The New York Islanders are facing tumultuous times in the coming days with portions of the revised collective bargaining agreement being leaked. The salary cap is expected to freeze for the next two seasons with the NHLPA attempting to ratify terms this week.
Ultimately, the Islanders will have to make some difficult decisions on players to lower their expenses. The entire NHL will have to make tough choices, and players will undoubtedly lose their jobs or be traded.
Let’s take a look at two players the Islanders could trade:
1.) Thomas Hickey
Hickey was one of the Islander players that struggled the most last season. He can be a decent pairing on the third line of defenseman, but with $2.5 million left on his deal over two years, he could be a better fit on another team. Andy Graziano of WFAN believes he is a prime candidate to be treated since management instilled their confidence in Noah Dobson.
With the league hoping to restart early in 2021, the timetable to conclude the 2020 season and crown a champion is being expedited.
To give you an idea of how poor Hickey played in 2019, the year prior in 2018, he posted five goals and 20 assists over 69 games played. This past season, he played in 40 games and logged zero goals and just four assists. He also logged 33 penalty minutes compared to 24 in 2018, which is nearly a 20 game differential.
Finding a way to gain any sort of value from him would be extravagant for general manager Lou Lamoriello.
2.) Nick Leddy
Leddy has seen his performance consistently decrease as he increases in age. He is no spring chicken to the rumor mill, and he could be a player the Islanders could find a new home for. He is currently on a seven-year, $38.5 million deal. He would be in the fifth year of his contract, with two years left at $5.5 million per season.
His price tag would be a nice saving for the Islanders, but considering he’s almost 30 years old, gaining ample value from him will be difficult.