NHL Rumors: Islanders looking for locker room fit at deadline, Flyers will be buyers, and Penguins looking for size

anders lee
Mar 11, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) is helped off the ice by right wing Jordan Eberle (7) after being injured against the New Jersey Devils during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s NHL Rumors have a distinct East division flavor to them. We start on Long Islander where the always secretive Lou Lamoriello opened up (just a tad) to Pierre LeBrun.

NHL Rumors: Islanders want a locker-room fit – if they make a trade at all

You have to hand it to Mr. LeBrun to get anything of consequence out of Lamoriello but he did. When asked in a recent interview done for The Athletic what kind of players the Islanders are looking for, the GM made it very clear.

“I said it earlier, we certainly will see what is available but we won’t make a trade just for the sake of making it happen…In other words, it has to be something that works for the team, that works with reference to the chemistry; it doesn’t upset the room, all the variables that to me are extremely important.”

Lou Lamoriello

So just what kind of player is that? One of the more talked about in recent days is the Devils Kyle Palmieri. Other names attached to the Islanders range from Taylor Hall, Dustin Brown, and Nick Foligno. In our latest Trade Bait Tracker, Brown is not yet available and Foligno is likely being kept.

Bottom line; Lamoriello knows he’s not going to replace the locker room leadership lost with Anders Lee. However, he believes teams win Cups and whomever he brings in has to fit into that concept.

NHL Rumors: Flyers will be aggressive at the deadline

Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher met with the media yesterday and provided an update on the team. More importantly, he dispelled the notion that they may be sellers at the deadline.

“We’re certainly not looking at selling right now,” he began. “Anything we do, we want to make sure it makes sense. If we can fill a box for the long-term, we can consensually explore that. Certainly, if we can upgrade our team, we’ll do that. We’re always looking to improve.”

Fletcher also noted during his presser that he’s been aggressive making calls, but hasn’t received many. His comments also supply fuel to recent speculation that the Predators may trade defenseman Ryan Ellis with 6 years remaining on his deal. Elliotte Friedman feels if so, it scream Flyers.

NHL Rumors: Penguins think it will be a busy deadline, looking for size

ron hextall penguins
Hextall new Penguins GM (NHLI)

Brian Burke spoke with Josh Yohe of The Athletic and gave this direct assessment of what he feels this deadline will be like.

I heard a guy on NHL radio today — and it’s a guy I respect — saying that he doesn’t think there will be much activity. I respect him, but I disagree. There will be lots of movement. I really believe that. I’ve been there. When you think you’re close, you’re going to make a move. I told Hexy the other day that things have changed so much since I was a rookie general manager. Back then, only five or six teams would make moves if they thought they could win the Cup. Now, teams make moves just to get into the playoffs. So, there will be moves.”

The Athletic

When it comes to the Penguins, Burke noted that Ron Hextall has been working the phones and they want to add. It won’t be easy since they are not willing to part with top prospects but they would like to add some more size to the lineup. With Brandon Tanev out they could be looking at players like Tanner Pearson or Luke Glendening.