As the calendar flipped to August, Nazem Kadri remains the notable name available among this summer's unrestricted free agents. Since late July, there's been growing conjecture linking the 31-year-old center to the New York Islanders.
Over the weekend, Barrie Colts director of player personnel Mark Seidel created a stir by tweeting that a source informed him Kadri was heading to the Islanders. He explained the club needed to clear cap space first and then the deal would be announced.
Cap Friendly indicates the Islanders have $11.1 million in salary-cap space for the coming season with restricted free agent defensemen Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov still to sign. NYI Hockey Now's Stefen Rosner believes Kadri's deal with the Isles could be worth around $7 million annually, leaving little room for Dobson and Romanov's new contracts.
The Islanders can exceed the salary cap by 10 percent during the off-season but must be cap compliant when the regular season opens in October. At some point, they would have to make a cost-cutting trade to clear space for Kadri.
Rosner reports the Islanders have been shopping Josh Bailey. The 32-year-old winger carries an annual average value of $5 million through 2023-24.
Bailey also lacks no-trade protection, giving the Islanders a wide number of potential trade partners. Rosner believes the winger's veteran presence could help a rebuilding team such as the Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks or Ottawa Senators. However, the Isles might have to include a couple of draft picks or a prospect into the deal as a sweetener.
Winger Anthony Beauvillier and goaltender Semyon Varlamov have surfaced in the rumor mill in the past. However, Rosner believes both will be staying put for the coming season.