Wait, two possible reunions? yes. Washington Capitals have decisions to make this summer regarding their future. Are they still a team that can compete, or are they destined to rebuild. If they decide on the former, the capitals need to take care of the target. Washington’s tandem of Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanessek are bound free agents this summer, and while the Capitals have complete control over their future, they’ll definitely want a promotion. Vanecek scored 2.67 GAA and .908 SV% and Samsonov was worse with 3.02 GAA and .896 SV%.
Washington General Manager Brian McClellan and Lamorillo can help each other out in this situation. The capitals need stability in the net, and the islanders need a rest in cover and maybe a backup goalkeeper. One of the RFA capitals that the capitals currently own could come the other way and the islanders could sign it for a reasonable contract for at least the 2022-23 season. Not only did Samsonov and Vanishek’s numbers look great in 2021-22, but the islanders also have Piero Greco. Jericho has worked miracles with goalkeepers and improved their games, most notably Robin Lehner. Vanecek or Samsonov would be a good backup for Sorokin if the deal can pay off.
There is a domestic trade hitch here. Although not impossible, split deals are rare. However, on numerous occasions we’ve heard Lamoreello talk about “hockey deals,” and that may be exactly that.
Honorable mentions go to the Seattle Kraken who just lost long-term Chris Dredger after he had surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee, the Chicago Blackhawks who need to know where they stand toward goal, and even the New Jersey Devils if Varlamoff doesn’t. I don’t want to get away from Long Island and we still have a chance to start.
The islanders may or may not move Varlamov this summer, but if they do, there will be suitors. Lamurillo will be so aggressive in retooling his roster that Barlamov ends up as a victim in the salary cap gymnastics that Lamurillo continues to work through. Sorokin is the initiator now, so anything is possible.