Dreger on Islanders’ trade speculation

With less than two weeks to go before the trade deadline, it’ll be curious to see what the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Islanders do in that realm.

Darren Dreger had a Tuesday morning radio hit on Montreal’s TSN 690.

The Insider was asked if he thought Lou Lamoriello’s mindset going into the trade deadline would be closer to Marc Bergevin’s, in terms of not wanting to surrender prospects for short-term gains, or if the Islanders’ general manager might make prospects like Noah Dobson or Oliver Wahlstrom available to go big game hunting.

“I don’t know that they’ll go that big,” cautioned Dreger. “But I do feel like Lamoriello is definitely interested in doing something, and maybe adding a little bit more scoring punch. He doesn’t have a whole lot of areas of concern. We’ll find out whether that’s just the long-term reality of the New York Islanders, where they’re at as an organization, or if they’re just having a real good bounceback type of affair coming out of John Tavares leaving the organization and everyone wondering how far back this team would fall. I mean, they clearly haven’t, and Robin Lehner has been a big part of their turnaround and success for the Islanders.

“There’s whispers around old uncle Lou, but nothing concrete in terms of what he might be chasing. I had somebody just kind of whisper in my ear yesterday - and let’s not call it a source or anything firm, just wild speculation is what it is - wondering whether Lamoriello might have interest in Ilya Kovalchuk with the Los Angeles Kings.

“Crazier things have happened, and given the opportunity to play a more offensive role with the Islanders, maybe there’s a fit there. There’s certainly history between Lamoriello and Kovalchuk.

“But obviously there wouldn’t be any sort of long-term need in Kovalchuk at that point.”

Kovalchuk signed a three-year, $18.75 million contract with the Kings in July, which carries a $6.25 million cap hit and comes armed with a no-move clause.

Pierre LeBrun mentioned earlier this month he thought the Islanders would be aggressive on the trade front, and alluded to potential activity this summer as well.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly