Former Capital Richard Panik is on the move again.
In a transaction that appears inspired by the upcoming Expansion Draft, the New York Islanders jettisoned defenseman Nick Leddy ($5.5 million AAV) to the Red Wings for Panik and a 2021 second-round pick.
Saturday, protection lists must be submitted by every NHL team except for the Vegas Golden Knights. The Islanders’ calculation was that they were likely going to protect Adam Pelech, Ryan Pulock, and Scott Mayfield on their backend. Instead of losing Leddy for nothing to the Seattle Kraken, they dealt him for a future asset and Panik, who would they be okay with exposing.
UPDATE: The Detroit #RedWings acquired D Nick Leddy from the New York Islanders in exchange for F Richard Panik and the 52nd selection (originally EDM) in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. pic.twitter.com/SNWmaoV14q
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) July 17, 2021
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the Red Wings will retain 50 percent of Panik’s salary ($1.375 million).
DET retains 50 per cent of Panik’s salary
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 17, 2021
The deal gives the Islanders $4.125 million in cap savings.
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 17, 2021
The trade is also a prelude to another. According to The Athletic’s Arthur Staple, the Islanders now have no defensemen eligible for the Expansion Draft.
With about 20 hours to go until expansion protected lists are due, the #Isles currently have no eligible defensemen to leave unprotected — each team must have at least one signed D who played 27 NHL games last season on the unprotected list.
So there's another move coming.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) July 17, 2021
As for Panik, the Islanders will be his third team in three months. Panik, who signed a four-year, $11 million deal with the Capitals in 2019, was dealt to Detroit, along with young star Jakub Vrana, for Anthony Mantha.
Panik scored four goals and 13 points in a combined 48 games with Washington and Detroit last season.
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