The Expansion Draft and the days leading up to it were a wild time for the New York Islanders. One of their leaders went on the NHL Network and discussed his feelings on it.
Take me back to June please! Covering the Expansion Draft and events leading up to it was so much fun, especially because the New York Islanders were so active during that time period making trades.
First, there were the Matt Duchene rumors, remember when we thought Joe Sakic was actually going to move Duchene? Those were good times. Then there was speculation in place for the expansion draft that had J.F. Berube going to Vegas.
There was no way Berube was going to get selected by Vegas especially with so many forwards available right? Well, Garth worked out a deal with Vegas as we all know and sent Berube and Mikhail Grabovski packing for Sin City.
So, the NHL Network had Andrew Ladd on to discuss some things and one of the topics that came up was the Expansion Draft. Here’s what Ladd said on that:
Ladd was first asked if he followed along with the moves the Isles made or if he was trying to get away from the game. I liked his response, Ladd essentially went on to say that he followed it because the Draft is so rare and that it affects the team so he wanted to know what was going on.
Ladd also went on to say that the Islanders were “lucky” to not lose someone off their main roster. He was right, the Isles protected five defensemen for heaven’s sake they were begging to lose a forward in Expansion.
But, Garth made a wise decision to not only ensure that he lost someone who wouldn’t play a significant role on the 2017-2018 team, but also to dump a UFA in Berube and a brutal contract in Mikhail Grabovski.
The Isles did get pretty lucky in the expansion draft. There’s certainly a lot more for this team to do in order to be more competitive in the Metro but if we just take a look at the Expansion Draft through a lens things worked out rather smoothly in that regard.