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Islanders & NHL News: Depth additions on Island while DeBrincat, Tarasenko wait for suitors

With the free agency surge over, the Isles are about up to the cap while elsewhere one prominent UFA and one RFA want someone to dole out some money.

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2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
“You see the cap bone’s connected to the futures bone...”
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Barring some shocking “hockey trade” news, the New York Islanders 2023-24 roster looks increasingly set as they added around the edges yesterday, to complement the quartet of re-signings from free agency’s opening day.

Left outstanding are what RFA Oliver Wahlstrom receives — though his injury-shortened season did not build leverage — and if Zach Parise ends up wanting to defer retirement. The signings yesterday might suggest at least a Plan B if Parise retires, but in truth they are all signings that fit in Bridgeport and could be called up at the first sign of an Old Islander injury anyway.

Anyway, while they are right up against the cap, they have a full roster, with room for Parise on a minimum (if he decides so) and pressure on Wahlstrom to take something cheap, because that’s all that’s left. That’s actually better shape than several other teams that still have to figure out how to fill their roster, remove/re-sign big-ticket bodies, or both.

Speaking of which...holding your breath for Alex DeBrincat? Never say never, but you should know better than that by now.

Islanders News

Continuing a shocking new trend, the Islanders...announced signings! This time it was some depth/AHL forwards, Julien Gauthier (one-way, two years) and forwards Karson Kuhlman and Brian Pinho (two-way, one year each). Will one or two of them get more games than Cal Clutterbuck or Matt Martin next season? [LHH | Isles | Newsday | Post]

Players You Might Be Wishing to Come to the Islanders But Who Make Me Nervous


Bruce “Malkin to the Kings” reports unloading Alex DeBrincat is the Senators’ top priority, and some think that will make room for a signing of Vladimir Tarasenko. (More about that one below...) “Sources say none has been willing to offer the eight-year deal that [agent] Jackson is demanding for DeBrincat.” [Sun]


The Rangers Savior Vladimir Tarasenko situation is funny and, to me at least, not at all surprising, as the player has not always had a realistic view of...things. He’s signed with Carolina? No. He’s just waiting for Ottawa to move DeBrincat? No. He’s fired his agent (and on his third agent in three years)! Yes. That’s old news! He could’ve had lots of deals! As always, his new agents at CAA were all too eager to talk to the press. [Athletic]

More from Elsewhere

  • Speaking of unrealistic view of self: Finding no takers after his trade request and after being put out on waivers, the Red Wings and Filip Zadina — a 6th-overall pick — may be headed to contract termination. [Sportsnet]
  • There are several teams still facing a cap crunch. [Pension Plan Puppets]
  • These 22 NHL players have filed for salary arbitration. Ilya Samsonov and Vince Dunne are two interesting ones. [NHL]
  • The 10 best UFA contracts signed so far...are basically all one-year, low-risk, of-course deals. Good talk. [Athletic]
  • Rumblings from the draft: Erik Karlsson’s massive contract remains an obstacle to finding him a desired landing spot with a “contender.” [ESPN+]
  • How former CBJ coaches Dave King and Ken Hitchcock encouraged reformation and a marriage between Mike Babcock and the Blue Jackets. [Athletic]
  • Retirements: Patric Hornqvist and Michael Stone, who was apparently a Flame for the last seven years. [TSN]
  • Kevein Shattenkirk is glad for his latest free agent move. [NHL]
  • The new Leafs GM hopes that Ryan Reaves and Tyler Bertuzzi will add more “needed snot to our game.” [Sportsnet]