One player the NY Islanders could acquire in a shocking trade with the Sabres this offseason

The NY Islanders need to find a player who can score but would still hold true to the team identity in 2024-25, and the Sabres have a player who could make that happen.
Mar 14, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Buffalo Sabres center Peyton Krebs (19) defends as New York Islanders center Kyle Palmieri (21) passes the puck during the first period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Peyton Krebs (19) defends as New York Islanders center Kyle Palmieri (21) passes the puck during the first period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
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The NY Islanders have got to do better than they did last season when it comes to finding the back of the net. And that means trying to land a viable forward who fits the team’s identity and one who won’t force general manager Lou Lamoriello to shuffle much of the current lineup to stay cap compliant. 

Cap Friendly paints a bleaker than bleak picture regarding the Islanders projected cap space, which sits at just over $6.5 million. Spotrac’s current projection is lower, clocking the Isles in at roughly $5.5 million, meaning there is little room for error if Lamoriello wants to keep the team as close to ‘as is’ as he can.  

Given the number of restricted free agents the Isles may want to re-sign, the above number may disappear quickly, meaning the Isles could end up making a shocking trade or two, if necessary, that will free more cap space while, again, keeping the core intact. Since it could be tough for this team to sign another in free agency, the trade market provides a sound opportunity to acquire a cheap, yet high-potential player. 

Sabres could have an ideal forward the NY Islanders are looking for

Peyton Krebs first came to the Sabres in the Jack Eichel trade, but he never panned out to be more than a fourth-liner in Buffalo. Currently a pending restricted free agent, the Sabres could send his signing rights to the Isles, allowing Lou Lamoriello to sign Krebs to a more than reasonable deal to replace someone like the potentially departing Cal Clutterbuck or Matt Martin. 

Krebs fits the Isles mentality well, and he logged 108 hits for a Sabres team whose identity wasn’t anywhere near the most physical in the league. Someone like Krebs would expand on that physical play on Long Island, and in the Isles current system, he could also transform into one of the NHL’s better young defensive forwards, but with scoring potential, even if the latter hasn’t translated to the big league just yet.

Best yet, he wouldn’t cost much more than seven figures if he’s re-signed to a “bridge deal” before getting a longer contract in a few years. Krebs only watched 30 goals go by this season while in Buffalo at even strength, and despite his inability to light up the scoreboard for now, he is a respectable puck mover and one who will also help set up chances. 

As the Sabres traded for Krebs, there is a good chance general manager Kevyn Adams wants to keep him around on the Blue and Gold’s fourth line. But he is a legitimate trade candidate this summer and teams looking to bolster their physicality department will be interested in trading for him. 

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