Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 24, 2022
COULD THE ISLANDERS PURSUE KADRI OR TARASENKO?
THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz reported a source informed him of “rumblings” that the New York Islanders were making a push for Nazem Kadri. The 31-year-old center is an unrestricted free agent coming off a career-best 87-point performance and a Stanley Cup run with the Colorado Avalanche.
While the Islanders already have two top-six centers in Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson, Kurz suggested Barzal could move to the wing if Kadri was brought in. That change in position might be beneficial for Barzal’s career as it could improve his offensive output.
Signing Kadri could cost $8.5 million annually on a likely long-term deal. They would have to ship out some salary, meaning moving one of the usual trade candidates such as Semyon Varlamov, Josh Bailey or Anthony Beauvillier.
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner recently observed the Islanders missed out on what he considered a “glorious opportunity” to acquire Vladimir Tarasenko last summer when the winger requested a trade from the St. Louis Blues.
At the time, Tarasenko was coming off another shoulder surgery and there were questions about his health. The Islanders were believed among the teams on the winger’s list of preferred trade destinations.
Rosner wondered if the Isles might revisit efforts to acquire Tarasenko this summer. He pointed out the 30-year-old winger hasn’t withdrawn his trade request as well as the lack of a significant splash via a trade or free agency to improve the roster. With Tarasenko slated to become a UFA next summer, a contract extension would have to be part of the deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The always-secretive Lamoriello hasn’t tipped his hand as to his intentions. It wouldn’t be surprising if he’s looked into signing Kadri or acquiring Tarasenko. Whether he lands one or the other this summer or has something else up his sleeve is another matter. After striking out on Gaudreau, perhaps Lamoriello has a lesser acquisition in mind.
LATEST ON KLINGBERG
THE ATHLETIC: Saad Yousuf recently reported there’s been little news about John Klingberg other than he got married last week. The 29-year-old defenseman remains available in the unrestricted free agent market.
While his former club, the Dallas Stars, unofficially bid Klingberg farewell, Yousuf believes the door to a possible return remains open “ever so slightly.” It’s apparent the Klingberg camp overestimated the market for his services given his age, defensive concerns and his intent to sign a contract with a significant term.
Yousuf wondered if Klingberg would consider returning to the Stars on a one-year deal. However, he also pointed out they have limited salary-cap space and still have to re-sign restricted free agents Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger to new contracts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the ship has sailed on a Klingberg return to Dallas. He could end up signing for much less than he hoped for far fewer years with a team that may not have been high on his list of destinations when the market opened.