Islanders Make Timely Trade With Blackhawks Before Draft Day 2 Begins

As anticipated, the New York Islanders were able to move Josh Bailey's contract out before free agency to the Chicago Blackhawks. Bailey had fallen off and was much less impactful this season than he has been in his career and $5 million AAV was too much to keep on the books. Many thought he was a buyout option, but instead, Lou Lamoriello was able to dump the entire contract of Bailey to the Blackhawks along with a 2026 second round pick for future considerations.

The Blackhawks are in a perfect place to take players like this and add more draft capital or prospects from teams as there is a flat cap. They need to surround Connor Bedard with some better talent than the team had last season and have lots of cap space to do so. This is the second move like this after they recently acquired Taylor Hall from the Boston Bruins.

This gives the Blackhawks a middle-six winger with lots of experience who they might be able to flip at the deadline if he has a solid first half of the season. On the Islanders' side, they free up $5 million to spend on adding a few final pieces to the puzzle so the team can seriously compete again.

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