As the clock ticked down on the 3 P.M. pre-Expansion Draft roster freeze, the concern began to build that the New York Islanders weren’t going to make a move for a defenseman to expose. Ultimately, Lou Lamoriello had one trick up his sleeve… but one that was rather unexpected.
The Islanders have officially gotten rid of Andrew Ladd’s contract, after striking a deal with the Arizona Coyotes. The Isles will be sending a second-round pick from this year’s draft (60th overall, originally from Colorado), as well as a second-rounder in 2022 and a third-rounder in 2023. There’s more to the trade than that, though… with the second-rounder in ‘22, the Coyotes will get the higher-ranked pick of the two seconds owned by New York, either their own or Colorado’s from the Devon Toews deal. As for the third-rounder in ‘23, it’ll only be officially included in the deal if Ladd plays in at least one game during the 2022-23 season.
Now that all the add-ons from this trade are out in the open, you might be wondering: what did the Isles get in return? Well, that’s the thing… there was no return. This was the textbook definition of a salary dump, giving the Islanders another $5.5-million to work with (and around $12.9-million in total according to CapFriendly). Hypothetically speaking, placing Johnny Boychuk on LTIR could potentially save an additional six million, but nothing has happened yet.
#isles receive nothing in return, except Ladd’s cap space.
— James Nichols (@JamesNicholsNYI) July 17, 2021
My immediate thoughts on this move: Bravo, Lou. Moving a contract like Ladd ($5.5-million through 2022-23) was a tough task in general, but the two-time defending Jim Gregory Award winner pulled it off. What’s even more remarkable about this move is looking at what the Isles gave up. Two second-round picks is a bit of a steep asking price, but it’s honestly incredible that Lamoriello managed to dump a player who’s played in a grand total of 30 NHL games dating back to 2018-19 and held on to his first-round selection in 2022. That’s why he’s still one of the best general managers in the game, folks.
Two things to close out: first, thank you to Andrew. It’s unfortunate his tenure on the Island (and technically, in Brooklyn) was plagued by injuries and simply not living up to his contract. Hopefully, he finishes his career strong in Arizona. Second, now the attention turns to the Expansion Draft and free agency. With Andy Greene re-signing on a one-year deal, the Isles are now ready for the Expansion Draft (and all it has to hold). Regardless, there’s still a lot of moves to be made, and a lot of players to re-sign. Buckle up, Isles fans… this week is going to be a wild ride.
Follow Carter on Twitter @cbentivenga14