Once again, I really can’t add much to Gary’s review on Mr. Hunter. An injury riddled season with the final blow, his knee injury, only allowed him to play in 17 games, and, thus, it’s hard to really say much about his overall performance.
I recently had a long debate about a few of the “bubble” players on the Islanders roster as far as what their status might be next season. Trent Hunter was one of the guys who seemed to come up in the course of the discussion. With the development and emergence of so many of the younger players, the opinions of some were that Hunter is going to have a hard time earning a spot on the 2011-2012 roster in October on opening night. The “1st one” seemed to solidify, and we had the combinations of Michael Grabner and Frans Nielsen, and Blake Comeau and Josh Bailey, which seemed to form pretty strong, additional lines for the future.
I would also have to give Trent a C as his grade, and it is, to me a generous rating. Without a doubt, Hunter’s defensive game and size makes him a big asset, and he is one of those guys who can be a nightmare for goaltenders around the blue paint. The issue is that he has to score. He has proven in the past that he can be a 25 goal scorer, yet injuries have plagued his career to stifle his offensive potential.
Will the Isles trade him as a way of gaining another draft pick or package him in some other deal? Will they, instead, give him another chance to show his value to the team and we’ll see him in the lineup next season? And if that is the case, can we see a full season of a relatively healthy, Trent Hunter, from October until the spring?
To me, these will be interesting questions to be answered. Personally, I think Trent Hunter has value to the continued improvement of the New York Islanders. He is under contract anyway, and to me, he does a lot of the little things each night that can only be a positive influence on the younger guys. If he can stay healthy, I believe that he still has a great deal to offer to a team that could very well earn a playoff spot next season.
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