According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Newsday’s Arthur Staple, the New York Islanders will only be parting ways with third-string goaltender J.F. Berube during Wednesday night’s NHL expansion draft for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Staple did add that there is “another element” to the deal, but will probably not be revealed until the expansion draft’s selections are announced beginning at 8 p.m.
General manager Garth Snow had to pull some strings in order for that to happen, though, trading Mikhail Grabovski, defenseman Jake Bischoff, their No. 15 selection in Friday night’s draft and a second rounder in 2019 so Vegas would not choose the likes of forwards Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and defenseman Calvin de Haan.
It’s an enormous deal for the Islanders given that they have kept all their trade assets. As they search for a top-six forward to support John Tavares, there are teams like the Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche that are looking for defense.
Travis Hamonic and de Haan could be two attractive targets for many of those teams while Nelson and Strome could sweeten the pot.
The trade freeze put on by the league through the expansion draft will lift on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. Don’t be surprised if you start hearing some fireworks around then.