Feb 27, 2014; Uniondale, NY, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs goalieJonathan Bernier
(45) makes a save against New York Islanders right wingMichael Grabner
(40) during the second period of a game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
1. The trade deadline is only a few days away. Thomas Vanek and Andrew MacDonald are the two obvious Islanders on their way to greener pastures, but do you think there are any other candidates to get moved on or before deadline day?
CT: Absolutely, guys. I think Vanek and MacDonald are definitely on their way off of Long Island, but the Islanders might find some difficulty in getting the return they want via typical “one-for-package” type deal. The Islanders need some trading creativity if they want to maximize their value for both the short and long-term betterment of the team.
A player like Michael Grabner, for example, has been heating up since the start of the Olympics, and the Islanders might find value in moving him. Trading Grabs could end up being a disaster for the Islanders in the future, but can the Islanders really count on him to lead the team offensively next season? If they don’t feel that he can, the return might outweigh what he can (will) do on this team for the remainder of his contract.
EB: I think that if they move anyone, it will be those two [Vanek and MacDonald], but I just don’t see them trading Grabner. The Isles had a bad season. They are not in rebuilding mode, they are in regrouping mode. Trading Grabner would be a huge mistake. If guys like Lee and Strome could show they can contribute at an NHL level, this team will be way better next season. Of course that also depends on the goaltending and defense. Ok, who am I kidding? This franchise is in shambles!
CT: Definitely like what I saw in Strome and Lee on Thursday night.
EB: I think the Isles have some great young talent. If they do trade Vanek and AMac, they need to get a goaltending prospect. As we have seen this season, Poulin is very inconsistent and Anders Nilsson is clearly not ready.
RDR: I’m with Eric here. No way you trade Grabner. Say what you want about this season, he’s still a valuable asset on this team, especially on the PK.
You can’t stop a headache by cutting off the head, so to speak.
Grabner may be streaky–as most forwards tend to be–but he’s consistently a threat even if it almost never converts into goals.
Better to have a threat that doesn’t always pay off in Grabner, than a player that will almost certainly underachieve as in the likes of Josh Bailey, who for my money, should be traded but won’t be.
And the sad thing is I actually believe Josh Bailey would do incredibly well on another team, and because I like him so much as a player and believe in his potential, I’d much rather let him go so that he can realize it all.
But no one will take him. So, perhaps another system to help a Josh Bailey take that next important step in his development is in order.
If you asked me, and obviously this is pure speculation and conjecture without a hint of merit, another player who might be on the trading floor is Kevin Poulin.
I’ll let you all marinate on that one.