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Big NHLers on the Move Could Consider Islanders, but Probably Not

Could the Islanders fit a big fish into their cap? Maybe. Will they? Chances remain slim.

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New York Islanders v Calgary Flames Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

Another big name has entered the mid-summer NHL sweepstakes, as Matthew Tkachuk has told the Flames that, like Johnny Gaudreau before him, he will not be signing a long-term contract to remain in Calgary.

Unlike the now-Blue Jacket Gaudreau, Tkachuk is still an RFA, which is why Calgary filed for arbitration with him. That keeps him from getting an offer sheet and buys them a little time to work out a trade, or a contract for a sign-and-trade.

As with Nazem Kadri, there is tangential talk that the Islanders could be among the teams vying for Tkachuk, but probably not. Tkachuk can kind of control where he lands — or at least teams where he would accept landing — and the Islanders don’t appear to be on that list.

If St. Louis — where Tkachuk is from and where there has been a long-running fascination with bringing him back — were to somehow land him, they’d have to move major salary out. One of those could be Vladimir Tarasenko, who has one year left before UFA, but he, too, has control over his trade destiny. So again, the Islanders are probably out.

But anyway...that’s what’s going on.

Islanders Reading/Listening

  • Michael Grabner! On the latest Isles Talk episode. [Isles]
  • Look for another Islanders Anxiety episode this morning, too. [Visit LHH for the link, pal.]
  • The Islanders are among those teams with holes still to fill after the first wave of free agency. But you knew that. [ESPN]


This Dom guy’s model says every team should be in on this Tkachuk guy, so:

  • All signs point to a Tkachuk trade happening sometime soon. [Sportsnet | ]
  • Gaudreau’s “Goodbye, Calgary” letter had some self-awareness to it. No pajamas. [Players’ Tribune]
  • Even after Gaudreau turned down Calgary’s eight-year offer, he still “thought about” returning. [Sportsnet | TSN]
  • Calgary’s loss of Gaudreau and pending loss of Tkachuk provide a cautionary tale. [Sportsnet | Athletic]
  • Gaudreau, just like Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald, thought he was close to a deal with the Devil(s) before a phone call changed all that. [Post]
  • At least Vitek Vanecek is excited to be a Devil though. [NHL]
  • The “offseason reset” series (why don’t they call it “Offseason Run it Back,” since everyone is suddenly using that damned phrase now?) has begun, with the Bruins. Because they start with “B.” [NHL]
  • J.T. Miller’s agent says there’s totally a way he could re-sign in Vancouver. [TSN]
  • Longtime Chicago announcer Eddie Olczyk has said “I WANT EVERYONE TO WATCH THIS RIGHT HERE” because is leaving the Blackhawks booth to form the most ear-splitting broadcast team in the league with John Forslund in Seattle. Will. Not. Listen. [ESPN]