NHL Rumors: 3 New York Islanders Most Likely to be Dealt

The New York Islanders are in the middle of a disappointing season and it's time for changes. Their 21-23-8 record puts them on the outside looking in at the playoff picture by almost 20 points and some trades will be coming before the deadline. Let's take a look at three Islanders who are most likely to be moved before March 21:

Zdeno Chara

The towering defenseman is still getting the job done in his mid-40's and teams have been calling to gauge what type of asking price Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello is setting. While it won't be a crazy bidding war, the interest will certainly drive up the price. Chara recently made history for games played by a defenseman, a truly remarkable feat. 
He's only making $750,000 against the cap, a number every playoff-bound team can work with. Averaging over 18 minutes of ice-time a night, some wonder if he'll come back next season. Toughness and Stanley Cup championship experience are hard to find, and Chara's resume speaks for itself. Expect to see him join on a contender for another run at the title.

Semyon Varlamov

The veteran goaltender has battled through an up and down season so far in 2021-22 as he's posted a 2.76 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. The 33-year-old is signed through next season at $5 million against the cap and $4 million cash. His no-trade protection could make things tricky as he's allowed to veto deals to 16 teams of his choice. The Edmonton Oilers would be a great fit but at this point it's likely Varlamov has them on his no-fly zone. Another team to consider would be the Washington Capitals who could be up for a reunion with the Russian netminder. 

Josh Bailey

One of the biggest reasons why Josh Bailey is likely getting dealt is the fact he's one of the only Islanders forwards without trade protection. He's signed through the 2023-24 season at $5 million per, and he's actually only due $3.5 million in cash both years which could entice other teams. So far in 44 games he's only scored three times and has tallied 23 points. With 50 points in 71 Stanley Cup playoff games, expect to see contenders come circling if the Isles are willing to retain some of his $5 million cap hit. At this point it's unknown how 'Uncle Lou' feels about retaining salary against his cap for next season and beyond. 
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