New York Islanders prospect Bode Wilde spent the entire 2021-22 NHL season playing in Sweden due to the NHL's COVID-19 vaccination policy. Technically speaking, Wilde was still eligible to play for the Islanders despite going unvaccinated but it was GM Lou Lamoriello's personal opinion that no unvaccinated players should play for the Islanders.
And despite the fact that the NHL is getting rid of any vaccination policies for 2022-23, Lamoriello is holding firm and will reportedly not allow Wilde to join the team at training camp. In fact, the NHL specifically included a clause in its rewriting of the rules to ensure that players like Wilde would not be discrimated against, stating in its rules that“no player shall be denied opportunities to participate in Club Activities on the basis of their vaccination status.” Despite this, Wilde is not expect to be at the Islanders' training camp due to Lamoriello's rules.
From Stefen Rosner with NYI Hockey Now:
Despite the NHL’s rule change on vaccinated players, that does not mean that the New York Islanders are satisfied with Wilde’s decision to remain unvaccinated. In Montreal, before the start of the 2022 NHL Draft, Lamoriello was asked about the game plan for Bode Wilde in 2022-23.
Lamoriello said things were still in limbo and that it all had to do with Wilde’s vaccination status as the longtime NHL executive was unwilling to budge on his decision.
If there's one thing I know about Lou Lamoriello it's that he'll never EVER budge on a decision. For better or worse he very much operates by the "my way or the highway" motto. He simply won't go back on a decision that he has made.
Now, this doesn't mean I expect Wilde to be the recipient of a trade, however. Lamoriello has also proven along the way that he's not out to do anyone any favors. I'm sure there are interested parties for Wilde out there, but something tells me that Lamoriello would rather see his development rot in the minors until his contract expires, just to set an example for the rest of his team. This is the so called "winning culture" that Lamoriello is so famous for...