Arthur Staple of Newsday has had to deal with multiple changes in story for the Islanders in the wake of their bizarre protection scheme released yesterday. It seems as though the rationale behind that suspect arrangement might finally be coming to light.
According to Staple, there is a complicated arrangement between Vegas and the Islanders to move Mikhail Grabovski to the team as well as steer Vegas’ pick by enticing them with a 1st-round selection (#15). The 33 year-old Grabovski has had massive concussion issues which kept him sidelined all last season. There’s a very real possibility that Grabovski never fully recovers to full form, so this would be a pure cap dump from the perspective of Vegas. He hasn’t played over 60 games in a season since 2012, and although he has posted decent offensive numbers, he’s never broken 60 points. His contract is worth $5 MM and only runs for another season. It remains to be seen what enticement Vegas will need in order to take on that contract.
The 1st round pick will be offered to Vegas in exchange for their staying away from certain players. As of now, it seems probable that this means the protection of Brock Nelson and/or Calvin de Haan, as other names have been floated with little confirmation. Nikolai Kulemin could be a possible intriguing draft target for Vegas – it would help the cap situation of Garth Snow even further and he has a tight connection with Grabovski. Kulemin is also only under contract for another season, at $4.19 MM.
Even in light of this this information, the whole arrangement seems wildly unnecessary and convoluted. However, If Vegas is willing to take on injured players contracts and cap dumps, as this deal would imply, it may keep the doors open for players such as Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul. If there are any further details that break before Vegas’ selections, we at PHR will be on top of the development.