The New York Islanders have a position of need at second line center but I’m here to tell you why Nick Bonino shouldn’t be an option.
Yesterday, we talked about Joe Thornton and how he isn’t in the New York Islanders best interest. Well today, we will be discussing how Nick Bonino falls into that exact same category.
Look, the Isles could sure use a second line center. Right now, they have Mathew Barzal who has yet to play significant time in the NHL as their best option. Plus Joe Sakic is holding Matt Duchene hostage. The one issue with that is the weak free agent class.
A potential free agent option who’s name has been brought up is Nick Bonino. Should the Isles inquire about the two time cup champion? Absolutely not.
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The reason why fans are even interested in him in the first place is just based off his name. They know him because he plays for the two time defending champions. He’s not exactly an offensive force.
He’s four years removed from putting up his best numbers. Back in 2013-2014 was the only time he eclipsed the 20 goal and 40 point mark (He finished with 22 goals and 49 points for reference). Last year he put up 18 goals and 37 points. Yawn.
That isn’t top-six numbers, and it would be a mistake for the Islanders to throw money at a name, or someone who won a couple of cups. Production wise he won’t give you what you’re looking for in between Andrew Ladd and Josh Ho-Sang.
At that point the Isles would be better off with throwing Barzal out there. I’m fairly confident the 20-year old rookie can put up similar offensive production and he would have a much higher ceiling as well.
Bonino’s cap hit was just under $2 million in his last contract. So you would think he’d be due a raise. Sorry I’m taking the younger, cheaper and potentially more dynamic Barzal any day of the week.
That isn’t to say the Islanders should necessarily head into the season with Barzal slotted into the second line. If anything it’s a knock on Bonino for not being the piece the Islanders need. Either hold out for Matt Duchene or Alex Galchenyuk and hope the price comes down or stick with what you have. Don’t throw money at a 30 year old who’s better days are behind him for a role he doesn’t fulfill.