The Free Agency frenzy begins tomorrow. Some fireworks have already begun. Filip Forsberg has signed an 8-year contract with the Nashville Predators, while Valeri Nichushkin signed an eight-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche. Some big names have been taken off the board, but some remains. Johnny Gaudreau is one of the biggest names in this year’s free-agent crop. With options beginning to limit, there will defiantly be a bidding war for the skilled winger. As with most high-end free agents, there will be a lot of interest from several teams and right now, Gaudreau is linked to another Eastern Conference team.
Johnny Gaudreau Linked To Metropolitan Division Team
For the majority of the offseason, it seems that the most logical place everyone has picked Gaudreau to sign with is the Philadelphia Flyers and the New Jersey Devils. It is close to his hometown in Southern New Jersey and a return home could be in the works. Another metropolitan division team has emerged. The New York Islanders could look to lure the highly talented winger to Long Island. But can it work?
Can The Islanders Make The Contract?
Johnny Gaudreau had an amazing season. In 82 games this year, he posted 115 points which was good for top five in the league. It is no secret he would be a boost to the Islanders lineup and give Mathew Barzal a dynamic winger to play with. The Islanders are one of the more defensively responsible teams in the league but they could use an upgrade on offence. But can this work?
This isn’t the first-star winger the Islanders have been interested in. At one point, Lou Lamoriello was eye-balling Vladamir Tarasenko as well so it is definitely a priority for the Isles this off-season. According to cap-friendly, the Islanders have just a little over $11 million dollars. They still have to extend newly acquired Alexander Romanov and sign Noah Dobson. Johnny Gaudreau should command anywhere between $9-11 million and the Islanders don’t have that just lying around.
The Islanders would need to shed space. Kevin Kurz discusses the idea of trading Anthony Beauvillier, who has a cap hit of $4.15 million. Josh Bailey is also a prime trade candidate. Lou Lamoriello has his work cut out for him if he wants to land the biggest fish on the market.
Why Johnny Gaudreau Would Sign There
Despite the Islanders having a down year, this team is a playoff team. The team boasts a core that consists of Noah Dobson, Mat Barzal, Anders Lee, and Ilya Sorokin. With a new coach in place, the team could make its playoff return. Johnny Gaudreau would still be close to home and can still contend for the Stanley Cup. He would have one of the most dynamic centres in the league to play with in Mathews Barzal. It will take creativity, but eyes are now set on Lou Lamoriello to make this work.
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) July 12, 2022