NHL Rumors: New York Islanders, and the Buffalo Sabres
Will the Islanders look to add a defenseman?

Arthur Staple of The Athletic: New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock is out four to six weeks after blocking a shot. The Islanders defense is now even thinner. Will they look to add someone?

They could decide to save their assets and play the younger kids until Pulock comes back.

GM Lou Lamoriello moved on from Johnny Boychuk and Leo Komarov’s cap hit and have a little room to add now.

Would the Islanders look to go big and go after someone like Arizona Coyotes Jakob Chychrun? Would they offer up their 2022 first-round pick and a top prospect like Samuel Bolduc or Aatu Raty? John Klingberg is a pending UFA defenseman for the Dallas Stars. They have playoff hopes and may not be looking to move someone like Klingberg just yet.

On the smaller side of potential options are Mark Giordano (Seattle), Vince Dinn (Seattle), Ben Chiarot (Montreal) and Marco Scandella (St. Louis).

On the Sabres blue line, Dahlin, Skinner and pending UFAs

John Vogl of The Athletic: (mailbag) It may not make sense for the Buffalo Sabres to use one of their three first-round picks to acquire someone that can play now. They are building a good young core but are not ready to start adding quick fixes. Keep the pick and add a top pick help create the depth teams need to be a true contender.

Throughout the Sabres organization, they are favored more to the left-handed side of their blue line than the right. At some point, they could look at moving a left-handed defenseman for a right-handed one, but there is no urgency to do so at this point in time.

Rasmus Dahlin is still only 21-years old and it’s not time to move on from him. Now, if he doesn’t progress in the next two years and with their depth on the left side, it’s something they may have to consider.

Jeff Skinner’s eight-year, $72 million contract runs through 2027. A buyout in June of 2023 shows some significant savings. It would save them $10.67 million in real money. His $9 million cap hit would drop to $1.67 million (2023-24), $1.67 million, $4.67 million, $6.67 million, then the four additional years of $2.67 million.

Pending UFAs for the Sabres that could be moved at the trade deadline are Cody Eakin, Vinnie Hinostroza, Drake Caggiula, John Hayden, Colin Miller, Mark Pysyk, Will Butcher, Robert Hagg, Christian Wolanin, Craig Anderson, Dustin Tokarski and Aaron Dell.