Editorials

Islanders Miss Out on Cashing In At The Trade Deadline

Nov 10, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (4) passes the puck against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 10, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (4) passes the puck against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New York Islanders did nothing at the deadline, the majority of the fanbase will take issue with the fact that a certain Colorado Avalanche wasn’t added to the roster, fair enough, my issue was not selling high on certain assets.

I’ve written twice in the lead-up to the trade deadline that the New York Islanders should capitalize on the advantage seller teams have to cash in on some UFAs. Like Dennis Seidenberg.

I’ve seen the comments on Facebook and Twitter about how felt with my opinion. I get it. Dennis Seidenberg has been a nice little find by Garth Snow. But the matter of the fact is he’s got some kids in the lineup and in Bridgeport that are going to need some place.

Seidenberg is on a one-year $1 million deal. He’s 35 years-old. He doesn’t have too many good NHL years left. So why not capitalize on that? The Isles were quick enough to capitalize on signing him during the World Cup of Hockey.

New York Islanders

Why not take stock of the trade market, see what’s happening and take advantage of some teams paying top-dollar for some aging defenceman.

What Seidenberg Offers

I’ve already laid out why a team would be interested in Seidenberg. But at this time of year, the two main factors are (1) he plays defense well, and (2) he’s won a Stanley Cup.

The latter is an intangible that all teams crave no matter the time of year, but during the trade deadline and with a run for the cup possible the “he’s got a ring” or “he’s been there before” rhetoric gets ramped up to a whole new level.

But it’s the former -he plays defense well- that’s the key here. It’s a totally vague statement I know, but trust me well get into it in a second.

When Seidenberg came to the Isles, I for one wasn’t too pleased. The spot he would take from a worthy youngster (like Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech) wasn’t worth whatever he was bringing to the table.

I still maintain that giving Pulock the chance would have been better, but Seidenberg has been a good addition to the club.

Here’s a general overview of what Seidenberg has done with the Isles compared to defenders that were traded at the deadline.

Stats taken from Hockey-Reference save for OPPGF60 which was taken from hockeyanalysis.com

Note: The contact indicates years left/cap hit before trade (cap hit after trade)

Seidenberg is perfectly on par in every category. He better everyone but Streit in points. Only Hainsey players more minutes on average. He’s the cheapest rental option, with Benn being just $100 thousand more expensive.

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He’s faced tougher opposition than most with a 2.34 average opposition goals for per 60 (ODDGF60). Simple I know, but it gets the point across. And, this is the most important, he tops the list in points share with 4.6.

Points share on hockey reference, is an “estimate of the number of points contributed by a player”. Seidenberg’s play has benefited his team more in terms of points than any other defenceman traded yesterday.

What Could He Have Returned

So what could Seidenberg have brought home based on what the market was paying out yesterday? I like the Ron Hainsey example. All the others have a certain factor that don’t fit with Seidenberg.

Mark Streit and Johnny Oduya had big contracts at $5.25 million and $3.75 million, respectively. So moving them was good for their respective team’s cap.

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Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith, and Jordie Benn are all significantly younger than Seidenberg. Quincey being the older of the three at 31 and Smith the youngest at 28. A good showing could change their rental tags, or at least fetch more come the draft in June.

But both Hainsey and Seidenberg are 35. Have roughly the same stats. So my thought is they should fetch roughly the same.

Sending Hainsey to Pittsburgh brought back Danny Kristo, a 26-year-old AHL vet, and a second round pick in the 2017 NHL draft.

The prospect is nice to get, but the pick is something Snow can, and has worked with before. Think back to the 2015 NHL draft were he was able to parlay Griffin Reinhart and a few later round picks into Matthew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier.

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Taking a second the Isles already have with this second round pick the got from team X for Seidenberg could turn into a first, which could turn into two first, and…well you get where I’m going with this. It gives Garth Snow more assets with which to create the value needed to land that top level talent the Islanders need.

It’s not that a second round pick alone would have done the job, it’s the idea that it gives Snow more to work with. But now that Seidenberg will finish off his deal and head to free agency, the opportunity to create value is absolutely gone.

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