The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is drawing to a close and when teams are eliminated, speculation about a roster change begins. As we know, New York Islanders will be subject to “hockey trading” this summer according to General Manager Lou Lamoreello. In terms of shifting the roster, Minnesota Wild will have work to do this summer including Kevin Fiala, and the islanders could be the answer to their problem.
Over 32 Podcast Ideas, Jeff Marek and Elliot Friedman speculate whether or not Wild will be able to shut down Fiala as part of their future plans. Wild GM Bill Guerin will have a number of contracts to renew, including the possibility of re-signing Marc-Andre Fleury. The Wild has only signed Cam Talbot last this season at the network and will likely want to keep Fleury after trading in his favour at the 2022 NHL trade deadline.
Fiala is set to become a Restricted Free Agent. His qualifying bid would be $5.1 million, and while he would probably want a raise after an 85-point season, the bid bid could be too rich for Guerin and Wild. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter’s buyouts are set to increase a whopping $8 million from $4,743,588 to $12,743,588, so with some heavy hitters like Kirill Kaprizov’s $9 million and Jared Spurgeon’s worth $7.575 million, there may be no room for keeping Fiala.
Viala scored 33 goals and 52 assists in 2021-22. Usually, trading a player a year into their career would cost a lot, but Wild might not be able to afford much for a player worth paying. Anthony Bouvier has been the subject of business chatter all season, however, and his $4.15 million max could be too rich for Wilde who will only have $353,912 in the cover space this summer. And that also doesn’t include Josh Bailey’s $5 million max. However, if the deal is to come to fruition, there is a way to work things out for both sides.
The islanders are booked thirteenth overall in the upcoming NHL 2022 entry draft. Given how aggressive Lamoriello already is, it is likely that he will use the selection in the “hockey trade” to immediately improve the roster. So the islanders can send Wild Choice Thirteenth General and Beauvillier. To make the money work and fill the multiple needs of the islanders, they will get Fiala and Alex Goligowski. Golegoski’s cap will drop from $5 million to $2 million this summer and will remain there for the next two seasons. A snag is that Goligoski carries the immobility clause, but if Lamoriello and Guerin can activate it, Goligoski can be persuaded to wave him. The islanders immediately fill their need for a top-tier goalscorer and a cheap pair defense to play Scott Mayfield, killing two birds with one stone.
“I think the Fiala deal is going to be huge. To me it looks a lot like a draft day trade, but I don’t think it would be for anyone with a big salary, if anything. That sounds like the choices and prospects of the trade.”
– Jeff Maric
Wild might want it to be cheaper than the Beauvillier, so they can start with the Islanders’ 13th overall draft pick and attach a young player or prospect to the negotiations. Oliver Wahlstrom is sure to be of interest as an NHL-ready player with just $894,167 for cover. If the islanders aren’t privy to the breakup from Wahlstrom, Kieffer Bellows might be the next best answer in Wild’s eyes to jump straight into the ward. Bellows is already making an impact on Team USA at the IIHF World Championships and could make an intriguing young player that the Wild could include in the squad on the cheap. Plus, who wouldn’t love the idea of Bellows following in his father’s footsteps, Brian, to Minnesota? Packaging a single Wahlstrom or Bellows with the Islanders 2022 first round draft could interest Guerin, who has proven he’s not afraid to strike a deal. Add a potential B level player like William Dufour or Samuel Boldock and the islanders could have a wing in the first line.
Islanders and wildebeests both have needs and seem to be a good fit for each other in terms of fulfilling them. Fiala is sure to attract a lot of attention from teams around the NHL, but Lamoriello has put himself on the hot seat and should be the first to knock on Wild’s door. Fiala fits perfectly with the islander core entering its 26-year season, so it makes sense to get the suspended free agent suspended and sign it up to stay with the islander core for the long haul.