Lately there has been quite a bit of trade chatter about the New York Islanders lately, at least by those who write about the NHL. The Isles should look to make a deal that improves the current squad but not necessarily for a superstar. The Islanders should pursue Arizona’s Niklas Hjalmarsson.
There are a couple of area’s the New York Islanders can improve their roster. One of which is adding a proven veteran defenseman that is strong in his own zone.
Our own Matt O’Leary of “Eyes on Isles” is directing the campaign to bring Oliver Ekman-Larsson to the Isles. Not sure if the Coyotes front office is ready to venture into such a move and if they were the price would be exorbitant.
The Isles should talk turkey with Arizona but over Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Hjalmarsson is a solid two-way defender who would bring more leadership and experience to the Islanders. The 6’3, 197 lbs, the 30-year old blue liner is a three-time Stanley Cup champion from his day with the Chicago Blackhawks.
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The Coyotes acquired Hjalmarsson this past summer to help their young team. By the way, this season has gone for them and the fact that Hjalmarsson is only signed through next season ($4.1 million cap hit) therefore one would think John Chayka, the Yotes GM would listen on a potential deal.
If the Isles were to acquire Hjalmarsson he would be a great fit on the Isles second defensive unit with Calvin de Haan. That would give the Isles two excellent blue line pairings.
Landing Hjalmarsson sounds like a great idea right? But what would be the cost?
Arizona would be looking for a young defenseman in return who they can put in their lineup along with a quality draft pick. The Islanders have the depth in their organization on both fronts which makes them the ideal trade partner for the Coyotes.
That is not a cheap price considering Hjalmarsson is only signed through next season. However, it’s a fair one considering how many clubs would love to acquire the Swedish defenseman. Also, keep in mind Hjalmarsson doesn’t have a killer cap number nor is he signed to an extensive contract.
Let’s Make a Deal
The Isles have a chance to have a special season. There is a lot to like about this team. If they can acquire a defenseman like Hjalmarsson and get improved play from their third line, then the Eastern Conference should watch out.
This proposed trade would tackle one of those areas.
While it would hurt to trade one of Pelech, Pulock, Mayfield, keep in mind the Isles have a few young defenseman knocking on the NHL door down in Bridgeport. Devon Toews and Mitchell Vande Sompel lead this group.
Garth Snow should look to improve this team in a couple of ways. He doesn’t need a sexy move just a productive one.