The New York Islanders’ offseason is at a standstill, at least from where we sit. There are a number of unsubstantiated rumors and speculation we needn’t discuss here to go along with complete radio silence from general manager Lou Lamoriello. As we continue to imagine the future of the Islanders’ roster with little to no knowledge at our disposal, there appears to be an option or two for Lamoriello to consider in order to sign Nazem Kadri and make a trade for their coveted first-line winger.
Islanders’ Moves to Sign Kadri
It’s no secret that Josh Bailey’s $5 million cap hit is a bit of a burden on the Islanders this offseason. Lamoriello had an easier time the last two offseasons in unloading some extra dollars, including Andrew Ladd (trade), Leo Komarov (contract termination), Johnny Boychuk (LTIR trade), and Nick Leddy (trade), but appears to be having a more challenging time this summer moving money out the door.
Bailey’s contract is interesting; while the $5 million is troublesome upfront, he’s only making $3.5 million “real” dollars in the final two years of his contract. For teams that don’t have the cash to pay players but need help reaching the cap floor, or simply need players like the Arizona Coyotes, this could be an attractive trade for both sides. He could also be attractive to some teams that may benefit from the veteran presence of a player like Bailey. The Anaheim Ducks, for instance, have been loading up on veterans to surround their youngsters. Is the West Coast an option for him? Nothing is pointing that way in terms of reports, but there appear to be at least some avenues for Lamoriello, even if it cost him an asset to move Bailey out.
This, of course, would open up a bit of room for Lamoriello to sign Kadri. The two have a connection dating back to their days together with the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he had high praise for the center, ultimately signing him to a six-year deal that just ended on July 1. While there isn’t much to go off of, some reports have emerged indicating Kadri and the Islanders have a high probability of making something work. Others, like Frank Seravalli on the DFO Rundown, say things aren’t as locked down.