Believe or not it’s almost go time for the NHL Expansion Draft. About a month from now the New York Islanders are going to have to submit their protection list for expansion. Making a deal with the Vegas Golden Knights is not an option at this time for the Isles.
George McPhee, the Vegas Golden Knights, General Manager, knows the New York Islanders organization very well. He spent the prior two years as part of the front office.
When McPhee appeared on the Vegas Hockey Podcast, he mentioned how when he got the job, Garth Snow joked to take it easy on him. McPhee replied, “this is business”. Getting close for the Isles to pay up.
It’s been well-documented the expansion pickle the blue and orange are in because of their depth. If they protect four defensemen still either Calvin de Haan or Ryan Pulock will be exposed. Odds are Josh Bailey would also be exposed as well.
This is going to be a hard problem for Snow and the front office to solve. Quite honestly, a solution to this problem is a hard one to find.
New York Islanders
Deal is Unlikely
Many teams that are in an expansion squeeze, have approached the Golden Knights to try and work out a deal. For the Islanders that is a very complicated situation.
No Islander fan wants to see the Isles lose top young defensemen Pulock to Vegas in the expansion draft.
However, does Garth make a deal with McPhee where he gives up a good draft pick so Vegas selects de Haan instead? That makes no sense.
For a deal to work from an Islander perspective, the Isles would have to dictate what players Vegas could choose from.
If such an arrangement were made the compensation heading to the desert would be high. That is not a good option for the Islanders.
Going to Lose a Good Player
Islander Country wants the organization to be aggressive this off-season. They want the franchise to land a major offensive player to add to this core.
As stated above even if the Isles used their depth to make such a move, the blue, and orange will still lose a good player. The question is which one.
The rules for the 2017 expansion draft hurts teams that have strong depth the most. The Islanders are not alone in this regard. The Minnesota Wild, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals are in the same boat.