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Keeping up with the Metropolitans: 2019 Trade Deadline Part II

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The buyers.

NHL: New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday I previewed the sellers in the Metro and today’s article will feature the buyers in the Metro this trade deadline. Five out of the eight teams in the Metro are more likely sellers more than buyers, and the Penguins, Islanders and Capitals should be in the market to improve their teams in different areas.

General Manager Jim Rutherford is always looking to make a trade, and he usually pulls the trigger on several trades throughout the year up until the final minute. As usual, he’s already made a handful of moves, and the rumors swirling around Derick Brassard have been constant for months. Brassard hasn’t been what the Penguins and Rutherford envisioned, and will likely be the Pens best trade chip this season.

With Justin Schultz on LTIR for almost the entire year, the Penguins could add almost his entire $5.5 million cap hit to their current roster and fit under the cap. The Penguins will likely be buyers again and GMJR has likely been doing his homework and talking to other GMs on who may be available. He made one of the most unorthodox trades last year to acquire Derick Brassard, and may have a trick up his sleeve this year which may also involve Brassard as the centerpiece.

The Penguins will likely be in the market for a third line center (as always) but could also be looking to make a hockey trade adding or moving a player with term still left after this season. It’s all but guaranteed that the Penguins will be active again this deadline.

The Pens have traded away their 3rd and 6th round picks in the upcoming draft but also added a conditional 4th round pick from Buffalo that becomes a 3rd round pick if Conor Sheary scores 20 goals or records 40 points, or if the Sabres trade Matt Hunwick before the draft. Neither of those conditions are likely to happen as Hunwick has only played two games with the Sabres this year and Sheary needs 13 goals and 21 points to hit his conditions to upgrade the pick to the 3rd round. The Penguins also have a second 7th round pick from Vegas that was acquired in last years draft. The Penguins have always been willing to trade picks to improve the current roster, and this year will likely be the same.

The Capitals are right up to the cap limit and don’t have a lot in deadline cap space, either. The don’t have a lot of chips to trade, but will still be looking to upgrade their team for the playoffs. The Capitals may be looking for depth at forward or another defenseman.

The Capitals may also be looking to add a backup goalie for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs. Braden Holtby has been below average the last two years in the regular season with the Capitals. He was the backup when the playoffs started last year before he regained his starter role and backstopped the Capitals to a Stanley Cup last spring. Pheonix Copley has also been below average this season, but you could say better than expected, and the Capitals may be looking to improve their goaltending depth for another playoff run. The Capitals aren’t guaranteed a playoff spot and could use another option in net. Chances are the Capitals are still playoff bound regardless of whether they add another goalie to the mix, however.

The Capitals traded away their 5th and 6th round pick already for this years draft, but own all their other picks for the next three drafts. Trading an early round pick is the Capitals best bet in adding a significant player, but they will also have to figure out a way to make the money work as they are bound by the salary cap.

The Islanders are an interesting case this year when it comes to the trade deadline. General Manager Lou Lamoriello has never been afraid of pulling the trigger on a big deal, but could risk altering the chemistry of the team that has overachieved thus far. The Islanders have over $10 million in cap space and nearly $50 million in deadline cap space. The Islanders could be going all in on some of the bigger names available.

The Islanders are very balanced at forward, but don’t have many game-changers besides Mathew Barzal up front. Anders Lee, Josh Bailey and Brock Nelson are all great players, and adding another player as skilled as them would make the Islanders an even scarier opponent come playoff time. Would a Metro team be willing to trade a player such as Artemi Panarin, Wayne Simmonds, Kevin Hayes, or Mats Zuccarello to the Islanders? It’ll all come down to price, and the Islanders have plenty of room to add one of those names money-wise, but do they have the talent to acquire a player that caliber? If not, the Islanders may be a big spender this summer in free agency.

The Islanders blue line has played great as a unit this season as evidenced by their amazing turnaround, but lack an offensive-minded defenseman. They have five defenseman tied for the team lead in goals with three, and may be interested in trading for a blueliner who can put the puck in the net. Offensive defenseman don’t grow on trees and generally cost a fortune to acquire. The Islanders may not have or may not be willing to give up what it takes to acquire such a player.

The Islanders could very well stand pat and only make minor moves to bolster depth and hold off for a summer of free agency with marquee names for them to be aggressive on. They will have as much cap space as about any team in the NHL and could convince players to sign there by pointing out how successful they’ve been this year with only a few truly elite players.

The Isles have already traded their 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks but own the Calgary Flames’ 2nd round pick. They may be willing to trade a 1st rounder this year to add an impact player, but I’m thinking the Islanders are happy with the way things are going and may not want to shake things up too much. But if there is a player they really want and think would be interested in staying with the Islanders, they may go all in.

As usual this time of year, there will be rumors aplenty. Some will have traction while others will be pipe dreams. It seems that every year each team in the NHL is involved in at least one deal big or small. There’s no reason to think this year will be any different. There are some big names available in the Metro this year, and with less than a month until the deadline, things will start heating up very soon and some pieces will find their new homes.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check your trusted sources by the hour until the deadline!

*Salary cap numbers via Cap Friendly.
*Stats via hockey-reference.


Pittsburgh Penguins

Projected cap space: $116k
Deadline cap space: $5.273 million
2019-20 projected cap space: $3.879 million

UFA:

  • C Derick Brasard; 31 years old
    39 GP, 8 G, 6 A, 14 PTS, -7
    $3.000 million cap hit, $2.000 million retained by VGK
    8 team no-trade list
  • C Riley Sheahan; 27 years old
    47 GP, 6 G, 2 A, 8 PTS, -7
    $2.100 million cap hit
  • C Matt Cullen; 42 years old
    37 GP, 4 G, 8 A, 12 PTS, +5
    $650k cap hit

RFA:

  • RW Zach Aston-Reese; 24 years old
    30 GP, 6 G, 5A, 11 PTS, +8
    $925k cap hit
  • LHD Juuso Riikola; 25 years old
    25 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 PTS, +0
    $925k cap hit
  • LHD Marcus Pettersson; 22 years old
    50 GP, 0 G, 14 A, +9
    $794k cap hit


Washington Capitals

Projected cap space: $263k
Deadline cap space: $1.300 million
2019-20 projected cap space: $11.794 million

UFA:

  • RW Brett Connolly; 26 years old
    50 GP, 9 G, 16 A, 25 PTS, +2
    $1.5 million cap hit
  • RW Devante Smith-Pelly; 26 years old
    46 GP, 4 G, 4 A, 8 PTS, -4
    $1.000 million cap hit
  • LHD Brooks Orpik; 38 years old
    22 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 4 PTS, +3
    $1.000 million cap hit
    No-trade clause
  • G Pheonix Copley; 27 years old
    19 GP, 16 GS, 10-5-3, .903 save %, 2.98 GAA
    $650k cap hit
  • C Nic Dowd; 28 yeard old
    38 GP, 4 G, 9 A, 13 PTS, +5
    $650k cap hit

RFA:

  • LW Andre Burakovsky; 23 years old
    44 GP, 6 G, 6 A, 12 PTS, -5
    $3.000 million cap hit
  • RW Dmitrij Jaskin; 25 yeard old
    30 GP, 1 G, 6 A, 7 PTS, -2
    $1.100 million cap hit
  • LW Jakub Vrana; 22 years old
    50 GP, 15 G, 13 A, 28 PTS, +11
    $863k cap hit
  • LHD Christian Djoos; 24 yeard old
    28 GP, 0 G, 4 A, 4 PTS, +6
    $650k cap hit
  • C Chandler Stephenson; 24 years old
    46 GP, 5 G, 5 A, 10 PTS, -7
    $650k cap hit


New York Islanders

Projected cap space: $10.472 million
Deadline cap space: $48.696 million
2019-20 projected cap space: $32.403 million

UFA:

  • RW Jordan Eberle; 28 years old
    45 GP, 11 G, 12 A, 23 PTS, -7
    $6.000 million cap hit
  • C Brock Nelson; 27 years old
    49 GP, 16 G, 15 A, 31 PTS, +16
    $4.250 million cap hit
  • LW Anders Lee; 28 years old
    49 GP, 18 G, 19 A, 37 PTS, +16
    $3.750 million cap hit
  • C Valtteri Filppula; 34 years old
    47 GP, 11 G, 10 A, 21 PTS, +11
    $2.750 million cap hit
    No-movement clause
  • G Robin Lehner; 27 years old
    27 GP, 25 GS, 15-7-4, .931 save %, 2.02 GAA
    $1.500 million cap hit
  • LHD Luca Sbisa; 28 years old
    9 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 PT, +0
    $1.500 million cap hit
  • RW Tom Kuhnhackl; 27 years old
    19 GP, 3 G, 3 A, 6 PTS, +1
    $700k cap hit

RFA:

  • LW Anthony Beauvillier; 21 years old
    48 GP, 12 G, 7 A, 19 PTS, -2
    $894k cap hit
  • LW Michael Dal Colle; 22 years old
    13 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 PTS, +3
    $863k cap hit
  • RW Josh Ho-Sang; 23 years old
    10 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 PTS, +2
    $863k cap hit