NHL Rumor Mill – August 19, 2022
What now for the Islanders and Avalanche after missing out on Nazem Kadri? Where could P.K. Subban end up? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
WHAT WILL THE ISLES & AVS DO AFTER LOSING OUT ON KADRI?
NEW YORK POST: Ethan Sears reports the Islanders are left with a lot of maybes after Nazem Kadri signed with the Calgary Flames yesterday. Media gossip linked the 31-year-old former Colorado Avalanche center to the Islanders but general manager Lou Lamoriello had been silent about the rumors and his efforts to bolster his club’s offense.
“Maybe things will turn around with the roster as is and a season unimpeded by the long road trip and COVID-19 outbreak that affected the Islanders at the start of last season,” writes Sears. “Maybe Anthony Beauvillier or Oliver Wahlstrom will take the next step forward. Maybe new head coach Lane Lambert will unlock something (former coach Barry Trotz) couldn’t in this team.”.
Sears believes Sonny Milano is the most viable free agent that the Islanders could add but he’d probably end up on their third line. There are no obvious trade candidates at this time that Lamoriello could target.
THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz noted Lamoriello and Lambert have spoken about their belief in the Islanders’ core. However, it was apparent last season that they were going to need a few pieces if they intend to contend this season. Signing someone like Sonny Milano won’t make anyone change their view of the Isles’ lineup the way Kadri would have.
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner wonders if Lamoriello will revisit his interest in J.T. Miller. The Isles GM was reportedly interested in the 29-year-old Vancouver Canucks center during the 2022 NHL Draft last month. Free agent winger Phil Kessel could be a temporary, last resort option as he does provide offense.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think there was a lack of effort on Lamoriello’s part to bolster his scoring. He was rumored to be pursuing Kadri and apparently attempted to sign Johnny Gaudreau last month before he accept a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Lamoriello reportedly attempted to acquire Miller before the first round of the draft but for whatever reason, the deal fell through. He could try again but I don’t think the Canucks are keen to move the versatile two-way forward until perhaps close to the 2023 trade deadline if they’re out of playoff contention by then. At that point, the Isles will face plenty of competition for his services, driving up the asking price beyond Lamoriello’s comfort zone.
The bottom line here is Lamoriello struck out in the trade and free agent markets. Kessel or Milano would be affordable short-term options but won’t move the dial much offensively for the Islanders.
I think the Islanders still have a good team. They’ve got a strong goalie tandem in Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov plus what looks like a solid top-four defense in Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov. Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson and Anders Lee are proven scoring talents, while Beauvillier and Wahlstrom could step up this season.
Nevertheless, the offense remains an area of concern, one that Lamoriello will have to address at some point this season if the Isles are to be more than a playoff contender.
THE DENVER POST: Sean Keeler reports Nazem Kadri’s departure to Calgary leaves a big gap at their second-line center position that could prove difficult to fill.
Pickings are slim in the free-agent market. They include 36 -year-old former Avalanche center Paul Stastny. They might have to look to within and see if J.T. Compher or Alex Newhook can fill that role.
WHERE COULD SUBBAN LAND VIA FREE AGENCY?
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Mike Stephens recently listed the Seattle Kraken, Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres as three possible destinations for P.K. Subban. The 33-year-old defenseman could be an affordable short-term addition for clubs in need of an experienced, puck-moving right-shot blueliner.
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng examines the pros and cons of whether Subban would be a good fit with the Sharks. While he’s no longer an effective top-four rearguard, he could have a role on the third pairing and would provide them with a right-handed shot from the point.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban had a decent performance last season with the New Jersey Devils. He should end up with an NHL club on an affordable one-year deal before training camps open in mid-September.
The “bottom line” for me, as an Islander fan, is there isn’t a single attributable quote to Lamorello —that he was ever interested in ANY of the players mentioned.
oh that’s just Lou being Lou. Maybe. But speculation aren’t facts.
I’m happy with the Isles standing pat.
Neither that Gaudreau, or Kadri contract will age well. I’m a little less concerned about Huberdeau and Tkachuk but I’m happy my team stayed out of away from all these “inflated numbers” signings.
Kadri for 4 years would be a decent deal. Even at 7m. Seven years is nuts. Remember, he had never topped 61 points in any season before last year.
IF – and granted, that’s a huge IF – Kadri and Huberdeau are instrumental in bringing a cup to Calgary in the next 1 – 3 seasons. nobody will be lamenting the lengths of the contracts
That’s right my man! Senile my ……. Lou did the right thing- he walked away! I believe in this roster & believe last season was an aberration. With Wahlstrom, Bellows, Salo & Romanov the teams younger, faster etc.. They need to step up. Still would love to see Dufour or Raty make a move- but it may take a bit more time. Would be nice though. Sonny Milano would be a nice addition- even if it’s for competition purposes. You never know from there!
Raty and Dufour are not legit prospects. Dufour can’t skate and Raty’s point production in WJC was against terrible opponents. There’s a reason the kid fell all the way to the isles in the draft
So you’re happy that grandpa Lou has done absolutely nada this off-season?!?
Give me a break! The islanders are old , slow, and offensively challenged .
Time to blow it up and start over!
A half empty brand new arena will not be a good look!
See you in playoff contention in 3 -5 years if you’re lucky!
I agree 7 for 7 for a soon to be 32-year-old is crazy. See where we are at the deadline and go from there. Get rid of some older players let Wally and Bellows play. The only thing I would have done is trade Varly at this point for picks when the goalie market was hot. Covid and the 13-game road trip did us no favors. I expect to make the playoffs.
I see both sides of that argument. He is an asset and could have netted something, a high pick….SOMETHING.
There seems to be a good goalie shortage at the moment. It’s nice to have 2 serviceable netminders to rely on
3 team trade:
Varly to LVGK
Reimer to NYI
Vegas 3rd(from Buffalo) + Vegas 7th to SJ, Vegas 6th to NYI
But I think Vegas starts the season with what they have and address this if they need to.
Correct George. Treliving and the Flames are all in. He had no choice but to make a big move like this. Treliving cant worry now about cap issues 4 years from now because if the team doesn’t step up with deep playoff runs soon, he won’t be on the job in 4 years. But it’s certainly a HUGE risk. Their window is 4 years or so. After that, the huge contracts will begin to bite.
The Islanders should have a much better start this year- they faced way too much adversity last year. They will be in the mix again and their goaltending could be a big factor in the playoffs.
On Islanders…. They could trade Varlamov to Vegas fir one of their goalies then use that crated space and the left over space after signing their RFAs and be a cap buyer from cap strapped teams.
There is still moves to be made by over the cap teams to get cap compliant.
The Islanders could play in this market and acquire a decent player with 1 yr left on term.
I hope subban stays OUT of Washington.. no thank you.
I don’t think they signed him for what he can do in the regular season. His game is built for the playoffs and that’s exactly what Calgary needs.
Kadri term is way to long and it was the right decision not to sign him.
I wouldn’t be all over Lou for not signing a player who isn’t going to hold his value for half the contract.
I like Kadri the player and good on him for getting the contract. He’ll definitely help Calgary. As they say, they deal with the length down the road.
Wahlstrom and Beauvillier are talented, but the Isles need a winger at a higher level. Sorry, Milano nor Kessel are that, so why bother?
Speaking of Kessel, I could see the Avs signing both him and Stastny to fill out their roster.
I bet Milano goes back to ANA, he had great chemistry with Zegras
People here don’t seem to get it. Term for older players doesn’t matter anymore. If kadri is a real anchor in his last year or two he will end up on ltir somehow.
Maybe Chrisms, maybe not.
It is true that older players end up on LTIR, more often, and it is also totally logical. Just how it works as you age and add in the hard miles of 15 plus years of pro hockey. Parts wear out.
So last 2 years of deal he is 37.
There are only 14 players under contract 37 or older. Most are on short term deals, so not totally apples to apples, but not all are either.
Of those 14, 2 are on LTIR. Seabrook – 37, and Mike Smith 40.
Includes guys like:
Pavelski – 37 and still productive
Burns – 37 still productive and SJ is eating salary, not on LTIR.
Suter and Parise, both of whom were bought out vs put on LTIR.
Insurance companies don’t pay NHL teams for guys who are healthy. Doesn’t make any sense to me anyway. Unless teams just pay them on their own, but don’t buy the fact that the NHL just lets them get away with that.
Player get hurt, happens, guys bodies wear out too. Unless there is actual evidence that there is some cover up and Dr’s, the NHL and insurance companies are in on it, not gonna buy into the theory.
Well put, Ray. But you’re confusing them with basic logic and facts. 🙂
It’s just business ray. Players and players union benefit as players get more money and term. Owners benefit by building more immediately competitive teams. Insurance companies suspect but don’t fight it cause the overall business is worth it to handle these few outliers. Proving insurance fraud is very hard. You essentially have to call docs liars. The insurance companies do that and nhl teams take their business to another insurance company. Gms are giving out these contracts for a lot of reasons. Expected growth of cap. The increasing health technology that lengthens athletes windows of effectiveness. But also cause it is feasible if not likely the problem can be made to disappear if needed. Not tin hat material. Just facts.
The real problem is that with the cap being so restrictive and most teams at their limits due to previous long term deals, the only way to pay these guys and fit them in is to extend them for more years and figure it out on the back end. Its a vicious cycle for the teams and players until the next CBA. Like everything it’s going to work out for some and not for others.
Additionally certain positions age well and others don’t. Physical Power Forwards generally start to wear out by 32-33 but are significant pieces to any championship club so that presents a significant challenge for GMs who are going for it. Players like Kadri fall into that category. A 3-4 year deal makes more sense but you’re not going to get a player of that level without adding a few more years. In my opinion Calgary made the right move
No offence Chrisms, but a little bit of tin hat, and not how any business operates that I have worked for.
The insurance companies you deal with are way different than the ones I have dealt with when it comes to insurance for people missing work.
We fund short term ourselves, and insurance companies for long term. We use the insurance company and pay them a fee if there is a disput on the STD as well, and in 30 plus years there have only been 2. Both times they absolutely did their due diligence, one was honored, one was sent back to work, as he should have been as it was obvious what he was doing.
The point is he had to prove that he should still be on it, or they don’t pay. The Doctors were totally honest about it to and he had no case.
In your scenario, the doctors would need to lie to the insurance company and the insurance company would have to go against their entire business model by paying claims that are not legit.
Guys get hurt, old guys get hurt more, bodies wear out, and players want to play.
There is obviously some grey area, but even in those cases there is an obvious problem, the only question is the severity and does it qualify. But IMO you can’t just make stuff up so the problem will go away.
The rich teams would constantly do it if that was the case and the entire cap system would be a joke. They didn’t lock the players out for a season to piss it away.
No one said anything about making stuff up. I’m n fact you put it nicely. Players naturally get dinged up. The docs just lean towards unable to play over play through it. Even exaggerate is a strong word for it. Just taking a certain perspective on it. And docs do that all the time.
I believe Monahan will not rebound. More than the recent hip surgery. A reason Flames gave up a conditional first . Could could always buy out Kadri 5 or 6 years from now. No 7 or 8 year deal ages well . The cap at some point over those. Calgary deals will increase . Lucic gone after this season
I guess no one here cares about recognition for past service or proven history? That’s what overpayment has part reason for, never mind the open market where inflated prices are the norm.
The thought of a GM not wanting a good free agent is wrong. I see more of that old school mentality a certain GM is known for, isn’t helping his team land players that seem to be from another school of thought. Who knows? After all it’s the NHL and more likely than not, it’s more about the Benjamins than where or who your playing for as long as it’s the NHL.
Really like how things turned out for the Flames. I believe they are a much better playoff team now verses last year. I also think they can go far in the playoffs, but don’t think they are good enough to be a champion. Kinda think they will be like SJ, good team might even get to a final but not good enough to win.
Will be fun to watch them over the next few years. Unfortunately the history of players tells us once they get into their mid 30’s the decline is steep and fast. I can see these two players being bought out after year 5 or 6
Craig V, Dark G, Mike P and All,
I wonder if Lou would “revisit” interest in Tarasenko at this time (or maybe that was also an unfounded rumor).
I would think that Wahlstrom, Beauvillier, or Bellows packaged with a top pick would at least get Armstrong’ attention!? However defense is a greater need area for the Blues.
Toward the end of Trelivings interview yesterday he made it sound like they may not be done making deals.
Maybe a deal with the leafs for Nylander. The flames are flush with good defensemen.
Maybe Weegar to Ottawa? Dorion could offer up speedy LW Alex Formenton +.
I think there could be a deal made between the Sens and Flames.
Formenton always played well when he played against the Flames. However as you said George there would have to be more. Just not sure what the more would be
Heh. Yeah, my usual + is one of the up-and-coming D like Bernard-Docker and Thompson – unfortunately, the last thing the Flames need is more D.