New York Islanders among the teams of intrigue ahead of Expansion Draft

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Lighthouse Hockey 19 July, 2021 - 09:15am 5 views

Who did the islanders protect?

The Islanders protected seven forwards — fourth-liners Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin along with Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau — defensemen Scott Mayfield, Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock and goalie Semyon Varlamov. NewsdayBailey, Eberle among Isles left exposed for NHL expansion draft

Something more must be going on. Right?

While it was thought the Isles might leave at least one highl-dollar member of their core exposed as they continue to navigate a cap crunch, they went ahead and exposed two: both Josh Bailey and Jordan Eberle are both exposed, while “Identity Line” members Cal Cluttterbuck and Matt Martin get coveted protected slots.

On its face — though we know Lou Lamoriello often has more up it’s sleeve — it’s a bit mind-boggling. This means either a side deal is being worked out with Seattle, or the Isles are tempting the expansion Kraken to take one high-dollar contract off their cap so the Isles can position themselves for key RFA re-signings (plus UFA Casey Cizikas) and possibly other big UFA moves.

Either way, it’s both frightening and exciting, which is more than can usually be said for mid-July.

Teams could protect 11 players via the 7-forward, 3-defensemen, 1-goalie format, or else nine via a 4-4-1 format.

Forwards: Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, Cal Clutterbuck, Anders Lee, Matt Martin, Brock Nelson, J-G Pageau

Defensemen: Adam Pelech, Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield

Goalie: Semon Varlamov

Key Exemptions: Ilya Sorokin, Oliver Wahlstrom

Forwards: Josh Bailey, Jordan Eberle, Leo Komarov, Kieffer Bellows, Otto Koivula, Michael Dal Colle

Defense: Andy Greene (re-signed yesterday, in part for this purpose), plus Thomas Hickey, Sebastian Aho, Mitch Vande Sompel, Parker Wotherspoon

What’s next? A couple of days of angst and intrigue.

Read full article at Lighthouse Hockey

Islanders trade with Seattle Kraken possible and maybe even likely

Eyes on Isles 19 July, 2021 - 04:00pm

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 21: The Team Store for the Seattle Kraken, the NHL's newest franchise, opens for business on August 21, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jim Bennett/Getty Images)

The protected lists are out. We know who the New York Islanders are protecting from the Seattle Kraken and the group of players the NHL’s 32nd team can select from on July 21.

But that still doesn’t tell us who the Kraken will actually select in the expansion draft. The fact that Eberle and Bailey are available seems to indicate the Kraken could take either of them, but who knows because the Isles could still make a move to sway Seattle to pick someone else.

You might be thinking: “isn’t there a roster freeze? Aren’t teams unable to trade until after the expansion trade?” And you’re right. Kind of. Thirty-one of the 32 teams can’t make trades, but the Seattle Kraken are free to make deals.

Lou Lamoriello could keep Seattle from selecting either Eberle or Bailey so long as he meets their price to do so. Apparently, that cost isn’t cheap.

But maybe that price is fine for Lou? He’s already traded away two firsts to push for a cup. What’s a third? And a third-round pick is certainly of no consequence for Lou.

We know that the Isles GM wants to keep his core intact and both Eberle and Bailey are very much part of that core. Eberle is the top line RW while Bailey is Barry Trotz’s swiss army knife that is used throughout the top nine.

Bailey is also first in post-season production since 2018-19 with 39 points in 49 games. Eberle is fourth with 34 points in the same 49 games.

Losing either for free doesn’t sound like something Lou Lamoriello wants to do. If he’s OK losing them for free he would have offloaded them prior to today like he did with Nick Leddy.

Which leads me and probably you as well, to think that a deal with Seattle might be on the table.

I’m not suggesting that Lou absolutely made deal with Seattle, but this seems like the type of situation where the veteran GM would make a trade to keep his team (that’s gone to back-to-back) semi-finals intact.

And if we learned anything over the past few days is that Lou has a way of bringing the price down. No one saw him moving Ladd let alone for two seconds (and maybe a third two years from now).

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Islanders Lose Jordan Eberle In Mock Expansion Draft

Eyes on Isles 19 July, 2021 - 04:00pm

New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle (7) (Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports)

Every team has submitted a list of players protected from the expansion draft happening this Wednesday. There were some surprises around the league, including the New York Islanders with who they decided to protect.

Lou Lamoriello decided to leave both Josh Bailey and Jordan Eberle unprotected in favor of Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck. It was pretty shocking, to say the least, but with all that said I wanted to do my own expansion mock draft.

Thanks to our friends over at CapFriendly, I decided to make my selections as if I was the GM for the Kraken and this is what I came up with.

(For Full Image)

From the New York Islanders, I have Jordan Eberle going. Yes, there may be a side deal here in place to prevent Seattle from taking him but this draft was done with no trades. Most of the guys I selected don’t have much term, and that was done purposely more on that in a second, but Eberle is a stable top-six piece for this team.

The reason I went with so many short-term deals was so that these guys can be trade bait either before the season or at the deadline. It’s rare that you see a team come in and be a dominant force right away, Vegas is the outlier, so I wanted to give myself room to work and establish the core.

Colton Sissons is locked up for five more years as one of the core pieces of this Seattle team. He’d be my first captain in team history.

(For Full Image)

Again, we have some guys with one year left on their deals who can become trade bait at the deadline and some key younger players as well. Vince Dunn’s name has been brought up in trade rumors a ton recently but he’s someone I’d love to build around.

Gostisbhere is still young and could probably use a fresh start with Calvin de Haan and Kevin Shattenkirk as the veterans holding down the blue line in the short term.

As for in net, Ben Bishop was too good to pass up. I know he didn’t play last year but similar to Marc Andre-Fleury he can provide stability in net and a veteran presence. Casey DeSmith is a fine backup and Kaapo Kahkonen is waivers exempt which is key for a third goalie.

Obviously, I have some contracts to sign with some key RFA’s but I left myself with $17.2 million in cap space to play with. If you’d like to check out the full terms of the roster I’ll link the CapFriendly exercise here.

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It’s not a perfect lineup but for an expansion team, I’ll take it. If you’re interested in doing the exercise for yourself you can do that here and we’ll see what happens for real in just three days.

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Could Josh Bailey's days with Islanders really be numbered? | amNewYork

AMNY 19 July, 2021 - 10:00am

Tackle the city, with our help.

Pantorno joined amNewYork Metro as sports editor in January of 2020 after two years at the same position with Metro New York. He covers all eight major professional sports teams in the Big Apple, most notably the Mets and Islanders. His previous stops include Bleacher Report while his work has been featured in the New York Post, Newsday, and Yahoo! Sports.

Islanders cautionary tale: 3 trade to move one really bad contract

Eyes on Isles 19 July, 2021 - 09:37am

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Andrew Ladd #16 of the New York Islanders (c) celebrates his goal at 13:50 of the first period against the Vegas Golden Knights and is joined by Nick Leddy #2 (l) and Casey Cizikas #53 (r) at the Barclays Center on October 30, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

On Friday, the New York Islanders did the unthinkable. They were able to successfully trade Andrew Ladd. And they did so without having to shed a first-round pick. Something that seemed like a pre-requisite just a few days ago.

Moving Ladd, who played five NHL games (including the playoffs) in 2019-20 and one AHL game for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (the second-worst AHL squad) during the shortened 20-21 season, gave a cap-strapped Islanders squad a massive lifeline with $5.5 million in cap savings.

But that trade to Arizona on Friday doesn’t happen without two costly trades before it.

The Andrew Ladd trade to Arizona also included a second-round pick in 2021, a second-round pick in 2022, and a conditional third in 2023. The condition on that third-rounder is if Ladd plays one NHL game in 2022-23 the Coyotes get the pick.

The Islanders are in no place to shed those assets to move Ladd if not for the Devon Toews trade last offseason and the Nick Leddy just a few days ago.

With the Toews and Leddy trades completed the Islanders had two second-round picks in 2021 and in 2022. Meaning they could easily move one in either year. As they did to ship Ladd to Arizona.

And that’s what happens with really bad contracts. It costs a lot to move them. And there’s no doubt that Ladd’s contract was one of if not the worst in the NHL.

Since that ill-advised $38.5 million singing in 2016, Ladd played 181 of a possible 370 NHL games with the Isles (49%) and scored 72 points, a 0.4 points-per-game pace over his Islander career (that’s a 33 point player basically).

Ladd was mainly used at the AHL level over the last two seasons where he played 35 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

He wasn’t good enough to play at the NHL level but was healthy enough to play so his $5.5 million contract (which was over 80% signing bonus) was unmovable. Basically tethering the Isles to $4.475 million in dead cap space since 2018-19.

Again, this is what happens when teams sign players to really bad contracts. It costs a lot to get out of them. And I’m not just talking about the three picks the Isles sent to the Coyotes, but the two trades it took to get those picks to move Ladd.

Of course, the Toews and Ladd trades were not a direct result of signing Ladd in 2016. But if not for their trades Ladd isn’t moved, so in a way, you have to look at their moves as necessary to create that $5.5 million cap space.

The Islanders didn’t want to move either Toews or Leddy. Both were valuable players for the team, but it was necessary to do so. The Islanders needed cap space and moving them allowed the Isles to create some.

That’s why signing free agents to big-money deals isn’t always a good idea. Not only does it rarely work out well (subscription required) but when it doesn’t it costs a lot to get out from it.

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Islanders: Losing Jordan Eberle vs Josh Bailey In Expansion

Eyes on Isles 19 July, 2021 - 09:02am

Jun 19, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; New York Islanders center Josh Bailey (12) skates during warm ups before game four of the 2021 Stanley Cup Semifinals against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Honestly, it’s still a surprise that New York Islanders General Manager, Lou Lamoriello is leaving both Jordan Eberle and Josh Bailey unprotected. Sure, Lou may have a side deal in place, we won’t know until Wednesday, but it’s still a risk.

Both players are top-six forwards, on a cap hit of $5 million for Bailey and $5.5 million for Eberle over the next three seasons. Ideally, the Isles don’t have to lose either for nothing but under the assumption that it’ll be one of the two, I’d prefer Jordan Eberle to be the one lost in expansion. Allow me to explain.

Josh Bailey is the longest-tenured Islander, and yes that stuff matters. He was drafted by the Isles in 2008, played right away, and unfortunately struggled. But it’s not 2014 anymore. The narrative that Bailey is “useless” is as outdated as the mannequin challenge.

Over the last five seasons, Bailey has played at a .69 points per game pace. He’s not going to be someone who puts in 20+ goals in a season, but he’s a playmaker and a pretty darn clutch playoff performer.

Bails is 12th all-time in playoff points with 50 in just 71 games played. Every single Islander on the list above him has at least one Stanley Cup ring on their finger. Over the past two playoff runs, he’s had 33 points in 41 games. He’s been dynamite for this team.

Plus, he’s more versatile than Eberle. He can play on either the left or the right and take faceoffs if need be. You can also slot him in anywhere on lines one through three and he can handle the role. Eberle is not as versatile.

He plays on strictly the right, he doesn’t kill penalties, and he’s really a more offense-heavy forward. Yes, you can make the case for Eberle being a better goal scorer, but is he a better fit for this specific Islander team?

With his skillset and Oliver Wahlstrom looking for a consistent top-six role, I’d argue no. The Isles would have an *easier* time finding an Eberle replacement than they would for Josh Bailey, who has become a swiss army knife for this team.

Plus how often do we see Eberle, whose strength is scoring goals, go through downright awful scoring droughts, especially in the playoffs. In 2020 he went 11 games in a row without a goal, and then this year there was a six-game streak.

I don’t necessarily want this to turn into an anti-Jordan Eberle thing, I happen to like him as a top-six wing, I just prefer Bailey’s game especially in this system, and think they’d be better off exploring replacement options for Eberle via trade or free agency.

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Who knows, maybe Kieffer Bellows is the pick or there’s a trade in place and we don’t have to sweat anything. But if it’s between these two, I hope Eberle is the pick. Isles fans tend to agree with me on this.

Would you rather lose Josh Bailey or Jordan Eberle in expansion? #Isles

— Eyes on Isles (@eyesonislesFS) July 18, 2021

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Islanders Possible 2021 NHL Draft 2nd Round Selection

Eyes on Isles 19 July, 2021 - 05:00am

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: Oliver Wahlstrom poses after being selected eleventh overall by the New York Islanders during the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Everyone is keeping tabs on numerous fronts regarding the New York Islanders off-season. Clearly it was a busy weekend. However, the 2021 NHL Draft is later this week and for any team, it’s a critical two days for the long-term health of every organization.

Going to break down some players that have a good chance to be on the board when the New York Islanders make their first pick of the 2021 NHL Draft. The Islanders’ first pick will be at the end of Round 2 with the 52nd selection (51st player taken because Arizona has to forfeit their 1st Round pick). This pick was acquired by the Isles this weekend from the Red Wings in the Nick Leddy deal.

The Isles pipeline could use an infusion of young talent at the forward position. But like any Draft, one would be wise to always take the best player on the board.

Keep in mind that many recent Drafts, players have unexpectedly risen and fallen come Draft Day. Given that scouting this Draft during the pandemic has had so many issues, expect to see more risers and fallers in this year’s NHL Draft.

Research for this article dove into The Hockey News, The Athletic, and Russ Cohen’s site Sportsology. Let’s look at the forwards.

This year’s pick from Russ is defenseman Ty Gallagher. Gallagher has offensive instincts, has a hard shot, and is a power-play threat. Some scouting reports point out he has to work on his skating but he is a smart player with a lot of upside.

Finally, look at for another former Islander son come Day 2 of the Draft. Scott Lachance kid, Shane is a 6’4, 193 lbs winger who is a raw talent but could wind up being a hidden gem. He is slated to go towards the end of the Draft. If you remember Isles took a big raw talented winger back in the 6th round of the 2009 Draft and his name was Anders Lee.

The Islanders have a lot of balls in the air between signing their own guys, expansion, free agency, and possible trades. But don’t lose sight on how important the Draft is for the blue and orange.

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Rangers, Islanders & Devils Unveil Protection Lists For Expansion Draft

Elite Sports NY 18 July, 2021 - 12:00am

All eyes are on the Seattle Kraken as they prepare for the expansion draft. The local teams — the Rangers, Islanders, and Devils — unveiled their protection lists for the occasion. There were some no-brainers and a few surprises on the list for each team.

#NYR protection list for the #Seakraken expansion draft:

Forwards: Panarin, Zibanejad, Kreider, Buchnevich, Strome, Chytil, Rooney

Notable exposures: Goodrow, Gauthier, Blackwell, Smith, Bitetto, Kinkaid, DeAngelo, PDG

— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) July 18, 2021

The Rangers are exposing a few notable names, including Barclay Goodrow, Julien Gauthier, Colin Blackwell, and Keith Kinkaid.

Per @reporterchris, #Isles protection list:

Forwards: Barzal, Clutterbuck, Lee, Martin, Beauvillier, Nelson, Pageau

Notable exposures: Bailey, Eberle, Dal Colle, Panik, Greene, Komarov, Bellows, Koivula, Hickey, Aho

— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) July 18, 2021

Josh Bailey is probably the biggest surprise on the list for the Islanders. He’s the longest-tenured player on the roster and an alternate captain.

#NJDevils’ Protection List:

Unprotected: Johnsson, Subban, Butcher, Bastian, & more

— Devils Army Blog (@DevilsArmyBlog) July 18, 2021

It’s worth noting that while Jack Hughes isn’t on the protection list, he is safe from the tentacles of the Kraken. Hughes is not eligible for the expansion draft.

The expansion draft is set to take place on July 21, 2021. Until then, hockey fans will have to hope Seattle doesn’t take their favorite player.

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