The New York Islanders had what many considered to be something of a Cinderella run during the 2018 - 2019 National Hockey League regular season, performing well above the expectations that fans and pundits had for them. That being said though there have been a lot of questions regarding whether or not this season was an outlier, somewhat of a fluke if you will, and as a result there has been an expectation that the Islanders roster could be subject to some changes.
On Saturday we received confirmation of that fact that the New York Islanders are indeed looking to make some changes when The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta was a guest on the National Hockey League Network's station on Sirius/XM Satellite radio. It was during that radio hit that Pagnotta revealed that two of the New York Islanders defensemen had been placed on the trading block, and furthermore that the Islanders are actively shopping both players at this time. Those 2 defenseman are veterans Nick Leddy and Thomas Hickey and it appears that general manager Lou Lamoriello has deemed them as expendable pieces of his roster, that or valuable trading chips.
This does not appear to be a cap clearing measure however, with Leddy earning an average annual value of $5.5 million per season and Hickey earning an average annual value of $2.5 million. Additionally both of these defensemen have a whopping 3 years left on their deals, which also makes both of them being put on the trading block a little unusual. Neither player would be a rental in a trade so you can bet that Lamoriello and the Islanders would be looking for a maximum return when it comes to either player, and Pagnotta provided some indication as to what the Islanders might be looking for.
According to a report from The Fourth Period today, it appears that Pagnotta believes that either Leddy or Hickey, or perhaps even both, will be part of a package in an effort to add more punch up front. It seems clear here that the Islanders are looking to shed some of their talent on the blue line in an effort to bolster their offense, although which players they may be targeting in that regard remains a mystery.