More than one NHL source has confirmed to NYI Hockey Now that New York Islanders winger Anthony Beauvillier is on the NHL trade market as general manager Lou Lamoriello tries to clear the cap space needed to finally sign unrestricted free agent centre Nazem Kadri.
After learning that from NYI Hockey Now lead Islanders reporter Stefen Rosner, Montreal Hockey Now did some digging and found out via a trusted NHL source that the Montreal Canadiens are one of many teams interested in acquiring the Sorel-Tracy, Quebec native.
According to this source, there have been at least exploratory NHL trade discussions on Beauvillier and other Islanders players but the Islanders’ refusal to back off their stance of not taking any salary back in a trade right now has stalled trade talks not just with the Canadiens but plenty of potential NHL trade suitors. Beauvillier, 25, is entering the second year of a three-year, $12.4 million contract that carries a $4.1 million salary cap hit.
“The problem is Lou wanting this or any trade right now to be a pure cap dump by him,” the source told MHN Tuesday.
With the Montreal Canadiens just $248,334 below the salary cap right now, they would need to be sending a player back to the Islanders with a cap hit equal to or literally just under Beauvillier’s $4.1 AAV. Forwards Mike Hoffman ($4.5M), Christian Dvorak ($4.4M) and Joel Armia ($3.4M) would be likely candidates and MHN has confirmed at various points during this offseason that all three players have been on the NHL trade market dating back to the days leading into the March 21 NHL Trade Deadline.
The Canadiens have been linked to Anthony Beauvillier in NHL trade rumours before due to him being a Quebec native and also since he is a former client of Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes but right now the pieces just don’t seem to match up for the Canadiens to bring the 25-year-old, 5-foot-11, 182-pound winger home.
Beauvillier was drafted by the Islanders 28th overall at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He had 12 goals and 22 assists in 75 games for the Islanders last season and has 93 goals and 96 assists in 408 career games in the NHL.
It should be noted that the Canadiens and Islanders already hooked up in one trade this offseason at the 2022 NHL Draft when the Canadiens sent defenceman Alexander Romanov and the 98th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft to Islanders for their 13th overall pick. The Montreal Canadiens then turned around and flipped the 13th overall pick, along with the 66th overall pick, to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for hulking center Kirby Dach.