That title sounds obvious. But it’s an encouraging sign that the New York Islanders are shopping Brock Nelson around the league for defense. It means they’ve identified their weaknesses and are trying to cash in on one.
We’ve all had our own qualms with the New York Islanders roster over the years. There’s always a player that we saw as a clear weakness on the team, but the team, for some reason, didn’t see it the same way.
For a while this season it was Jason Chimera, the speedy veteran just wasn’t contributing anything to the lineup, but yet, there he was in the lineup. Dennis Seidenberg has recently caught the ire of fans for his play.
To be fair to Seidenberg, he’s been cast to the New York Islanders top defensive pairing now that Johnny Boychuk and Calvin de Haan are out with injury. It’s not the position he should be playing, but he’s not about to refuse ice-time. That’s not what players do.
But there’s one player that has been a consistent sour note for Isles fans, and it’s Brock Nelson. And now, according to Elliotte Friedman, Nelson is in the shop window.
Nelson For Defense
In his 31 thoughts, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman indicated that the New York Islanders are looking to ship out Brock Nelson for some reprieve on defense.
"A name starting to creep out there: Brock Nelson. With Johnny Boychuk and Calvin de Haan out, the Islanders need help on the blue line. There will be interest. He’s a good player, slotted behind John Tavares and Mathew Barzal. I’m not even sure he’d be available if the Islanders weren’t in a “missing the playoffs is not an option” stage, although he is one year from unrestricted free agency. I’m told Nelson is very hard on himself, which can affect anyone, but I’ll always take that over someone who doesn’t care enough."
Brock Nelson has been good for 40-45 points over the last three seasons. This season Nelson has ghosted his way to half that production. Ghosting isn’t something new to Brock Nelson. He floats in and out of games frequently. That’s just what he does.
But usually, he still picks up points. You might not realize Brock is playing, but he’ll chip in a goal every so often. Or even get on the end of the play and pick up an assist. Not this season.
With his 14 points in 43 games, Nelson is on pace for 27 points come seasons end. Even his 20 goal guarantee is in jeopardy. With nine in 43, he’s on pace for 17 goals.
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Why This Is Good
Outside of the obvious that Brock Nelson just isn’t good enough right now it’s the fact that the New York Islanders are in a “missing the playoffs is not an option” stage as Friedman says. It’s forced the Islanders to look at the roster and try to “trim the fat”.
Brock Nelson still has some value, and the New York Islanders still have two first-round picks in what is promising to be a deep draft. They have the ability here to pick up a decent player.
Sure, they lose a player that could notch 45 points in a season. But he could also be a player that creates the Bart Simpson effect on players around him. Cause that’s kind of what’s happening right now on the Islanders third line.
The New York Islanders need to move on from Brock Nelson, and Brock Nelson needs to move on from the New York Islanders. It’s probably the healthiest breakup that could happen since Ben and Leslie broke up in Parks and Rec. It just made sense. And you know who’s who in this analogy.