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Russell’s Roundup: Trade Tides Rising; Islanders Rumor Predictions



Photo courtesy of Florida Panthers

The news flood began yesterday, with the Detroit Red Wings wheeling and dealing. The Panthers’ celebration continued as Kyle Okposo was crowned the biggest winner from the trade deadline. Elsewhere, the Hall of Fame class was announced, while speculation around just about every available player in the NHL grew. Oh yeah, and the draft is in two days, with the buyout window being active right now. I also made some predictions about the New York Islanders for the upcoming week. Are you all buckled up and ready to go?

Kyle Okposo finally getting his Stanley Cup is easily the best story of the Stanley Cup Final for Islanders fans. I’m old enough to remember back in 2014 when he was snubbed for Team USA despite being second in the scoring race for all Americans when the roster was unveiled. The very next game, Howie Rose went on a great rant about the Islanders constantly being disrespected around the league. Then, in a magical moment, Okposo rifled home an overtime winner against the then-mighty Chicago Blackhawks, prompting Islanders’ fans in the building to chant “USA, USA.”

Hockey hasn’t been fair to Okposo. In 2016, the Islanders essentially chose Andrew Ladd over him, an ill-fated decision. Okposo was dealt an unfortunate hand, with injuries wracking his time in Buffalo while the team there struggled mightily. Before this season, Okposo hadn’t played in a playoff game since 2016. Okposo handpicked the Panthers, and his name will be forever scratched into the Stanley Cup.

New York Islanders

NYI Hockey Now: The Islanders will have to make some moves this week and even announce them, too. Lou Lamoriello does not like to necessarily do. Thinking about this upcoming week for the Islanders, I shut my eyes and did my best Nostradamus impression, and made predictions.

Florida Hockey Now: Every year, teams line up at the trade deadline to find the missing piece or add some character pieces to get over the hump and win the Stanley Cup. Rarely does a player handpick his destination, seeing it as his best chance to win a Stanley Cup. However, that’s exactly what Okposo did, and he’s the biggest trade deadline winner.

NHL Trade Talk, News, & National Hockey Now

As I finished writing this, the news broke that Jeff Skinner would be bought out. There’s no great story to link to just yet but check on Buffalo Hockey Now; they will have something shortly.

Florida Hockey Now: The Panthers’ last 36 hours have been nonstop partying, with the Cup being taken all around the nearby area. The best of the follies has been taking the Cup right down to the beach.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Dan Kingerski opened up the mailbag to the Penguins fans, who are all riled up after their harrowing drought of no playoff hockey for the last two years. They touched on trades, signings, and other rumors.

New Jersey Hockey Now: After the Stanley Cup is awarded, every team loses their head a bit, trying to copy exactly what it is the new champion did and how to apply it to their squad. Now, James Nichols writes what the Devils could learn.

TSN: The Hockey Hall of Fame unveiled a brand-new class of Hall of Famers including the great Pavel Datsyuk. The full list is here

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman released his newest 32 Thoughts podcast, chock full of rumors for us to enjoy. The biggest rumor? There are mystery “good” teams trying to shake free money to target Jake Guentzel. Buckle up and enjoy the rest of the rumors within.