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Islanders News: Expansion Draft waiting, hands off my Bailey

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As Seattle sorts through unprotected lists and NHL swap opportunities, the puck is in the Kraken’s rink.

NHL: JUN 05 Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round - Bruins at Islanders
“Don’t say anything, just nod: You think we’ll both be here next year?”
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I have faced some pivotal career decisions in life, weighing all the factors known and feasible but unknown, getting into my time machine to imagine long-term consequences, and that whole process can be exhausting. So I can’t imagine what the Seattle Kraken braintrust is going through in the precious few days they have to truly digest the actual unprotected lists available through the NHL Expansion Draft.

That said...wow did the Islanders leave them some gifts* to choose from.

Unless the Isles already worked out(*) the framework for an arrangement to take another guy — which is quite possible — it’s still amazing to me that they exposed both Jordan Eberle and Josh Bailey while protecting two beloved but aging Identity Line forwards. Granted they still have salary cap issues, but exposing both seems to create a degree of unnecessary uncertainty, which is what brings us to thinking “something more has already been discussed.” Vegas GM George McPhee, who went through this a few years ago, was quoted saying he figures Seattle has 8-10 deals already in place.

The Benefit of the Doubt side would say, “Wow, they must already have a framework arranged for a Casey Cizikas re-signing, plus something else.” The Doubting Everything side would say, “Wow, if that’s not the case then this can blow up in their face in all kinds of ways.”

Anyway, I know, I know, that’s been hashed out in debates the past couple of days and those will continue today and up through Wednesday’s draft (and then be rehashed for ages afterward). We can all disagree on approach and priorities — and all of us are dealing with incomplete information (even Lou Lamoriello is, though obviously he knows far more than media and fans) on how the league trade and asset discussions have gone.

Just be cool to one another here. It’s possible and natural to be optimistic, anxious, and on the verge of “Seriously though WTF?” all at once.

Islanders News

  • You never know how current this information is, but here’s one report saying the Kraken were looking at taking Josh Bailey and the Isles were working to keep that from happening. [NYI Hockey Now]
  • Nothing new here, mostly quotes from the post-playoff breakup days, but stitched together to say: The Isles will be hurting if Cizikas does not return. [NY Sports Day]

Elsewhere

  • No but really, a few days don’t seem enough to juggle all the possible maneuvers in front of Seattle. Vegas GM George McPhee recalls it “intense,” and “overwhelming” despite their preparation, with nonstop phone calls from other GMs. [Athletic]
  • Learning from the Vegas experience, the NHL and Seattle are making the Expansion Draft announcement a big event. [NHL]
  • Here are the Kraken jerseys. They look sharp but they have that swoopy hemline instead of a traditional horizontal above-the-hem stripe pattern, which annoys me and feels very RBK 2009. [NHL]
  • Here are five “must have” selections according to some NHL-dot-com writers. [NHL]
  • And here’s a fuller mock draft, with Bailey going to Seattle. [NHL]
  • But here’s another one, where they take cheap RFA Kieffer Bellows instead. [Sportsnet]
  • And here are some potential breakout players they should target. [Sportsnet]
  • Should the Kraken select Carey Price? Montreal is clearly trying to get word out that he’s damaged goods (possibly needing knee surgery), but is that just smoke? [TSN] And if it’s not smoke, is it worth the risk? [Sportsnet]
  • Matt Murray understands why the Senators exposed him in the Expansion Draft, and one would have to assume it’s because he is both expensive and struggling horribly for several seasons now. [NHL]