The 2023 Draft has come and gone without much fanfare, and hockey fans and executives get only one day to breathe between the draft and the start of free agency and the calendar 2023-24 season. There are usually about 4-6 days of tampering, but not so much this time.
New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello cleared some space yesterday in a cap dump of a beloved but probably washed player. Now he’ll have $10.3 million of space with which to work.
- Before the second day of the draft kicked off, the Islanders shipped Josh Bailey to the Chicago Blackhawks, along with a 2026 second-round pick, for “future considerations.” The Blackhawks then promptly made moves to buy out the final year of Bailey’s deal, so he’ll be a UFA. [LHH | Islanders | Newsday]
- What the Isles do with their newfound cap space remains to be seen. [The Athletic]
- Lamoriello met with the media yesterday, and among the topics he discussed, he explained his reasoning for trading Bailey; he says he didn’t know Chicago intended to buy him out. [Islanders | THN]
- Bailey has been a polarizing player basically since he arrived on Long Island in 2008, but he’s been a good soldier and a great Islander whose name is all over the franchise record books. He deserves to be in the Islanders Hall of Fame. [amNY]
- The Islanders also made five selections yesterday. Get to know some of them. One is named Dennis Good Bogg. [LHH | Islanders | NY Post] The Isles went for “feel good” value. [NY Post]
- The first pick they made was in the second round, No. 49, Danny Nelson. Another American Nelson who plays center, models his game after our own Brock Nelson, will go to Notre Dame like Anders Lee, and his favorite player is Zach Parise. King shit. [Islanders]
- Cory Wright empties the notebook from the 2023 draft with notes on D. Nelson, fourth-round pick Jesse Nurmi, fifth-round pick Justin Gill, and sixth-round pick Zachary Schulz. [Islanders] Gill spoke with Newsday. [Newsday]
- Corey Pronman gave out grades for the whole league’s drafting work, and he gave the Islanders a C+; he’s intrigued by D. Nelson. [The Athletic] And he actually also went into more detail on the C+ grade and the players themselves in this team-specific piece. [The Athletic]
- It is official: After a year-long game of chicken between the league and the players, the salary cap will go up only $1 million next season, as originally planned. [TSN]
- Love to do winners and losers about a bunch of kids no one knows about yet. Gotta produce that content, baby. [Sportsnet]
- Sheldon Keefe will remain as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the uncertainty was stressful. [Sportsnet]
- Buffalo Sabres’ winger Jack Quinn will miss 4-6 months after successful surgery to repair his Achilles tendon, which was ruptured in offseason training. [Sportsnet]
- The Blackhawks are feeling good about themselves after drafting Connor Bedard. They also traded for the UFA rights of Corey Perry and then signed him to a one-year deal. [NHL]