It is old news that the New York Islanders defense is absolutely atrocious. A group that consists of Nick Leddy, and an assortment of borderline AHLers is costing this team, and a move must be made.
Garth Snow has been hesitant to make a trade during the season in the past, but this year, there must be an exception. The New York Islanders have one of the highest scoring offenses in the NHL, and arguably put out the top two lines in the NHL each night.
When John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, and Mat Barzal headline your forward core, all that you ask is that they have a defense and goalie behind them that are average. The Islanders are scoring over three goals a game, and just need some solid play from the rest of the lineup.
However, the defense and goalies are the Achilles heal that will derail the Islanders promising season, and something must be done to boost these areas. In an incredibly difficult Metropolitan Division, the Islanders month of December has already cost the team their Playoff spot, and their fall will continue if nothing is done.
Look No Further than Vancouver
The Vancouver Canucks reside at the bottom of the NHL standings with only 37 points. They are the second-worst team in the Western Conference, and their Playoff chances are looking dim.
They have many players on expiring, one-year deals that they would love to get some value for. If the New York Islanders, pay up, they can solve all their issues in just one trade.
Chris Tanev is not having the greatest season, and the Canucks would love to trade their top-four defenseman so they could use a younger player. He would be very valuable to the Islanders, as they could use his solid physical play and defensive prowess paired with one of their younger defensemen.
Islanders fans have wanted Tanev for years, and the time has finally come to acquire his talents. He has six points and has been a +6 on a terrible Canucks team, and he would fill a major hole perfectly.
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Erik Gubranson is another player on an expiring contract that would give the Islanders exactly what they need. The Islanders are very familiar with “Guddy,” as he was one of the Florida Panthers’ top defensemen when they took on the Isles in the Playoffs two seasons ago.
Gubranson has two points in 27 games and has also been a strong defensive player with a +2. He would also serve as the Islanders much needed enforcer that the team has been in dire need of since the departure of Matt Martin.
The Islanders can look to give up a young forward and a draft pick in this deal, and also trade a player with a large cap hit to balance the contract that will be added to the payroll.
Kill Two Birds with One Stone
As we also know, the Islanders goaltending has been another thing holding the team back. Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak have proven they will be unable to take this team anywhere, and if the Islanders legitimately want to contend this season, they will need to acquire a new goalie.
So, why not pick one up as part of a deal with the Canucks? The Canucks do not have a goalie on an expiring deal, which could complicate matters, but ex-Islander Anders Nilsson could be a great option in net for the next two seasons for the Isles.
In this deal, the New York Islanders would have to be careful not trading for a goalie they do not have room for. Garth Snow may be able to work some magic and convince the Canucks to take back Thomas Griess, who has terrible three-year, $10 million dollar contract that will hurt Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin’s wallets for years to come.
Just like the team traded a first round pick to the Vegas Golden Knights to take on Mikhail Grabovski’s contract, Snow could be able to offer a top pick and get the defensemen we need, a goalie for this season and the next, and get valuable cap relief that could go towards John Tavares’ next contract.
This trade is a bit crazier the first one, but it could work wonders for the Islanders in the future and present if Garth Snow can pull it off.
Garth Snow most likely will not make a trade in January. It is something he rarely does and I doubt things change now. However, Snow should look at the Vancouver Canucks as a team that will be able to solve all of our problems in one trade.
A trade must be made soon before the Islanders fall even further than they have in the NHL standings. So say a prayer that the Islanders trade for some help soon, or else this season could go to waste.