Midway through July, there was momentum building on the rumor mill that free agent forward Nazem Kadri and the NY Islanders had an agreed-upon contract the GM Lou Lamoriello had yet to announce. Things seemed to quiet down a little after Frank Seravalli said via DFO Rundown that despite hearing the rumors himself, he believed it to be "premature" to determine that Kadri and the Islanders had things finalized in Lamoriello's top drawer. In more recent history, there are new reports emerging that Kadri and the Islanders could be finalized soon, maybe even this week.
Long-time hockey reporter John Shannon joined the Sekeres and Price podcast recently and stated that he has it on good authority that Kadri and the Islanders will make things official soon:
"I do think (Kadri) ends up with the New York Islanders...it wouldn't surprise me that it gets done this week...Lou has to move some money...I got it from a very good source that is going to happen very soon."- John Shannon
Previous to this report, The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta reported that Kadri and the Islanders were just a matter of "when," not "if," stating that a deal was in place in the range of 7x7. The holdup on the deal is due to Lamoriello trying to figure out how to make the money work with the Islanders owning a little under $12 million in salary cap, while also needing to lock in deals for restricted free agents Noah Dobson, Alexander Romanov, and Kieffer Bellows.
Shannon wasn't the only one to report recently that they had heard Kadri and the Islanders was all but official. On the latest DFO Rundown, Jason Gregor reports he had heard something similar to Shannon:
"I spoke to two opposing GMs who believe (Kadri) is signing with the Islanders. If you go back to last year as you recall, Kyle Palmieri and Anthony Beauvillier signed on September 1st."- Jason Gregor
Gregor states he wouldn't be surprised if this is similar to Lamoriello's signings last summer that was announced on the first day of September. What he did say though was that he would be surprised if it came in at the rumored 7x7 contract.
It's quite possible that Kadri has learned at this point that he's not going to fetch the $9 million AAV he sought in free agency. That's good news for the Islanders even if they're signing him long-term. However, there smoke around the $7 million AAV has a lot of heat to it, so it should come as no surprise if that is indeed what Kadri signs for.
It's a matter of when Kadri signs with the Islanders at this point and it hinges on no one but Lamoriello. Once we learn how he's taking money off the books, the rest of the dominos shall fall. Halfway through August, we almost have no choice but to find out sooner rather than later.