The New York Islanders and New York Rangers will never make a trade with one another, although it’s something that should be considered.
In sports, there is this unwritten rule that you are not allowed to trade with your crosstown rival. The New York Mets and New York Yankees will never trade players (although plenty have gone on to sign with the other team in free agency) and the same applies for the New York Islanders and New York Rangers.
As much as I love tradition in sports this one is a tradition I will never understand. If you can help your team towards the ultimate goal why not pull the trigger.
Well, wouldn’t you know it the Islanders are trying to move one if not two defenseman. Travis Hamonic and Calvin de Haan have been the talks of numerous trades. My armchair GM juices started flowing last night and I came up with a trade I would do to improve the Islanders.
Over the last four years, Mats Zuccarello has put up 59, 49, 61 and 59 points respectively. Zucc has two more years left on his deal at a $4.5 million cap hit which is reasonable and guess what it’s pretty similar to Travis Hamonic’s cap hit.
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Hammer’s got a cap hit of $3.87 million over the next three years. So the Rangers are getting someone who they’ll probably plug in on the top pair with Ryan McDonagh while the Islanders are getting a winger who has averaged 57 points a season over the past four years.
Now, I’m not saying this as the only move the Islanders make. They can still go after Jordan Eberle or Matt Duchene they are just going to have to change their package around a little bit.
You have to give up something to get something but I think the Isles would win this trade. They desperately need help at forward especially in the top 6. Mats Zuccarello can easily slot in on the second line as I would still have Anders Lee on the top unit with John Tavares. This move certainly would add more depth.
If you’re worried that one trade won’t be enough what if you add in something like this
I know you’d rather Matt Duchene but the price tag would likely be too high and you’d have to sell the farm if Hamonic wasn’t in the deal. So what if you gave up de Haan and a prospect (use your imagination) for Eberle.
Then maybe your lineup could look something like this:
Lee – Tavares – Eberle
Zuccarello – Barzal – Ho-Sang
Ladd – Strome – Bailey
Chimera – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
You’ll probably notice Brock Nelson, Anthony Beauvillier, and Nikolai Kulemin are missing from the lineup. For this exercise let’s assume Vegas took Nelson, Beau was the prospect in the Eberle trade and Kulemin was bought out. Does this lineup not look like ten times better than what you were running out last year?
Eberle is an upgrade over Bailey on the top unit. That second line would absolutely fly on the ice. Putting Strome, who has been inconsistent since his first full year, in between two veterans seems to make sense. Then you have a pretty solid fourth line as well with a little bit more of a scoring premise with Chimera added to it.
That’s how I would do things as a GM, but I’m not an NHL GM partially because I would go around these unwritten rules and also because I’m not a former backup goalie. It would never happen but the Islanders would be a much better team if they did this.