One has been a lifelong member of the New York Islanders and the other arrived on Long Island as part of a major offseason trade, now both find themselves unprotected heading into the NHL Expansion draft on Wednesday.
Jordan Eberle and Josh Bailey were among the players left off the Islanders protection list. Joining them were Michael Dal Colle, Leo Komarov, Richard Panik and Andy Greene. The Islanders inked Greene to a contract last night in order to fulfill the requirements for the expansion draft.
The Islanders’ decision to leave Eberle exposed doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. The expectation since the season ended was that Eberle would be left exposed, especially after Nick Leddy was traded to Detroit on Friday night.
New York made two trades ahead of Saturday’s 3 p.m. roster freeze in order to clear cap space and exposing Eberle in the expansion draft could free up another $5.5 million if the Seattle Kraken take him. Eberle has also not lived up to the expectations that were placed on him when he was traded to the Islanders in 2017.
After a first year in which he put up 25 goals, Eberle has not crossed the 20 goal plateau again. His streakiness has also been an issue, even when he was producing in the playoffs.
Eberle tried to downplay the idea of being exposed during the Islanders exit interviews last month.
“As a player, you can’t really think about that stuff. It’s kind of out of your control,” Eberle said at the time. “There’s always guys moving around. I’ve been traded once. You start worrying about that stuff you can’t control, it just makes it worse.”
The decision to expose Bailey was a bit more of a surprise but considering the circumstances the decision to expose the veteran Islander. Bailey carries a $5 million cap hit and would also provide more cap relief for the New York Islanders.
Full New York Islanders Protected List
Mathew Barzal (F)
Anthony Beauvillier (F)
Cal Clutterbuck (F)
Anders Lee (F)
Matt Martin (F)
Brock Nelson (F)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (F)
Scott Mayfield (D)
Adam Pelech (D)
Ryan Pulock (D)
Semyon Varlamov (G)