This has been a busy week for the New York Islanders. They let go their head coach Jack Capuano and replaced him, for the time, being with Doug Weight. But the Islanders are also in many trade rumors as well. One of the teams the Islanders are mentioned with is the Colorado Avalanche. Making a deal with the Avs could work for everybody.
As difficult and frustrating a year the New York Islanders are having multiple that by ten and you get the Colorado Avalanche season. Colorado currently holds a five point lead over the Arizona Coyotes for the worst record in the league.
This is a team that has struggled offensively, defensively and in goal. So much so recently general manager Joe Sakic stated that the only untouchables in his organization are Nathan Mackinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and 2016 first-round pick Tyson Jost.
Sakic is looking to make a reboot trade where he moves one of his signature players for a package of players he can build around going forward. The two possibilities that Sakic has is he can move either Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog.
Duchene or Landeskog
An interesting question is who is the better fit for the Islanders, Duchene or Landeskog? Many consider Duchene the better scorer but Landeskog the better all-around player.
The 26-year old Duchene is on pace to repeat his 30-goal season of last year, which was a career high. In total 2009, the third overall pick has 15 goals and 28 points so far this season.
Landeskog has struggled offensively this season, as he only has nine goals and 16 points. Going into this season the second overall pick of the 2011 draft had put up three straight seasons of least 20 goals.
Duchene can play wing but his natural position is center. Landeskog is a left winger. In terms of the cap, there is a big difference between the two players. Duchene is signed for two more years (through 2018-19) with a cap hit of $6 million. Landeskog is signed for another four years (2020-21) with a cap hit of $5.571 million.
Even though Duchene is having a better year and might have little bit more offensive skills, Landeskog might be the better fit for the Islanders.
So what will it cost the Islanders to land either Duchene or Landeskog? It appears the center-piece the Islanders would have to give up is a top-four defenseman, that Colorado can rebuild its defense around.
That’s where 26-year old Travis Hamonic comes into play. He has an all-around game that Colorado desperately needs and has a very attractive cap hit of $3.85 million over the next three years.
However, to get a deal done, Garth Snow will have to include much more. Snow will have to also offer a talented young forward prospect that can be in Colorado’s top-six rotation in the near future. That means either Anthony Beauvillier, Keifer Bellows, or Michael Dal Colle will have to be part of this deal as well.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has reported this week that Colorado wants a young talented goaltender. The Islanders could include prospect Linus Soderstrom in the deal too. The Islanders would still have Ilya Sorokin in the prospect pipeline.
Garth cannot do the following; If he is to trade Hamonic, he cannot trade either Ryan Pulock or Devon Toews. In addition, he can’t trade Mathew Barzal as there is a very good chance he might turn out to be better than Duchene or Landeskog in the near future. Finally, the Islanders cannot trade their 2017 first-round pick because there is a good chance they do not make the playoffs this year and that turns out to be a top-ten pick.
Colorado and the Islanders match up well in pulling off a major trade. They have assets each team wants from each other. Most importantly both sides are very motivated to get a big deal done.