NHL Rumor Mill – August 2, 2022

by | Aug 2, 2022 | Rumors | 42 comments

A look at how the Islanders could clear cap space to sign Nazem Kadri and a potential cost-cutting trade candidate for the Bruins in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner cited a source who told him over the weekend that Nazem Kadri could be joining the New York Islanders. However, the hold-up is the Isles need to clear out some salary-cap space.

New York Islanders winger Josh Bailey (NHL Images).

Rosner had no details about Kadri’s rumored deal with the Islanders. However, he believes it could be worth around $7 million annually. With the club currently carrying around $11 million in cap space, Kadri’s anticipated cap hit wouldn’t leave much to re-sign restricted free agent defensemen Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov.

Under the collective bargaining agreement, teams are allowed to exceed the salary cap by 10 percent during the offseason but must be cap compliant when the regular season begins. Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello could find it difficult to dump salary with teams knowing it’s to make room for Kadri.

Rosner reports the Islanders are shopping Josh Bailey. The 32-year-old winger carries a $5 million annual cap hit through 2023-24. Rosner suggests his veteran presence could do wonders for rebuilding clubs with cap space such as the Arizona Coyotes or Chicago Blackhawks.

However, Lamoriello would have to add a couple of draft picks or a prospect in the deal to move Bailey. Winger Anthony Beauvillier and goaltender Semyon Varlamov have also appeared in trade rumors but Rosner believes they’re staying put.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rosner isn’t the only person to tie Kadri to the Islanders in recent days. There’s speculation the two sides already have an agreement in place but are waiting to announce it once Lamoriello frees up sufficient salary-cap space. Until then, however, it’s still just speculation at this point.

Bailey’s age and contract are sticking points but he did put up a respectable 44 points with the Islanders last season. He also lacks no-trade protection, giving Lamoriello plenty of potential trade partners. I agree with Rosner that the Isles GM will have to include a sweetener or two in the deal as an enticement.

Potential trade partners could also squeeze Lamoriello to part with Beauvillier or Varlamov rather than Bailey.


THE BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont recently pondered how the Bruins will free up salary-cap space for their efforts to sign Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Pavel Zacha. They have around $4.8 million in salary-cap space.

Dupont points out the Bruins will get some early-season wiggle room by placing Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy on long-term injury reserve until they return from offseason surgeries around Dec. 1. However, he’ll have to shed some salary once those players return to the lineup.

Craig Smith could be the likeliest to go. He carries a $3.1 million cap hit for the coming season and becomes a UFA next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Smith, 32, is a former four-time 20-plus goal scorer who had 16 goals and 36 points last season. He lacks no-trade protection and could interest clubs seeking an experienced middle-six winger. However, the Bruins might have to include a draft pick or prospect as a sweetener in the deal.

Speculation earlier in the offseason suggested Matt Grzelcyk could become a trade candidate. He’s signed through 2023-24 with a $3.67 million AAV.


  1. Bailey was left un protected in the expansion draft. I would assume they have been trying to move him for some time. Could have moved Varlamov earlier in the summer for assets not adding. Now everyone”s goaltending is settled-too late. Now You will have to hold moneynand add to save some dollars.
    Chicago should take Bailey with a first.
    Calgary might take Beauvillier and return a pick or a depth defence

    • I think the decision to leave Bailey unprotected in the expansion draft wasn’t because the team has been trying to get rid of him. I think it was more strategic, as they reasonably assumed Seattle wouldn’t take a 40 point player, who is paid $5 million a year, and would have to be paid that until 2024.

  2. Hab fans, I’m a Romanov fan, really like this player. I know what Montreal got in trade.

    Just not understanding why they would want to give this player up.

    Strong in his dzone, still learning, physical and won’t back down, ,good bodychecker, good skater.

    I don’t see alot of Montreal games.

    What your take, what am i missing or is it just the cost of doing business?

    • Caper, simply the cost of doing business. Hughes wanted to draft Slafkovsky, the big power winger, but also wanted to add a big, young center. Romanov was the price to be paid.
      I also liked Romanov. Very much. The thing is, he didn’t show too much offensive upside. He’ll probably top out as a 2nd pairing guy who’ll provide solid physical play and contribute 25 or so points. Good player to have, but they have that already. The reason why the Habs traded Chiarot without any attempt to extend him is that he and Edmundson are practically the same guy. They needed an LD who can skate better and provide more offense. Matheson can do that.
      Hughes also felt that Romanov can be spared because the Habs have young depth on the left side. Harris will likely take a regular shift this year and Guhle is not far behind. They also have several other LD prospects who have potential to eventually crack the lineup. The right side D, on the other hand…….

    • We loved him too. The move came as a bit of a shock, especially since we are lacking in true top end defensive prospects at the moment heading into our rebuild.
      I would assume its a cost-of-business type of deal, especially if we can sign Dach for cheaper than you guys end up signing Romy.

    • Thanks Howard for your thought out response.

    • I agree with Howard: Romanov, while very talented, was redundant. He is a strong skating, hard hitting, minute munching second pair defenseman who provides limited offensive upside. Now, he did provide offense during both WJC’s that he participated in, leading one to think that there may be untapped potential there. He is still young.

      One thing that Islander fans may be pleased with is his versatility: while a left-shot, he can play on the right side and perform well.

      Again, Montreal has many LD prospects (some who are pretty interesting and highly touted), but little in terms of big young centers with a ton of upside. The cost of obtaining one was Romanov. It’ll be interesting to see how this trade plays out over time. Remember, Chicago took Frank Nazar with the Islanders’ pick.

    • Caper,
      Romanov passes the eye test with flying colours,full of vim and vigor, heavy hitter, skates well, through the roof enthusiasm BUT he has no offense, poor gap, poor first pass, frequently coughs up the puck.

      He’s one of those guys who leave you wanting more and became expendable .

    • Thanks to all the Habs fan who responded.

      I must add its nice to have a respectable discourse; regardless of how he feel about each other team overall.

  3. I’d guess teams are already making it difficult for Lou to make cost cutting trades, whether it’s to make room for Kadri or anyone. Bailey has the type of contract a team like Arizona would take on. 5m cap hit but only 3.5m in actual money owed next 2 seasons. They’re still under floor with a full 23 man roster. Trading Chychrun won’t help. As a Ranger fan, I’m loving the idea of a non playoff team that’s already has one of the oldest rosters,
    handing out a long term deal to another over 30 player!

    • yeah agree 30+ year old Kadri adding to the Islanders clogs up their salary cap with aging players even worse

      • ds. I don’t think Lou cares. He’s not getting any younger. I’ve said here before. Isles miss playoffs again, Lou gets the ax.

      • yeah Lou needs to win yesterday with his 5.75 million dollar 4th line….

  4. If Boston has to throw in a sweetener to trade Smith then he doesn’t go anywhere.

    It’s an affordable, fare contract that is expiring

    • Caper

      I concur with that he is very tradeable with his current contract

    • How about dumping the rest of last years free agent signings(except for Ullmark), to save money.

      • You need teams willing to take them. Even then, you’ll get nowhere near market value in return because 31 GMs know that you’re dumping salary.

  5. not buying the Isles trading Bailey. Lou is VERY loyal and is said to LOVE Bailey. Think it’s more likely that Beauvillier and maybe even Pageau gets traded to fit Kadri, Romanov and Dobson

    • MikeP

      No one wants Josh Bailey, Kevin Allen has been talking to GMs around the league on the Kadri to NYI. And he was told that there’s no market for Josh Bailey right now. At least 9 teams are over the cap and another 16 teams are tight up against the cap. basically leaving only 6 to 7 teams that can afford to take him on. And the premium will be high for Lou. No GM is helping him out so he can sign Nazem Kadri that’s why it’s taking so long. Teams will want Anthony Beauvillier not an aging Josh Bailey period. But it sounds like Lou might have several moves up his sleeves from the sound of things.

  6. They’re weak enough already thanks to the master of disaster Sweeney. If they have to trade away one of their regulars just to sign Krecji, Patrice and Zacha forget it. Just hang a for sale sign on Foligno and Ullmark and place in the front window of Macy’s I’m sure that’ll generate some interest.

    • Ullmark has a full NMC till next year so he is not going anywhere maybe next year No one is taking Foligino without a big sweetener buyout would be best Can demote Wagner again if need be as save over million like last year

  7. To paraphrase Lyle….” Rosner says Bailey might do wonders for rebuilding clubs like Arizona or Chicago” And Edminton fans might say the say about Foegle, Leaf fans about Kerfoot , Hab fans about Dvorak, etc etc etc. The fanboy reporters of various clubs tight to the cap float wishful thinking to the fans.

    Here’s reality….Pacioretty and Burns to Carolina for nothing….26 goal scorer to the Kraken for a 3rd and fourth….

    Teams like my Leafs and many others paint themselves into a corner while only one team wins the cup. The last few Cup winners prior to winning the cup did not have cap issues.

    Carolina has been managing the cap well……they be the next to challenge while the Leafs choke on Tavares and maybe the Islanders on Kadri.

    An old folksong asks…..” When will they ever learn…”

    • Can you clarify the statement about the last few cup winners not having cap issues? Tampa Bay, anybody?

      • Most cap space wins the cup? No no no, it’s some guy called Cap Space for MVP?

        All this time, silly me, thinking it would take a good team, guys – expected and unexpected – playing outer-worldly and luck wins cups but I’m so happy to learn now its cap space.

  8. Of course, teams are making it harder to dump salary. Look at the crappy return the Jackets got for Bjorkstrand. And the closer we get to training camp, the more that will be demanded in order to dump a salary. That won’t change until the flat cap era ends.

  9. Everyone still think Lou is a shrewd Gm? Gm of the year lol. Guy rode Brodeur Stevens and Niedermayer ..and then put lipstick on a pig by having Trotz coach this Islanders team.
    Gave away Devon Toews for nothing signed Komarovs and Matt Martins to long term deals and is now going to give away assets to make room to sign a 32 year old coming off a complete aberration of a year to a long term deal.
    What a joke- not sure why he gets so much cred…
    should have kept Trotz- aside from Dobson Pullock and Sorokin this team is brutal..

    One of the things you see when it comes to dumping salary and paying to dump it – is you need to do it asap- you cant wait til you sign someone and then try to make it happen- strike early.

    Guys think Dubas paid by moving down 13 spots to move 4 mill – cant wait to see what this costs Lamoriello

    • Sam, the real head scratcher: good defensive team and he gives away the 13th pick in draft for Romanov. No knock on Romanov, but why not use that pick the way Montreal did and get the 21 year old Dach who won’t get half the money Kadri will but who could end up being the better player in near future?

      • Slick62- Yeah thats a steep price- always hard to tell with young D. I do know I would like Romanov playing for Barry Trotz over lane Lambert

      • Romanov played with Sorokin in Moscow. Sorokin to me is going to be a top 10 goalie for the next decade so maybe this is a move to give me a countrymade from his generation

  10. Should have traded Varly for picks on draft day. Isles need to fill up the farm system. Goalies were in high demand then not now. Don’t need a 5 million back up who will play only 30 35 games. Lou again blew it. He was playing shuffleboard on the beach on draft day. He needs to retire.

    • Lou does not want to trade Varly. Likes his goalie system and wants him around for one more year as support for Sorokin. Doesn’t want to trade a young guy like Beauvilier either.
      Someone will take Bailey. Still a useful player with only two years to go on his deal and his $5m, cap hit is not nearly as horrible as some others. A bottom feeder that has to reach the floor will pick him up. Obviously, the Isles will have to add a sweetener. Likely a 2nd and a decent prospect. Obviously there will be nothing sent in return.

      • Howard, there is NO bottom feeder that needs that contract in order to reach the cap floor – not even Arizona. So that motive for acquiring him is out the window. Doesn’t leave much else motive to take on $5 mil per for 2 more years.

      • Doubt very a much a 2nd rounder gets it done at this juncture- Price is always a 1st or combo with a prospect. Bad timing and bad decision. Let alone we dont know the term on kadri- I doubt kadri was waiting for the isles on a 3 year 6 mill deal. This is high high dollar for 4 years or 7 mill at 6.. either way not sure why anyone thinks he is worth that deal at this juncture in his career with such a track record.

        Why does Sorokin need support? He is clearly ready to carry the load..

  11. Could the Bruins bring Lucic back it’s possible ….Flames want to move on

    • Joe Have flames eat some $$ and we can give them Folignio ………………….works for me doubt it for Flames.

  12. Sifting through the remaining unsigned UFAs, there isn’t a whole lot left, outside of Kadri, and probably Milano, Rodrigues and Holtby (goalies always find a home) that you can say, with any certainty, that they will be playing somewhere in the NHL in the coming season. Here’s the best of what’s left by position

    Nazem Kadri – coming off a cap hit of $4.5 mil – 28g 59a 87 pts +13 and added 7g 8a 15 pts in the playoffs (16 gp) for Col – turns 32 in October
    Paul Stastny – coming off a cap hit of $3,750,000 21g 24a 45 pts + 14 in 71gp for Wpg – turns 37 in December
    Evan Rodrigues – coming off a cap hit of $1 mil – 19g 24a 43 pts + 3 in 82gp – added 3g 2a 5 pts in 7 playoff games for Pitt – turned 29 in July
    Sam Gagner – coming off a cap hit of $850,000 – 13g 18a 31 pts -4 in 81 gp for Det – turns 33 on Aug 10
    Johann Larsson – coming off a cap hit of $1.4 mil – 7g 14a 21 pts -4 in 43 gp for Ariz/Wash – turned 30 in July
    Derek Stepan – coming off a cap hit of $1,350,000 – 9g 10a 19 pts +/- 0 in 58 gp for Car – turned 32 in June
    Victor Rask – coming off a cap hit of $4 mil – 9g 12a 21 pts +4 in 47gp for Minn/Sea – turns 30 in March

    Phil Kessell – coming off a cap hit of $8 mil – 8g 44a 52 pts -24 in 82gp for Ariz – turns 35 on Oct 2

    Sonny Milano – coming off a cap hit of $1.7 mil – 14g 20a 34 pts -9 in 66 gp for Anaheim – turned 26 in May
    Sam Steel – coming off a cap hit of $874,000 – 6g 14a 20 pts -17 in 68gp for Anaheim – turns 25 on Feb 7

    P. K. Subban – coming off a cap hit of $9 mil – 5g 17a 22 pts -8 in 77 gp for NJ – turned 33 in May
    Anton Stralman – coming off a cap hit of $5.5 mil – 8g 15a 23 pts -16 in 74 gp for Ariz – turned 36 on Aug 1
    Calvin deHaan – coming off a cap hit of $4,550,000 – 4g 4a 8 pts -21 in 69 gp for Chic – turned 31 in May

    Zdeno Chara – coming off a cap hit of $750,000 – 2g 12a 14 pts +8 in 72 gp for NYI – turns 46 in March
    Danny DeKyser – coming off a cap hit of $5 mil – 0g 11a 11pts -8 in 59 gp for Det – turns 33 in March

    Braden Holtby – record of 10-10-1 – 2.78gaa and a .913 Save % in 22 starts for Dallas – turns 33 in Sept

    • I could see Stastny being signed somewhere. 45 points on a borderline team is welcome, regardless of the guy’s age. Granted, he’ll be a 3rd liner, but he’s still worth it.

    • Coincidence that are almost all over the age of 30? Ageism never dies. I don’t see how the CBA protects these players, who funny enough, will be that age pretty soon.

    • Holtby retiring doesn’t think surgery will help is what I was told by his family.

  13. Sam Steel could be a steal.
    ( see what I did there)
    First round pick , great junior ; Team Canada and still young
    He would fit in Alberta

    • LOL. That was too easy SilverSeven. And do I detect just a bit of sarcasm there when you mention Alberta?

      If any team shows interest in this guy (197gp 24g 41a 65 pts), he’ll just be one more in a long list who keep resurfacing solely on the basis of “he was a 1st round pick therefore he HAS to be good …”

      From this vantage point – remote I grant you – he’s looking more and more like just one more 1st round bust – of which there have been many.

  14. Sam Steel is an interesting case in point, is he really a 1st round bust?

    Last pick in the first round so what are real expectations?

    His stat line, 197gp 24g 41a 65 pts puts him at #30 or better so far in his career, right where he was drafted.