The New York Islanders were forced to make a salary dump over the offseason, jettisoning defenseman Nick Leddy ($5.5 million AAV) to the Detroit Red Wings for Richard Panik (Red Wings retained half his salary, $1.375 million) and a second-round pick. For Panik, the trade put him on his fourth different team in a little over two years.
Landing on the Island, however, appeared to be a good opportunity for the former Capital. The Islanders notoriously do not have much forward depth or high-end skill.
Now after a full training camp, Panik will not start the year with the team and was put on waivers by GM Lou Lamoriello. Panik was one of 14 players who hit the waiver wire on Saturday, including Panik’s close friend Michal Kempny.
14 players on NHL waivers today pic.twitter.com/WMN7v3V44B
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) October 9, 2021
During the preseason, Islanders head coach Barry Trotz talked about how Panik could play anywhere in the lineup.
Barry Trotz said there were some players who played well on Sunday that #Isles want to get another look at tonight. Has a lot of nice things to say about Richard Panik, a guy he thinks he can play up and down lineup. Robin Salo also gets another chance tonight.
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) September 28, 2021
Now, Panik will be Bridgeport-bound unless another NHL team picks him up.
Earlier in the day, Trotz spoke about how Lamoriello has been sinking hours and hours of this day talking to other GMs across the league to improve the team before the news was announced.
“He’s working the phones, checking with teams to see and kind of figure out what they may need versus what we might need,” Trotz said. “He’s been pretty busy. I know I’ve come in here pretty early in the morning and he’s been here and I’ve left late and he’s still here working the phones. He’s not finished assembling the roster. Still trying to do things. If anything gets done between now and the start of the season, we’ll have to have some movement to get to our 23-man roster done by Monday at 4. We’ll have to make some decisions by tomorrow, certain guys might have to go on waivers. If you’re making a deal, you’ll have to do it before that roster shuffle to get cap compliant and all that.”
#Isles in warmups, as expected (varsity lineup)
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) October 9, 2021
Panik, who signed a four-year, $11 million deal with the Capitals in 2019, was dealt to Detroit as part of the Jakub Vrana/Anthony Mantha trade. Panik scored four goals and 13 points in a combined 48 games with Washington and Detroit last season.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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