Newsday’s Andrew Gross writes that there is a lot of talk these days surrounding the New York Islanders are their recent struggles. Losers of losing six straight and posting a 2-5-3 record in their past 10 games, falling out of the playoffs is a real possibility now.
Even worse, the Islanders made moves at the deadline to help their team for a playoff run, including landing and extending center Jean Gabriel-Pageau. Speculation is that the organization is viewing not getting in as a massive blow, and just shy of a real disaster.
This has led to a lot of talk about what the team will do.
One rumored possibility might be that the Islanders show interest in forward and soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Taylor Hall. Hall was moved around this season, starting with the New Jersey Devils and then heading over to the Arizona Coyotes, a team that has also struggled. Rumors are, If the Islanders can find the cap room, they might considering making him a significant offer.
That might not be easy. The Islanders over $71 million invested in 18 players and restricted free agents like Matthew Barzal, Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews are due to see big raises. Those raises should eat up a lot of the available cap and even if the rumored jump does come for all NHL teams, Hall is bound to get significant money as a free agent.
If the Islanders are serious about landing Hall and making him an offer better than any other team is going to make, GM Lou Lamoriello would likely have to cut some payroll out of the current roster.
How would he do so? A trade between now and July 1 is the most likely option and at means potentially trying to land Hall’s rights at the NHL Draft from the Coyotes who will be keen to try and salvage something out of the Hall trade.