Tell me if you've heard this story before.
The New York Islanders had an opportunity to bring in a big-name scorer to bolster their offense but failed to get it done. When this summer's offseason began, the Ottawa Senators were looking to trade their 25-year-old winger, Alex DeBrincat, after he turned down their eight-year contract offer and searched for an extension elsewhere.
It was understood that the Islanders were one of the two teams who had a chance to trade for the star, but unlike the Detroit Red Wings, the team that ended up landing DeBrincat and returned him to Michigan, the Isles would have needed to clear cap space if they wanted to make it work.
As reported by Andrew Gross in Newsday on Monday, the Senators were not enticed by the prospect of having to take on the salary of J-G Pageau and Oliver Wahlstrom in return for DeBrincat. The Red Wings' offer included a 2024 first-round pick and prospect, but not locking up cap space in future years was also an attractive part of the Detroit package compared to that of the Islanders.
In the end, DeBrincat was traded to Detroit, and the Isles missed out on a huge offensive upgrade yet again. This left us thinking, after the Josh Bailey trade to Chicago, what are the hardest contracts to move on the Islanders?
For purposes of this exercise, we excluded the two seven-year contracts handed out to Scott Mayfield and Pierre Engvall and the four-year extension given to 35-year-old backup goaltender Semyon Varlamov. GM Lou Lamoriello just made the decision to bring back all three at term that was double what the market was offering, so while each would likely be hard to move, there's no intention or desire for the Isles GM to do so at this juncture.
Here are the 3 worst remaining contracts on the NY Islanders: