At the season-ending presser New York Islanders President & General Manager, Lou Lamoriello made it very clear that he wanted to add a puck-moving defenseman to next year's squad. Lamoriello is rarely that forthcoming so the fact that he made this statement says an awful lot.
There aren't any great options for the Islanders in unrestricted free agency starting July 13th regarding blue line help. The Isles and Lamoriello will have to make a trade if they want to add a puck-moving defenseman.
Arizona is in an elongated rebuild and GM Bill Armstrong is looking to garner as many draft picks and prospects as possible. Jakob Chychrun, the 16th overall pick from 2016, just turned 24 and has considerable upside. He's signed for the next three seasons with a reasonable cap number of $4.6 million.
Arizona is very willing to move Chychrun but they want a lot in return. The asking price starts with the Isles' 13th Overall pick in this weeks draft along with most likely Aatu Raty or William Dufour. The Isles still might have to add something else of value to come to terms with Arizona.
Why would Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche trade Samuel Girard? Good question.
Colorado has several players who are either UFA or RFA and freeing up cap space can allow them to sign at least one more player from this group. Also, the emergence of Bowen Bryam makes Girard expendable.
In such a trade Colorado is going to want some serious future assets. Again, a deal with the Avs would start with the Isle's first-round pick on Thursday and possibly Raty or Dufour. Keep in mind Girard is healing from a broken sternum so his recovery could spill into the beginning of next season.
Landing Girard would be a major pickup for Lamoriello and the 24-year-old defenseman is signed for the next five years with a $ 5 million AAV.
Dunn, Kylington, Hague & Fowler:
Seattle is looking for young forwards and has depth on the blue line. Vince Dunn is 25 and is signed next season with a $4 million cap hit. Could Anthony Beauvillier and a draft pick after the first round bring Dunn to Long Island?
Oliver Kylington is just 25 and coming off a strong year with Calgary (9 Goals, 31 Points, +34). The 25-year-old defenseman is coming off his entry-level deal and is in line for a major increase in salary. The only reason Calgary would move him is to create cap space as they are trying to resign both Johnny Gaudreau (UFA) and Matthew Tkachuk (RFA)
Nicolas Hague is just 23 and the big man (6'6, 221 lbs.) has upside. Vegas is cap-strapped and has seven defensemen under contract already for next season. Vegas would want future assets with no cap hit for Hague, so that would be draft pick and or prospects.
Finally, to throw another name out there, how about Cam Fowler with the Anaheim Ducks? Anaheim is still at least a year away or two away from contending and because of that, maybe new GM Pat Verbeek (who used to play for Lamoriello in New Jersey) would be willing to listen on a Fowler trade. Fowler is 30 and signed for the next four seasons with a $6.5 million cap hit.
The number of possible options out there for Lamoriello via the trade route. No doubt Lou is working the phones.