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Monday at noon, the New York Islanders announced further cuts to their training camp roster by waiving seven players. Among the group were Thomas Hickey and Andrew Ladd Jersey.
The New York Islanders placed seven players on the waiver wire Monday afternoon. Included in that list were several players from the team’s official training camp roster, including defenseman Thomas Hickey and forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau Jersey.

Arthur Staple first reported the news via Twitter.

The waiver list comes on a day in which many NHL teams are waiving players in preparation for Wednesday when the NHL’s 2020-21 schedule commences.

There had been a report by Staple earlier in the day that the Islanders were still seeking a trade in the interest of freeing up salary. Should it be Hickey who is dealt in a potential trade, Staple noted, it would leave the Islanders thin on defensive depth. In other words, should there be a trade involving Hickey, look out for the Isles to take a crack at scooping a defenseman off of another team’s waiver list.

The Islanders’ opening night roster became a lot clearer on Monday. It apparently will heavily feature familiar faces, and some promising prospects may have to bide their time, if potentially only for the short term.

The season opener is Thursday night against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden and the initial roster must be submitted to the NHL by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Forwards Andrew Ladd, Tanner Fritz, Cole Bardreau, Austin Czarnik Jersey and A.J. Greer and defensemen Thomas Hickey and Parker Wotherspoon were placed on waivers in order to make them eligible to be reassigned to either the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport or the team’s four-to-six-player taxi squad.

Forwards Josh Ho-Sang Jersey  and Mason Jobst cleared waivers on Monday and now can be reassigned.

Waiver-eligible forwards Leo Komarov Jersey, Michael Dal Colle Jersey and Ross Johnston were not placed on waivers, making it almost certain that they will be on the initial roster. Two of those three could start the season on center Sebastian Aho Jersey third line.

Casey Cizikas Jersey status also is unclear after he appeared to hurt his left hand or lower left arm and was forced to leave Sunday’s scrimmage at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow. Coach Barry Trotz did not have an update Sunday and the Islanders were off Monday.

If the invaluable fourth-line center is unavailable Thursday, Komarov, one of Trotz’s most trusted penalty-killers, likely will play between Matt Martin Jersey and Cal Clutterbuck Jersey.

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That means there likely won’t be room on the initial roster for prospects Oliver Wahlstrom, Kieffer Bellows or Otto Koivula, who have had strong camps, according to Trotz.

President and general manager Lou Lamoriello has been trying to clear space, both against the $81.5 million salary cap and on the roster, by shopping Komarov, Hickey and Ladd, but he has found no takers.

Most likely, Hickey and Sebastian Aho, who also is waiver-eligible, will be the extra defensemen.

The Islanders are expected to place defenseman Johnny Boychuk Jersey, who announced in late November that he is unable to continue his career because of an eye injury, on long-term injured reserve Tuesday.

That will allow them to exceed the cap ceiling by the $6 million annual average value of Boychuk’s contract during the season.

Teams can exceed the cap ceiling by 10% until Tuesday. Saturday’s re-signing of restricted free agent Mathew Barzal Jersey to a three-year, $21 million deal placed the Islanders at $84.6 million.

That figure doesn’t include not-yet-announced deals for Martin (four years, $6 million), defenseman Andy Greene Jersey (one year, $700,000), goalie Cory Schneider and forward Dmytro Timashov.

No deal has been officially announced for Timashov, an RFA acquired from the Red Wings who also is waiver-eligible. However, Timashov participated in the early portion of training camp, making it likely he either will be included in the Islanders’ initial roster or placed on injured reserve.

Tom Kuhnhackl Jersey, who spent the previous two seasons with the Islanders, was listed on their 38-player training camp roster but remains unsigned and has yet to practice with the team.

Takeaways
According to The Athletic’s James Mirtle, 139 players were placed on waivers today across the league. One blueliner who is likely to be plucked from his original team is Calgary’s Oliver Kylington, a seventh defenseman due to make $787,500 in 2020-21.

Also worth noting are the Islanders players who did not see their names on the waivers list. Those include Leo Komarov Jersey, Ross Johnston Jersey, Michael Dal Colle, Dmytro Timashov, and Sebastian Aho.

Waiver-eligible #Isles who will apparently be on the opening roster:

Leo Komarov
Ross Johnston
Michael Dal Colle
Dmytro Timashov (contract still not official)
Sebastian Aho

Could still be a trade, but likely means Bellows/Wahlstrom/Koivula start the season off the roster.

— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) January 11, 2021

As Staple mentions, the inclusion of these guys on the Islanders opening night roster likely means there won’t be a third line featuring Oliver Wahlstrom or Kieffer Bellows, as many of us had hoped there would be. At least, not right away.

As waiver-exempt players, Wahlstrom, Bellows, and Otto Koivula Jersey can be re-assigned to the minors without a 24-hour period exposing them to other NHL teams. Meaning, as the Islanders scramble to reach the $81.500 million cap ceiling (so as to maximize the $6 million LTIR space that Johnny Boychuk will give,) the young guns will likely be in Bridgeport come Wednesday.

Given his situation, Thomas Hickey Jersey inclusion on Monday’s waivers list must certainly be frustrating. Hickey’s had a tough go both on and off the ice recently (subscription required), and I can’t help but hope that he finds a place on an NHL roster somewhere during the 2020-21 season.

I echo that hope for Josh Ho-Sang, who, after finding himself not invited to Islanders training camp, was waived by the team on Sunday and cleared today. Certainly, character issues have been a concern with the young winger. But, and have no doubt about this, there will be players with far worse off-ice infractions, and far less on-ice talent, who will be on an NHL roster come the 13th. That is a bet I’d be willing to place without a second thought.

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The New York Islanders are absolutely a top team in the NHL and made a habit of beating the other top teams in the NHL last season.
It’s hard to convince people that the New York Islanders are a top team in the NHL. As the start of the 2021 season approaches more and more predictions and prognostications come out and most of them don’t have the Islanders as one of the top teams in the division let alone the league.

And I get it. On paper, the Islanders don’t exactly have a top tier looking team. Their top player is Mathew Barzal Jersey who finished a COVID shortened year on pace for 72 points. That doesn’t scream elite-level team.

But their record over the last two seasons says otherwise. With 150 games played since 2018-19, the Islanders are 83-15-17 for 183 points. That’s the seventh-best record in the entire league.

And now with a bit of digging, it seems the Isles are also pretty good against the toughest of opposition.

Fans are most looking forward to the New York Rangers vs New York Islanders rivalry
Rejoice, Blueshirt fans! With the new divisions set for the 2021 season, rivalries abound for the New York Rangers. Blue Line Stations conducted an informal Twitter poll to see which rivalry fans think will be the best this upcoming season. The Islanders won, hands down.

With the Blueshirts playing each team in their division eight times and with the schedule loaded with back-to-back games, it’s going to be an exciting season. We had a preview of what this schedule will be like last season when the Rangers played the Islanders three times in nine days in January.

The Rangers won the first two games, the first 6-2 at the Garden. It was the Artemi Panarin show as he established a personal high with five points on two goals and three assists. The second game, at the Nassau Coliseum, was a nail biter with Chris Kreider scoring the winning goal on the power play with 25 seconds left in the game.

The third game was a 4-2 Islander win at Madison Square Garden, the only game that Artemi Panarin missed the whole season, out with an upper body injury.

Alexandar Georgiev was in net for all three games based on his play against the Isles. Was there any bad blood in the series? It was apparent when Scott Mayfield Jersey speared Brendan Lemieux in the third period of the third game, getting a double minor.

Best of the Best
Against arguably the best eight teams in the NHL, the New York Islanders hold the best record going 13-6-3 this season with a +6 goal differential.

In this case, the “top eight teams” in the NHL were derived by their point-percentages last season. Those teams are the Boston Bruins (.714), St Louis Blues (.662), Colorado Avalanche (.657), Tampa Bay Lightning (.657), Washington Capitals (.652), Philadelphia Flyers (.645), Pittsburgh Penguins (.623), and Vegas Golden Knights (.606).

Which NHL team had the best regular-season record against THE BEST* teams?

yup. you guessed it. ✅ the @NYIslanders .659 PTS %age

*top 8 NHL teams using highest points %age, they are the Bruins, Avs, Flyers, Pens, Blues, TBL, Vegas & the Caps. pic.twitter.com/Yk40W6BGU6

— Jason Paul 🥥 (@WaveIntel) December 22, 2020

I understand that at the end of the day you measure the most dominant team by their record and the Islanders 35-23-10 record in 2019-20 (eleventh in the NHL by point-percentage) isn’t what you would call “dominant”. But a healthy New York Islanders club clearly scares the top teams in the NHL.

Holding the seventh-best record in the NHL should be enough to convince anyone that the Islanders are a top team in the NHL. But of course, that’s never enough. The Isles are always going to be that hapless club from the ’90s to some.

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So while this new look at how dominant the Isles are against the best-of-the-best it won’t change some perceptions around the league even though it absolutely should.

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The New York Islanders have made a trade, acquiring young forward Dmytro Timashov from the Detroit Red Wings for nothing at all.
In typical Lou Lamoriello fashion, the New York Islanders announced a deal at 6 pm on a Friday. The Isles acquired young forward and RFA Dmytro Timashov from the Detroit Red Wing in exchange for future considerations, which in NHL parlance means: “nothing at all”.

Look, Timashov might not be a top player in the league but he could be a good depth player going forward. And they got him for free.

As the NHL and the NHLPA make progress towards a projected January 13th, 2021 start date, organizations will begin to look over their rosters to see if they need to make any further changes. In fact, there have already been reports that the Vegas Golden Knights are shopping some of their bigger names, such as Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Marchessault, and once again, Marc-Andre Fleury. With the likelihood the new season starts in about a month, things could be shaking up to be a December to remember.

Fans of the New York Islanders quickly turned to Twitter to express their interest in bringing a player like Pacioretty to Long Island. At first glance, it sounds like a nice idea. However, when you dig a little deeper, there are a lot of reasons why bringing the former Montreal Canadiens’ captain would hurt rather than help the organization.

After running a poll on Twitter, it’s apparent that although some want to see Pacioretty in blue and orange, most said it “depends on the cost,” showing uncertainty in the benefits of a move involving the veteran winger. Additionally, more votes went to “no” rather than “yes,” regarding acquiring Pacioretty.

Pacioretty’s Cost
The Golden Knights are looking to shed some salary; however, they’re not going to just be giving the six-time, 30-goal scorer away. In recent history, the Florida Panthers acquired forward Patric Hörnqvist from the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenseman Mike Matheson and Colton Sceviour. Although Hörnqvist’s last 30-goal season happened a while ago, both players have comparable contracts and bring similar presences to their teams, as well as a goal-scorer’s touch.

A similar package to what Florida gave up for Hörnqvist, the Islanders would be sending Scott Mayfield Jersey and Casey Cizikas Jersey to Vegas for Pacioretty. After having already traded Devon Toews Jersey for cap relief and losing Johnny Boychuk Jersey to long term injured reserve, trading away another top-six defenseman such as Mayfield is not a good idea.

Casey Cizikas – New York Islanders
Casey Cizikas – New York Islanders Oct. 27, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
As for Cizikas, although his output is comparable to Sceviour’s, he brings a lot more to his game by killing penalties, wearing down opponents on the ice, and is a big part of the Islanders’ locker room. He’s a prime candidate to remain on Long Island when his contract is up at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season and is part of the solution moving forward.

If Vegas is asking for picks in return, Barclay Goodrow retrieved a first-round pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the San Jose Sharks, among other smaller pieces at the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline. Despite being a few years younger, Pacioretty has had far more offensive output in his career, and there’s no reason why Vegas couldn’t ask for that same price, maybe a little more.

The Islanders did just acquire two second-round picks in the Toews deal previously mentioned with the Colorado Avalanche. However, those picks are better suited for a younger top-six scorer who they can retain long term. Pacioretty is on the wrong side of 30 and not getting any younger. With a farm system that doesn’t feature many high-end prospects, general manager Lou Lamoriello could put those picks to better use by drafting young talent or acquiring someone who better fits the mold.

Future Effects
Even if Lamoriello was able to acquire Pacioretty a little cheaper than the hypothetical scenarios previously mentioned, the Connecticut native would have two remaining years on his contract at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season.

Lamoriello has some pretty important names to re-sign in the summer of 2021. Cizikas, as we know, will be due for a contract, as well as top-pairing defenseman Adam Pelech, top-six forward Anthony Beauvillier, and the highly touted goaltender, Ilya Sorokin Jersey. Michael Dal Colle Jersey future remains a question mark, but if the organization decides they want him to stick around, he’ll need a contract. As well as a number of non-roster players who will need contracts such as Otto Koivula Jersey, Kieffer Bellows, and possibly Josh Ho-Sang Jersey.

New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech
New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech Jersey (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
In a flat cap era, Pacioretty’s $7 million cap hit through 2023 simply makes it unrealistic to retain the important parts of the core moving forward. Sure, it’s possible with the Seattle expansion that the Kraken decide to select someone like Josh Bailey Jersey, Jordan Eberle Jersey, or Semyon Varlamov Jersey, all of whom carry significant cap hits. However, there’s no guarantee Seattle’s organization will pick up any of those players or that Lamoriello won’t protect any of them.

The word on the street is that Lamoriello is looking to sign Mat Barzal to a bridge deal for 3 years, at a $7 million average annual value (AAV). Add that to their projected cap hit of $67,844,167 in 2021-22, and the Islanders would have a $74,844,167 cap hit. Pacioretty would put them just over the $81.5 million cap ceiling, leaving the team no room to re-sign their important pieces.

In short, Pacioretty’s $7 million AAV would be too expensive for the Islanders who still need to sign their star center.

Aging Islanders
Rounding out the list of reasons the Islanders should avoid acquiring Pacioretty: going into the bubble, they were already one of the older teams in the playoffs (which included all but seven teams). Although head coach Barry Trotz and co. are in a window where they can win now, the core of the team is still pretty young, and the goal should be to get a little younger.

Unfortunately, the Islanders have an abundance of contracts of guys over 30 years old. Andrew Ladd Jersey contract remains immovable, while players such as Anders Lee Jersey, Eberle and Bailey won’t be coming off the books within the next 2-3 years. Lamoriello shouldn’t be looking to add another player in the same category to this list.

Max Pacioretty Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas Golden Knights left wing Max Pacioretty (67) (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
It might have been a good idea to acquire a guy like Pacioretty two years ago when the Canadiens traded him to the Golden Knights. Now, the flat cap era is upon us, and it may stick around for a few more years after the league and its players have taken a big hit due to the pandemic. The Islanders need to bring their average age down while trying to maintain their recent success.

Nowadays, there are far too many reasons why Pacioretty’s bloated contract would make for some difficult short-term hurdles for Lamoriello, only hurting the Islanders’ future.

Want more Islanders content? Check out the Nassaumen Hockey Podcast, hosted by The Hockey Writers authors James Nichols and Jon Zella. Follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts!

Could Be Something
Timashov was originally drafted by Lou Lamoriello while GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 5’10” forward was drafted in the fifth-round and 125th overall while a member of the Quebec Remparts where he scored 143 points in 95 games before joining Anthony Beauvillier Jersey and the Shawinigan Cataractes.

Just a year ago, The Athletic’s Corey Pronman (subscription required) wrote that while Timashov was a top producer for the Marlies and has a lot of talent, he’s not a particularly good skater and is undersized for the NHL.

This young man is on the fringe of the NHL and AHL.

So the expectation shouldn’t be for him to come in and get a spot on the roster right away. What he will do is certainly challenge for a spot on the roster during training camp. And with the NHL likely allowing teams to have some sort of taxi squad for the 20-21 season, Timashov could be one of those extra pieces that comes in and out of the lineup during the year.

He could also just stay in the AHL where he was a solid forward with the Marlies, scoring 107 points in 202 games.

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NEXT: Isles Top 25 Under 25
At the end of the day, this could be a solid depth move that cost the Islanders absolutely nothing. Now the Islanders have to sign the 24-year-old who’s just coming off his ELC. That contract likely isn’t going to cost much and might tell us what the Islanders might plan on doing with the young man.