NHL Rumor: A possible deal is in place for Alex DeBrincant, but it's not with the NY Islanders

The saga continues ...

Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs
Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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Where does this leave the NY Islanders?

The Red Wings have made moves to free up salary cap space to land DeBrincat, including waiving former 6th overall pick Filip Zadina for the purpose of contract termination. They have the room to fit the talented 26-year-old into their lineup, but Allen feels that Yzerman will hold the line in contract negotiations.

As for the Islanders, they have been going in the opposite direction of the Red Wings, having just $387,500 of cap space per Cap Friendly following the signing of depth-forward Julien Gauthier. There's some maneuverability to create minimal space with the contracts of Ross Johnston and Simon Holmstrom, but in order to fit DeBrincat this year and beyond, Lamoriello would need to trade at least one sizeable contract, rumored to be JG Pageau to Detroit, and then likely make another move to free up the required cap space. Oliver Wahlstrom remains a RFA.

Jean-gabriel Pageau
New York Islanders v Philadelphia Flyers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

DeBrincat had a "down" season last year, scoring 27 goals, so it's understandable that teams are using that as leverage to avoid handing out a max-term contract. From an Islanders' perspective, the team has signed three players to eight-year extensions over the last year. Mathew Barzal signed before last season, Bo Horvat inked an extension days after being acquired from the Vancouver Canucks, and Ilya Sorokin's extension was announced on Jul. 1.

The Islanders could be a team that DeBrincat is open to going to but not ready to sign an extension. If so, it would be a gamble for Lamoriello to disrupt his roster for a chance to sign him long-term, though he has plenty of success retaining players he has traded for over recent seasons, including Pageau, Kyle Palmieri, Horvat, and Pierre Engvall. To do so, the Islanders would likely need to offer DeBrincat a deal long enough and rich enough that makes him willing to forego free agency for the first time in his career next summer when the cap is expected to go up.

Last week, there was an expectation that the DeBrincat sage would be resolved one way or another. Now it appears that the saga will drag on further into the summer unless Detroit or DeBrincat's camp is ready to concede their positions. If and when that happens, the Islanders will have to look elsewhere in the trade market to makeover their roster ahead of next season.