Here’s what you need to know about this weekend:
- At 3 pm ET today, a roster freeze goes into effect for 30 NHL clubs that lasts until Thursday.
- At 5 pm, the expansion protection lists are due into NHL HQ.
- The 31st team - the Vegas Golden Knights - can make deals or sign UFAs or unprotected RFAs starting Sunday at 10 am.
This and more info about how the next few days will shake out can be found in this FAQ from Sportsnet. Keep it handy.
So where do the Islanders stand as of now? The same place they have for the last few weeks: lots of options but little movement.
Elliotte Friedman was on Calgary radio yesterday and said that Matt Duchene and Jordan Eberle remain targets, but hard facts are hard to nail down. He does say Garth Snow is a mensch so there’s that.
In Newsday, Arthur Staple says the same about the trade chatter while putting the focus on the idea that, without a move, the Islanders are going to lose someone good for nothing to Vegas. They’re likely to go 4-4-1 in protections, leaving names like Ryan Strome, Thomas Hickey or Calvin deHaan free to be plucked.
As for who could go the other way in a trade to alleviate things, Friedman and Bob McKenzie agree that Travis Hamonic could be the guy. But even that just raises more questions. Via Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports transcribing a radio hit from Sportsnet 1050:
McKenzie: "I think Hamonic is more than likely going to be traded by the #Isles. I'd be very surprised if he's not dealt."— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) June 16, 2017
Friedman: "From what I hear on Hamonic, the price is really high. Like, I wonder if it's higher than Eberle, to be perfectly honest." #Isles— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) June 16, 2017
McKenzie: The amount of talk going on w/ Vatanen, Brodin, Hamonic... strongly leads me to believe all three of them will be on the move.— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) June 16, 2017
We’ve discussed at length the likelihood of dealing Hamonic or Calvin deHaan ahead of the expansion draft, and it looks like the pendulum has fully swung in the former’s direction. Hamonic is a locker room leader, a giant in the community (who’s up for the NHL Foundation Award next week) and has grown up before our eyes as the team has. But his on-ice performance has lagged, especially last season, and with Ryan Pulock playing the same position on the same side with a cheaper contract, he’s probably the guy to go, regardless of how much we all love (not like, but love) him personally.
If that sounds like me talking myself into losing one of my favorite players on the team, it’s because it is.
deHaan’s not flashy, but his defensive game has grown in the last few years and as an RFA, his next contract could be a good one, too.
My worthless take: I expect Snow to make no moves today and for the Islanders roster to be the exact same thing next week except for whoever they lose in the expansion draft. Sorry to rain on everyone’s parade, but I don’t want to spend my Father’s Day Weekend watching Twitter and coming away disappointed. Maybe I’ll be wrong.
Doubt anything "big" happens with the Isles today, but Snow is in a number of conversations, hoping to land a top 6 forward. Team to watch.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 17, 2017
Other Islanders news
- Our crack scouting department has stepped up to the podium and made their selection in SB Nation’s Mock Draft: Smart Finnish forward Elias Pettersson.
- Travis St. Denis (pronounced, sadly, as “Saint Dennis”) will return to the Sound Tigers next season. He had a good rookie season last year. [BST]
- And the Worcester Railers have their first ever player: goalie and Late Night host Joe Fallon. [Telegram]
- The Flyers and Coyotes made a trade last night. [BSH]
- Whoa, baby. The Columbus Dispatch says the Blue Jackets are likely to fork over their first round pick and a prospect to keep Vegas from poaching one of their veteran players. Steep!
- And remember: it’s not up to George McPhee to bail out his dumb colleagues and take all of their bad contracts, no matter how much we may want him to. [Puck Daddy]
- Dallas is also involved in a bunch of rumors for Eberle, Chris Tanev and Jonas Brodin. [DBD]
- Sure sounds like the salary cap for next season will be around $75 million, which is good news for some clubs. [TSN]
- As teased the other day, yes, Jack Capuano could join Phil Housely’s staff in Buffalo. I hope this happens for ol’ Cappy. [Buffalo News]