The waiting continues as rumors have swirled regarding the NY Islanders' pursuit of Alex DeBrincat. While July 1st was supposed to be all about free agency, the tide quickly shifted to the thought of the two-time 40-goal scorer relocating for the second time in as many years.
While most rumors surrounding the Islanders and potential trade targets generate more interest on Twitter than among GMs, this time, where there's smoke, there appears to be fire.
DeBrincat has reportedly turned down an eight-year extension with the Ottawa Senators, resulting in GM Pierre Dorion searching for a trade partner for his blockbuster acquisition at the 2022 NHL Draft.
The Anaheim Ducks were originally a team interested in bringing in DeBrincat to play alongside their young forward core, but it seems Orange County may not be an ideal destination.
"We do know that there was some interest from Anaheim," said Jeff Marek on Sportsnet's Jeff Marek Show. "I'm not sure that DeBrincat's camp thought that was a fit."
Though nothing is imminent, the Islanders appear to be one of the teams positioning themselves for a potential deal.
"I still think that there's interest from the New York Islanders," said Marek. "That one would be a pretty sizable deal considering the numbers involved and considering how up against the salary cap the Islanders are."
With just over $1M in available cap space and DeBrincat potentially looking for a deal similar to the one Timo Meier recently signed for eight years at an $8.8M AAV, the Islanders would need to move money out, likely JG Pageau, to fit DeBrincat's new contract under the cap. The Sens would also prefer a deal with a contract attached, as an extension would net Ottawa the greatest return.
"As we do this program, Tuesday, July 4th, 2:14 Eastern, it sounds like the two teams in the DeBrincat sweepstakes here are the Detroit Red Wings and the New York Islanders," said Marek. "That's where we're at."
DeBrincat is a Michigan native, and the Red Wings have more to offer Ottawa - but DeBrincat has a lot of leverage in this situation as both teams would ideally like a contract attached. He may see the Islanders as a team more suited to win now and could be intrigued by the prospect of playing alongside Bo Horvat and Mat Barzal.