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Islanders News: Expansion Draft Day, the day the franchise changed. Or not.

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Stuff’s going to happen today, and it’s going to determine what happens in the week ahead.

New York Islanders v Columbus Blue Jackets
Reminder that J-F Berube went to a season of purgatory just to become the last Islander to be selected in an expansion draft.
Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

You know what today is and you surely know what the stakes are: Seattle announces its Expansion Draft picks (they’re due to the league this morning, word may leak before the official made-for-TV announcement tonight).

Who the Kraken(s) select from the Islanders influences: 1) how much salary cap space the Isles have to play with in re-signing players and bidding on new ones, 2) what their prospect/asset pool looks like (especially if they end up sending sweeteners to steer Seattle away from anyone), and 3) what their immediate needs/lineup holes are.

If Josh Bailey or Jordan Eberle go out the door, that’s around $5 million in freed up cap but also a significant hole in a top-six wing slot.

If Kieffer Bellows or Otto Koivula or Sebastian Aho or someone goes out the door, that’s another cost-controlled player lost, though quite possibly one who wasn’t much in the plans (and possibly it costs the Isles one of those sweeteners to make it happen).

We’ll know quite a bit more tonight when the draft announcement is televised, and possibly more a bit later in the days ahead as any side deals or “Because of that, now this” moves Lou Lamoriello will be compelled to make.

As a reminder, the remaining Key Dates timeline this month looks like this:

  • Tonight: Expansion Draft selections announced at 8 p.m. and broadcast on ESPN2, Sportsnet, TVA, various platforms
  • Tomorrow: League-wide trade/signing freeze lifted (so...Cizikas?)
  • Friday-Saturday: NHL Entry Draft Round 1 (Friday) and then Rounds 2-7 (Saturday). Don’t worry, the Islanders won’t have any picks because they dealt them all to get out of salary cap hell.
  • Monday, July 26: Deadline for qualifying offers to RFAs (Pelech, Beauvillier, etc.)
  • Tuesday, July 27: Lighthouse Hockey comments section implodes with free agency speculation peppered by Expansion Draft outcome
  • Wednesday, July 28: UFA and RFA signing period opens
  • Thursday, July 29: Lighthouse Hockey comments section implodes again because of that guy, this guy, or the other guy who was signed or un-signed or is a potential Solid Middle-Pair Guy

Islanders News

Important update/clarification on the conditions for the 3rd-round pick the Islanders might send to Arizona in the Andrew Ladd defenestration trade:

  • Newsday on the Expansion Draft: All the maneuvering for the Kraken, including possibly being swayed not to take Josh Bailey. (Reportedly Seattle was requesting a 1st and 3rd from anyone for such guarantees.) Podcast: Island Ice discussing same
  • This Day (sort of) in Islanders History: Remember when the Isles sent stuff to Vegas so they would select J-F Berube and not other guys? That was great. [LHH Rewind]
  • Not happening but fun to entertain: What if Lamoriello were making moves to fit in Dougie Hamilton (and then presumably trading Scott Mayfield)? [Isles Blog]

Elsewhere

  • In this first go-around, how much salary cap will Ron Francis tie up? He “has full ownership backing to spend right to the salary cap but I believe he doesn’t plan to...he wants to keep some powder dry for next summer, that the flat cap environment will give him more opportunities that he wants to fully explore over the next few years.” [LeBrun at Athletic]
  • I’m guessing this is Day 5 of Insiders Discuss Carey Price and the Kraken. [TSN]
  • Or could they {giggles} be convinced to take the Braden Holtby contract off Vancouver’s hands? [Sportsnet]
  • And how will they victimize the Oilers? [Sportsnet]
  • Vladimir Tarasenko’s doctor says his shoulder is fine and he’s back to normal pre-injury risk level so you should totally trade valuable assets for him to find out. [Athletic]
  • I visited the Kraken’s official site to see if there were any hints to how that franchise is thinking, but it’s clear the communications department is thus far kept in a back office and not about to accidentally share anything interesting. [Kraken]
  • Yannick Webster, who was apparently on the Penguins this year, has retired from the NHL and will return to play in Switzerland. His goodbye letter “to the Stanley Cup” is pretty cool though. [NHL]
  • Ryan Ellis is getting over the shock of being traded to the Flyers after 10 seasons in Nashville. [NHL]
  • The woman who was victimized in Sweden by NHL Draft prospect and London Knight player Logan Mailloux, who circulated a photo taken without her consent of her performing a sex act, said he has not shown remorse or apologized to her for what he did. Mailloux has “renounced” himself from the 2021 draft, and the Athletic reports at least 11 teams removed him from their list anyway. [Athletic]