The biggest insider of them all is Elliotte Friedman. The man is very well connected and knows what's going on in the NHL. That's why the hockey world effectively stops when his latest 32 thoughts blog comes out. And his latest one has a few notes about New York Islanders players ahead of the trade deadline.
So, here's a look at what Friedman said in his latest blog about some Islanders players whose names have surfaced ahead of the trade deadline and with some thoughts from an Islanders perspective on each:
New York Islanders: Friedman's thoughts on Isles players as deadline nears
The UFA defenseman and lock for the Hockey Hall of Fame when his career is over will certainly be shopped around by the Islanders. Chara isn't about to end this year not competing for a Cup.
According to Friedman, the Leafs are a possibility. Really? To be fair to Elliotte, he does say it's a "completely insane prediction".
I know the Leafs need defense, but Chara doesn't exactly fit stylistically. Although, maybe that's just what they need? A player who will force them to slow their pace down just a bit?
The return won't be much of anything (a 6th round pick maybe). But that won't matter for the Islanders. If they move Chara it won't be to get a return but to give him a chance at a Cup.
Clutterbuck is certainly going to be moved at the deadline. His grittiness, physicality, and lack of penalty trouble are qualities every contender loves to add at the deadline. According to Friedman, Cal's name is being mentioned "quite a bit" in trade conversations behind the scene.
That's no surprise of course. Maybe a second-round pick for Cal isn't so crazy considering what he brings to the table and the market for him?
There's are two notes on Varly in this week's 32 thoughts. One states that it wasn't a coincidence that the Avs checked out the goalie market and that Varly started against them. The other note says that sources are telling Friedman Varlamov probably won't be traded.
I have to think the latter is the more correct one. I don't think Varly is traded.
The "lack of coincidence" factor for the Avs start was simply the Isles being strategic about what goalie starts what game. Varlamov has played the Avs twice as an Islanders goalie and was 1-1-0 in those starts with a 0.951SV% and 1.53GAA. That's why Varlamov started. It didn't work out well but that's why the Isles made that decision, and not for any possible trade deadline deal.
I don't think Varlamov moves mainly because there isn't much of a market for him. Edmonton and Toronto are the only teams and Varlamov holds a 16-team no-trade. If Varly even OK's a move to either the ask from the Isles will be certainly too large for either to pull the trigger.