NY Islanders News

Overhaul: Injuries, Looming Trades Create Roster Problems

By Jon Zella

Many Islander fans seem to think the season is lost. With John Tavares and Frans Nielsen on the shelf and Thomas Vanek and Andrew MacDonald looking like they will be gone by 3pm on March 5th, it’s hard to argue with them. So what problems do these injuries and looming trades do the Islanders roster now and in the future?

There are a lot of players who need to make sure they still have a spot on the roster next season, and with the emergence of Calvin de Haan on the blue line and the inevitable addition of Griffin Reinhart, the defensive corps looks like it won’t change too much going into next season.

The offense is a different story.

For me, Josh Bailey has not earned his keep. Kyle Okposo stepped into a role the Islanders needed while Bailey has lost is step and plays most games without the confidence he needs to succeed like he should be. If I had something to do with it, he would see 3rd line minutes, though that may be difficult with the looming trades and recent injuries. Bailey needs to earn his time, and he simply has under performed. With Brock Nelson coming into his own and Ryan Strome doing everything he can to be on the roster full time, not to mention Johan Sundstrom and Anders Lee, Bailey certainly has some competition, regardless of his contract.

Some questions still need to be answered up front. Who does Vanek yield in a trade? What about MacDonald? Is Michael Grabner also on the trading block? Besides Strome, who does Garth Snow call up?

With these questions still needing answers, it’s hard to say what the team will look like in a couple of weeks, but here’s what I would like to see on offense through the end of the season. Keep in mind, I will use Vanek and some of the prospects I think will be called up.






What do you think the lines will look like? Who will the team call up? Where does Bailey fit in the conversation?

Comment or find me on twitter (@jonzella).