After Johnny Gaudreau signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets before the first day of NHL Free Agency concluded, Nazem Kadri became the next best option for many NHL teams.
The main concern with Nazem Kadri was the 31-year-old was and is interested in a long-term deal with a rather high annual value after a career season with the juggernaut and Stanley Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche.
Kadri will be entering his age 32 season, and not only have teams been reluctant to fulfill his wishes, but teams are having a rather hard time clearing enough salary cap space to bring him on.
When Kadri initially hit the market, the asking price was believed to be north of $8 million a year.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post shared that Kadri is asking for north of $9 million annually, a good reason why he has not “been signed” yet.
As for how many teams have officially offered Nazem Kadri a deal, the answer is unknown, but the New York Islanders have sent the Ontario native an offer.
Frank Seravalli of the Daily Face Off reported on his podcast that he believes the Islanders offered Kadri seven years at $7 million per year.
Per another source very close to the situation, Kadri to the Islanders is not a matter of if, but when.
The question becomes for how much and how long?
Regardless of that information, and quite frankly, regardless if Nazem Kadri is the star player the New York Islanders are bringing in, there’s still a need to move salary.
We at NYI Hockey Now crunched the numbers, estimating the contracts for the pair of 22-year-old defensemen Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov, as well as the contract for Kieffer Bellows to figure out just how much space would need to be cleared out.
If Kadri signed for $7 million annually, the New York Islanders would need to move around $3.75 M to be cap compliant. If the number is close to $9 million, which would be highly unlikely given the market, the Islanders would then need to move $5.75 million, more than just one player.
Josh Bailey, whose movement makes the most sense given his annual $5 million cap hit over the next two years and the drop-off in his play, does not have much interest from opposing teams.
Per a league source, the cost to take on Bailey and his cap hit could cost the New York Islanders their 2023 first-round pick.
Because of the inability to move Bailey, whether it be team interest or additional assets needed, those same sources have indicated that Anthony Beauvillier ($4.15 M AAV) is now being shopped.
That doesn’t mean Beauvillier will be dealt.
It means the Islanders are taking calls on him, as they should. It also does not mean the Islanders are closing the door on moving Bailey, even if a player like Kieffer Bellows or a draft pick needs to be included.
Anthony Beauvillier, a summer ago, scored one of the biggest goals for the New York Islanders since the Dynasty Era.
His overtime winner in Game 6 of the 2021 semi-finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning put the Islanders one win away from their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since 1984.
Anthony Beauvillier is the OT hero & Nassau Coliseum goes CRAZY! 🚨
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) June 24, 2021
Beauvillier was at the New York Islanders draft table up in Montreal during the 2022 NHL Draft, and at that point in time, moving him was not part of the Lou Lamoriello playbook.
But things change, and things change fast.
Losing a 25-year-old with two years remaining on his contract is not ideal, but cap casualties are happening more than ever. Just ask Oliver Bjorkstrand and Max Pacioretty, two players traded away for essentially nothing.
Although Beauvillier’s value is not as high as it could be after a tough 2021-22 season, a great, young skater under control in today’s NHL will always be worth something.
Moving Anthony Beauvillier, in my humble opinion, only makes sense if the New York Islanders are packaging him in a deal to get a player like J.T. Miller to upgrade at the wing position–not in a cap-dumping situation.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s name has been floated around as a potential cap-dumping move, and given his tools, would not be a difficult player for Lamoriello to move.
But given those tools, does losing Jean-Gabriel Pageau for Nazem Kadri make the New York Islanders a better team in 2022-23?
If the Islanders expect to rebound in 2022-23, their late first-round pick essentially becomes a second, but that still seems like a severe overpayment to unload Bailey.
Beauvillier and Pageau would not cost nearly as much if the New York Islanders intended to go that route and one would think that moving Bailey is still the top priority.
But the clock is ticking.