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New York Islanders Linked To Nazem Kadri

Nazem Kadri remains the most coveted UFA forward on the market, and some wonder if the New York Islanders could be his landing spot.
Nazem Kadri

Earlier this month, New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello was expected to make a significant addition to bolster his club's offense. According to The Athletic's Kevin Kurz, Lamoriello could be targeting free agent Nazem Kadri.

The top player remaining among this summer's unrestricted free agents, Kadri is coming off a career-best 87-point campaign. The 31-year-old center was expected to be among the first players snapped up when the market opened on July 13. Nearly two weeks later, however, he's still available.

Lamoriello was also believed to have an interest in former Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau before he signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets. A rumored trade that would've sent Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller to the Islanders failed to materialize during the draft in Montreal.

Kurz cited a league source claiming the Isles were pursuing Kadri. While they already have two top-six centers in Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson, Kurz suggested one of them could be shifted to the wing to make room for the former Colorado Avalanche.

Signing Kadri could get expensive. Kurz speculates he could command around $8.5 million per season. Cap Friendly indicates the Islanders have $11 million in salary-cap space for 2022-23, but they must also re-sign restricted free agent defensemen Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov.

A cost-cutting trade would become necessary to clear sufficient space for Kadri. Kurz mentioned Semyon Varlamov, Josh Bailey and Anthony Beauvillier have frequently surfaced as trade candidates in the rumor mill.

Beauvillier would probably be the easiest to move under that scenario. The 25-year-old winger carries a $4.125-million annual cap hit through 2023-24 and lacks no-trade protection. 

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