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Everything We’ve Heard About Islanders Ahead of Trade Deadline

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UBS Arena, New York Islanders
New York Islanders 50th anniversary logo at center ice of UBS Arena (Photo courtesy of New York Islanders Instagram)

Once the clock hits 3 PM ET on Friday, New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello and the remaining 31 clubs must put their proverbial pencils down as no more moves can be made to bolster their club or recoup assets.

The New York Islanders, per CapFriendly, have $6.113 million in projected deadline cap space.

Let’s dive into everything NYI Hockey Now has heard surrounding the New York Islanders’ potential moves before the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline:

Islanders Pending Unrestricted Free Agents

There are four, in Semyon Varlamov, Scott Mayfield, Zach Parise, and Hudson Fasching.

One source told NYI Hockey Now that, “There’s interest, but I’d be shocked if Lou moves Mayfield.”

Lamoriello is unlikely to sell, especially with the Islanders holding a playoff spot. Yes, the games in hand that the wild-card foes have does make things interesting and is not a positive for New York, but they are in a spot nevertheless, and Mayfield plays a significant role.

We haven’t heard much on Semyon Varlamov. Given their goaltending injuries, we were told that it would not have come as a shock if the Vegas Golden Knights came calling. But on Thursday, they acquired Jonathan Quick from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Zach Parise wants to stay put, and we can’t see Lamoriello moving him unless he wanted out. As good as Hudson Fasching has been this season, he’s still unproven, and there’s no reason to believe he’s going anywhere.

Islanders Likely Done Adding to Forward Group

The New York Islanders can always use more offense. But with the acquisition of forward Pierre Engvall on Tuesday night to help fill a needed hole with so many forwards hurt, the Islanders, per a league source, are focusing on the defensive side of the puck.

The Islanders should be getting Jean-Gabriel Pageau back before the season’s end, but there’s no clear-cut timeline for when he will be ready. The same goes with Mathew Barzal, who took Thursday’s practice from the stands.

Oliver Wahlstrom is likely out for the season, along with Cal Clutterbuck.

Islanders Looking to Bring in a Defenseman

We shared a story the other day about Lamoriello showing interest in acquiring a defenseman, looking more at the Western Conference’s options. It seems to be a theme amongst this year’s deadline that East teams are stocking up on West talent.

Some names were thrown out there, one being Shayne Gostisbehere, who the Arizona Coyotes traded to the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.

Per a few league sources, the Islanders have been in discussions with the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues.

Another source shared that Dante Fabbro could be someone the Islanders are looking at, despite him being a right-handed shot.

The Predators have hired former Islanders head coach Barry Trotz, who will take over Dave Poile’s role on July 1st. No one knows the Islanders more than him, so keep an eye on the Predators.

Nashville has been active, already moving Mattias Ekholm, former Islander Nino Niederreiter, Tanner Jeannot, and Mikael Granlund as they retool.

It is believed that the Islanders were in on the Jeannot and Ekholm sweepstakes, with the Predators showing interest in Wahlstrom, who is likely out for the season with a lower-body injury.

On the Blues front, they are sellers but don’t have any pending unrestricted free agents on the backend.

General manager Doug Armstrong has already moved Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev, Ryan O’Reilly, and Noah Acciari.

One source shared with NYI Hockey Now that “St. Louis wants to reboot that entire blue line.”

Left-handed defenseman Marco Scandella is a name we’ve heard that the Islanders have had some interest in. The 33-year-old carries a cap hit of $3.275 million through the 2023-2024 season.

On the flip side, Mayfield was born in St. Louis, so could there be some interest there?

Anaheim Ducks defensemen Dmitry Kulikov and Kevin Shattenkirk have also come up in conversations. Although this name has not come up often in trade discussions, John Klingberg has been held out of the lineup (along with Kulikov) and could be a player on the move.

To throw another name into the fire, Marco D’Amico of Montreal Hockey Now shared that left-handed defenseman Joel Edmundson could be on the move as they have a log jam on the left side.

One more for fun, but we could see the Calgary Flames be late sellers, and big-body, left-handed defenseman Nikita Zadorov might be on his way out. He has a cap hit of $3.75 million with another year left on his deal.

Islanders Checked in on Erik Karlsson

NYI Hockey Now learned last week that the Islanders had done their due diligence regarding San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. The 32-year-old right-hander carries a cap hit of $11 million through 2026-27, but the belief is that he will not be traded.

Karlsson has rejuvenated himself the last two seasons, and has 77 points in 61 games.

The asking price for the two-time Norris Trophy winner is rather high due to how much salary San Jose would have to retain. A source shared that Noah Dobson was the starting point for a trade.

This story will be updated if and when more information becomes available.