NHL Rumors: New York Islanders, and the Columbus Blue Jackets
The Islanders have been surprisingly quiet in free agency

Kevin Kurz of The Athletic: The New York Islanders haven’t really done anything yet with regards to their forward group, which is surprising.

There are still some options for Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello.

The Islanders had interest in Johnny Gaudreau but as Pierre LeBrun reported last week, they couldn’t create the cap space to fit him in.

Goaltender Semyon Varlamov carries a $5 million cap hit and a 16-team no-trade clause. Forwards Josh Bailey at $5 million and Anthony Beauvillier at $4.15 should have held some trade value.

A crucial week for the Blue Jackets

Aaron Portzline of The Athletic: There has to be some concern now for the Calgary Flames about possibly losing Matthew Tkachuk.

A source said that the New Jersey Devils offered Johnny Gaudreau a seven-year deal at $10.2 million. Gaudreau took $15.75 million less than the Flames offer (one year less as well) and $3.15 million less than the Devils offer.

Gaudreau eyed Philadelphia. Philadelphia didn’t really eye Gaudreau.

This week seems crucial in the Columbus Blue Jackets – Patrik Laine negotiations. Talks seem to be moving slowly but appear to still be amicable. He can accept his $7.5 million qualifying offer until this Friday. He didn’t file for salary arbitration. He’s one year from being a UFA.

If they are able to re-sign Laine, or if he accepts his qualifying offer, GM Jarmo Kekalainen may have to clear $5 to $6 million off the books.

“We’ll keep talking,” Kekalainen said. “It’s not like we haven’t been negotiating in good faith. We have been, the whole time. At some point, it’ll be decision time.”

Elliotte Friedman reported the Blue Jackets made a pitch to Nazem Kadri but pulled it once it looked like they were landing Gaudreau.

Blue Jackets prospect Corson Ceulemans said he could turn pro after one more season at the University of Wisconsin.