.
Pre-injury, Lehner was having an OK season with a 19-13-1 record, a 2.86GAA, and a 0.907SV%. That's not great per see, but it's not as if Vegas has anyone better behind Lehner. Without him, Vegas has to choose between Laurent Brossoit or Logan Thompson. If you're asking who they might be, then that's all you really need to know.
If Lehner is out long-term the Golden Knights could be very serious about acquiring a goalie who sports a 2.57GAA and 0.916SV% this season of the career 0.916SV% and 2.63GAA that Semyon Varlamov has.
Vegas has cap issues right now but if they're taking on Varlamov it's because Lehner is out, and likely on LTIR. Making the whole cap thing moot. Both goalies make $5 million.
From an Islanders fan perspective, it would be kind of odd seeing Varlamov on the same team as Lehner after the former was brought in to replace the latter back in 2019-20. A "swap" that caused all kinds of issues within the fan base.
Moving Varlamov would create some extra cap relief for the Islanders. Sure, they'd still need to sign a backup, but that won't cost them $5 million that was committed to Varlamov this year and next. And even though Varlamov has a 16-team no-trade list, I bet he OK's a move to a Cup contender like Vegas.