NHL Rumors: Islanders Goalie Becoming Trade Bait

According to Stefen Rosner of New York Islanders Hockey Now, the team should look to trade goaltender Semyon Varlamov before the Mar.21 deadline.

The 33-year-old veteran goalie has struggled in 2021-22, posting a 2-5-0 record with a .910 save percentage and a 2.77 goals against average. He holds no-trade protection to cover himself from 16 teams both this season and next, the final year of his current contract. Varlamov makes $5 million on the salary cap annually.

The Islanders are currently last in their division and look to be on the outside looking in at the playoff picture this season. They've dealt with a wide range of injuries and some COVID bad luck and don't appear to be talented enough to turn things around this season. Moving some of their assets may be the best bet for general manager Lou Lamoriello.

As for teams interested in Varlamov, there would be plenty. He's played in 34 Stanley Cup Playoff games the past two seasons and when he's on, there aren't many other goalies better across the league. One team to watch here - the Edmonton Oilers. They continue to look for a starting netminder and Varlamov could be the perfect fit as they don't appear set to add a rental at this time.

As for the Islanders, expect a fire sale early on in 2022 with Varlamov joining the likes of Zdeno Chara and Josh Bailey who are likely to be moved by the hockey team.

Photo credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports