Chalk one up to Twitter and the insiders!
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the insider who reported the New York Islanders were trading the rights to Ilya Sorokin to the Chicago Blackhawks, the New York Islanders have not traded their top goalie prospect to the Chicago Blackhawks. Nor has he been shot by Claudine Longet.
We bring this to you as a Moment In Twitter History, or a reference if you went to the bathroom, perhaps a doctor’s appointment, or other momentary off-grid space this afternoon and overheard people telling you they heard the Isles made a trade.
Here’s Dreger, at about 3:15 EST:
Sources say the Islanders have traded Ilya Sorokin’s rights to Chicago.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 21, 2020
And here’s Dreger, at 3:27 EST:
Sorokin has not been traded to Chicago. Despite the fact his teammates and others in Moscow believed to this be the case. Chicago sources have confirmed no trade. My mistake.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 21, 2020
Ohhh, that need to be first! (And ohhh, the reactions to the initial tweet, as IslesTwitter was essentially trolled.)
Sorokin, of course, is the 24-year-old goalie they drafted in the third round (78th) in the 2014 NHL Draft. He has long been a top goalie prospect who had thus far elected to stay in the KHL, where he was a star goalie on a championship team, rather than come to the NHL while his ELC-regulated earning potential was limited.
But he’s widely expected to depart for North America this year — more on that below — now that he’s at the age where he requires just a one-year entry level contract before he can start getting meaningful raises.
Speaking of which, this all came more than an hour after some KHL scuttlebutt suggesting this trade might be happening, which was followed by Igor Eronko saying his understanding was the contrary — that the Islanders and Sorokin had begun contract discussions, and there’s a “99% chance” he’s in the NHL next year.
Per @SFedotoF Ilya Sorokin's rights are gonna be traded to the Blackhawks soon. I'm hearing the opposite. Lou met Sorokin's agent. There're some requirements from Ilya's side, A and B bonuses and Euro clause. 99% chance Sorokin coming to the NHL next year #Isles #Blackhawks https://t.co/IZerE3JrLW— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) February 21, 2020
Of course, the possibilities aren’t mutually exclusive: If the Islanders know what Sorokin wants in a contract, they could arrange terms before using him as a trade piece, presumably with his and the acquiring team’s understanding. A sign-and-trade, if you will. And maybe even such a thing has been discussed, but the Hawks know well not to Cross Lou by acknowledging any of it.
It has long been thought that Sorokin would make an ideal tandem-mate to Semyon Varlamov, a friend of his whom the Islanders signed to a surprise four-year, $20-million deal last summer instead of bringing back Robin Lehner — who, ironically, signed with Chicago on a one-year deal.
The Islanders do need to upgrade their offense, and Sorokin is one of the few prospect assets that both had value and is somewhat expendable. So a trade at this point isn’t necessarily crazy, given other needs.
It’s just not happening now, apparently. And perhaps not ever.