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Russell’s Roundup: Trade Explosion; MacLean Re-Signs

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New York Islanders

Has everybody caught their breath? Good. What a day yesterday became, especially within the Metropolitan Division. The New Jersey Devils finally traded for Jacob Markstrom, the Rangers unceremoniously dumped Barclay Goodrow, and the Washington Capitals traded for Pierre-Luc Dubois. Here on the Island, Kyle MacLean signed an extraordinarily cheap three-year deal worth the current league minimum of $775k annually.

It’s rare to see that much activity go on in one day while the Stanley Cup Final is ongoing. It’s not exactly a secret that the league prefers its teams to sit patiently and do nothing to turn the focus off of the Final, but with the draft now just eight days away, coupled with free agency being 11 days out, the teams don’t have the time to wait. Maybe the league shouldn’t have stretched out the season as long as possible because it’s exceedingly likely the Final will end on June 24, which means yesterday won’t be the only day business gets done during the Final.

New York Islanders:

If I was Kyle MacLean, I might fire my agent for signing that low for three full years. It’s entirely likely that it won’t even be the league minimum after just one more season. Nevertheless, the Islanders benefit, and it feels even likelier there’s more news about to come from the club, perhaps the Pageau trade. MacLean, 25, will be on the Island for at least three more years.

Back in 2014, the Islanders faced a lot of uncertainty. They were coming off a disappointing season and needed to add more to their roster to compete. Armed with cap space and extra draft picks, including the fifth overall selection, the decisions made in June, July, and even October of 2014 continue to affect today. Here’s why what happened then matters now.

NHL Trade Market, News, & National Hockey Now:

New Jersey Hockey Now: The New Jersey Devils have (finally) got their goaltender. After months of speculation, Jacob Markstrom was dealt to New Jersey, who hope their new tandem of Jake Allen and Markstrom can be the solution they’ve been looking for. They still have to fix their defensive style of play, as they allowed far too many high-quality chances, but this will help the Devils immensely. Here’s the trade write-up.

San Jose Hockey Now: The Sharks were a busy team yesterday, adding multiple real players to their roster. First up, the team, after 24 hours of speculation, did claim Barclay Goodrow off of waivers. It significantly helps the Rangers, something that won’t sit well with Islanders fans. Regardless, the Sharks reunite with a player who they hope can help usher in a new era of Sharks hockey.

More SJS Now: The Sharks also acquired Ty Dellandrea, a young pending RFA from the Dallas Stars. He’s another usable NHL player that the Sharks hope can add something to their roster as they appear to be done dwelling in the basement.

NY Post: How does Barclay Goodrow feel about all this? Allegedly, he’s not thrilled. It’s tough to blame him. He goes from a team just six wins away from a Stanley Cup to a team that won 19 games the entire season. He likely had the Sharks on his no-trade clause, but the team used waivers to work around it, and be ruthless.

Sportsnet: The trade is one-for-one. Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Capitals for Darcy Kuemper. Two players who struggled mightily in 2023-24, who needed a refresh. Dubois is still 25 (for four more days), but he’s somehow onto his fourth NHL club. He hasn’t left on a positive note from any of the teams that have dumped him. It’s a massive gamble by the Capitals that they can get him working even to come close to justifying the whopper of a contract they just took on.

Sportsnet: The rumor roundup is back, hitting on Jaccob Slavin’s pending extension, Patrik Laine, Viktor Arvidsson, and Jeff Skinner. Those last three players all could be very intriguing for the Islanders, but first the latter two have got to actually make it to market.