I have been away at a wedding all weekend. Did I miss anything?
No, I did keep up with the news as much as I could. I have all the New York Islanders reporters’ tweets sent to my phone, so I found out that Nick Leddy was traded to the Detroit Red Wings at the rehearsal dinner. GM Lou Lamoriello finalized the Andrew Ladd trade during the ceremony—I obviously could not take out my phone, but it buzzed non-stop in my jacket, leading me to believe that something had happened; it was either an Islanders move or it was a move that sent shockwaves through the league, and it turned out to be both.
It wasn’t until today, though, that I could really process and think about the deals. I am going to miss Leddy. As others have written, the day that former GM Garth Snow acquired him and Johnny Boychuk was a franchise-altering one. Leddy and Boychuk gave the Islanders legitimacy, as well as a legitimate top pairing, if only for one season. Leddy has remained a good soldier here, even though he never really could build off that first season, and he has always been one of my favorite Islanders. But I knew this was a possibility.
As for Ladd, well, I do not think my emotions on that could be more opposite than those on Leddy. I did not think it was possible, but I am extremely glad that it was.
Now that I’m sort of up to speed, I can digest the expansion protection list. Casey Cizikas almost certainly will be back, in my opinion, and I am convinced that there is a side deal in place between Lamoriello and the Seattle Kraken—whether that’s to take one of Jordan Eberle or Josh Bailey or to keep their tentacles off them, I am not sure, and Seattle has been instructed to keep all its side deals under wraps until the Expansion Draft. But in the meantime, I will bottle the emotions of losing either player until it happens.
- Dom seems to believe that there must be some sort of side deal, as well. [LHH]
- Andrew Gross is not as sure about that, but he does seem a bit more convinced that protecting the Identity Line means Cizikas will likely be back. [Newsday]
- Zach Parise wants familiarity, and he likely will find it, either with his former GM on Long Island or his former coach out in Vegas. Ryan Suter, meanwhile, has many suitors—including the Islanders, who employ his former coach. [The Athletic]
- Sticking with the Expansion Draft theme, Stan Fischler recalls the 1972 Expansion Draft where the Islanders and Atlanta Flames built their inaugural teams. [Maven’s Memories]
- It might be tough to remember, but there is actually supposed to be a real draft, too. Here are the picks that the Islanders had before the Ladd trade. [Islanders]
- Ryan Pulock toured UBS Arena late last week, and there are photos! [Islanders]
- Another shocker was Carey Price waiving his no-movement clause so that the Montreal Canadiens could protect Jake Allen. Seattle is considering Price, but he has some injury concerns. And a gigantic, immovable contract. [Daily Faceoff]
- The Carolina Hurricanes protected Warren Foegele and left unprotected Nino Niederreiter due to salary cap issues. Seattle has some intriguing names from which to pick. [The Athletic]
- Which ones are the most intriguing? Chris Johnston will tell you. [Sportsnet]
- With the built-in news lull lasting until the actual Expansion Draft on Wednesday, expect to read many of these mock Expansion Drafts. In this one, the Kraken took Bailey from the Isles. [NHL]
- If you want to fantasize about it, here are all the players protected and available in one handy place. [NHL]
- And finally, just hitting the wire this morning is that Nashville Predators Luke Prokop came out, making him the first active professional hockey player to be openly gay. Congratulations to him on his bravery and courage to be who he is. [The Athletic]