Editorials

New York Islanders Possibilities at the Trade Deadline

By Christopher Lizza
UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 22: (l-r) New York Islanders partners Scott Malkin, Charles Wang and Jon Ledecky along with general manager Garth Snow attend a press conference at Nassau Coliseum on October 22, 2014 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 22: (l-r) New York Islanders partners Scott Malkin, Charles Wang and Jon Ledecky along with general manager Garth Snow attend a press conference at Nassau Coliseum on October 22, 2014 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The New York Islanders brass will have to decide over the next few weeks if they should acquire someone via a trade. Is there a trade or two that could significantly help the blue and orange?

The New York Islanders are right in the thick of things in the NHL’s Metropolitan division. However, there are a couple of areas where the Isles can improve.

What could make this year’s trade deadline (February 26th) very different from past years is how few teams will be sellers. The incredible amount of parody in today’s NHL could mean a much quieter trade deadline than in past seasons.

After Arizona, Buffalo, Detroit, and Ottawa it could be hard to find another club willing to sell. Much is being speculated about the Senators but are they willing to engage in a full-blown fire sale? Isn’t it more likely players like Derick Brassard and Nate Thompson are moved by the deadline and the other big potential moves are tabled until the off-season?

Regardless, there should be some possibilities out there for the New York Islanders that can help them.

Goalie’s

Everyone has been talking about how the Isles need a goalie. Yes, the goalie play needs to improve. But there just aren’t many goalies available through trade that are better than Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss.

One possible option is Detroit’s, Jimmy Howard. Detroit has two starting goalie’s and an upcoming killer salary cap problem. Howard is signed through next season and has a cap hit of $5.291 million.

Given where the Wings are at with their team, their cap, and Howard’s age (33), a deal could work for both clubs. Howard for Halak (pending unrestricted free agent) and a third-round pick could work well for both.

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D-Man

There is an argument to be made that the Isles could use one more solid two-way veteran defenseman and that was before Calvin de Haan‘s serious injury.

Yours truly, recently wrote about the Isles inquiring about Arizona’s Niklas Hjalmarsson. The three-time Stanley Cup champion is about to come off injured reserve for the Coyotes.

Hjalmarsson is signed through next season ($4.1 million cap hit) so Arizona doesn’t have to trade him. Arizona has been known to be a tough negotiator at the trade deadline, so if they don’t get their price, Hjalmarsson would probably stay put.

Another possibility could be Detroit’s Mike Green. The veteran defenseman will be a free agent at season’s end so he would be a rental and most likely an expensive one.

Bottom-Six Forward

If the Isles could add a solid bottom-six forward who can also help on the team’s beleaguered penalty kill unit (ranked 30th on New Year’s Eve) that is a move that Garth Snow has to make.

Blake Comeau of the Colorado Avalanche could be a great fit. He would slide in nicely on the Casey CizikasCal Clutterbuck line and he is also a solid contributor on the Avs penalty kill unit which is currently ranked 6th (as of New Year’s Eve).

Comeau is a pending UFA so the cost shouldn’t be more than a fourth-round pick.

Next: Isles 2018 New Year's Resolutions

There are some small to medium sized moves that the Isles could do by the trade deadline that could make a big difference in terms of how the rest of this season plays out.

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