February 15, 2019 | 10:26am ET
TheFourthPeriod.com

ISLANDERS EXPLORING TRADE OPTIONS

 
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Lou Lamoriello, GM

 

The New York Islanders remain atop the Metropolitan Division and after an impressive 3-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday, the team is riding high into the weekend.

As the club continues to perform well on the ice, GM Lou Lamoriello and his staff continue to look at options to improve the team’s chances this season.

With plenty of salary cap space to add a top-line caliber player ahead of the Feb. 25 trade deadline, the Islanders are believed to be weighing every possibility. TFP has learned the team is willing to part with its first-round draft pick this summer if the right deal presented itself for either a short-term rental acquisition or a long-term addition.

While it’s unclear whom the team is specifically pursue, the team has shown much interest in Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin dating back to last off-season and could be in the mix for him now.

Forwards Mark Stone and Matt Duchene of the Ottawa Senators, Gustav Nyquist of the Detroit Red Wings, Micheal Ferland of the New York Islanders, and Eric Staal of the Minnesota Wild are among the players the Islanders are believed to have interest in — all four players rank on TFP’s Top 30 Trade Watch List.

TFP Sr. Writer Dennis Bernstein reported on Thursday the Islanders had discussed Los Angeles Kings winger Ilya Kovalchuk, but it’s not yet known “if anything has progressed beyond talk.”

Kovalchuk, as TFP first reported, is willing to waive his no-movement clause for the right team.

Staal, 34, has a 10-team no-trade list as part of his contract, but sources have told TFP the Islanders are not on his no-trade list. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.