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Editorials

New York Islanders Trading Superstar John Tavares Ill Advised

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 16: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders celebrates his goal in the third period against the Los Angeles Kings on December 16, 2017 at Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 16: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders celebrates his goal in the third period against the Los Angeles Kings on December 16, 2017 at Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 16: Josh Bailey

Cons of Trading Tavares

With the loss of Tavares, the Islanders would certainly have a ton of cap space to fill the roster. Include the money from the expiring Jaroslav Halak, Nikolai Kulemin, and Jason Chimera deals and the Isles would have a ton of cash to spend. But on who?

They could sign all of their pending free agents like Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey and Calvin de Haan. But does that make the team any better? No. Certainly not. I love Josh Bailey’s play, but taking Tavares away would have a negative impact on Bailey.

Regardless of the effect on Bailey, if we just assume that Bailey can continue what he’s been doing with Barzal as his center, that leaves the Islanders with a single scoring line. Rather than the two scoring lines they have right now.

Then there’s the idea of marketability. Without their superstar player, how do the New York Islanders manage to sell tickets? It’s already been difficult with the move to Brooklyn to put enough butts in seats. Now take away Tavares and the business side of things takes a hit.

There’s no denying that the Islanders could get a windfall of assets in a trade for Tavares. But the New York Islanders picked up a second first-round pick in 2018 thanks to a trade involving Travis Hamonic. The first-rounder was a pick they didn’t necessarily need. It’s a great return for Hamonic, but the pick itself doesn’t help the Islanders unless it’s moved for a roster player.

Islanders GM Garth Snow has yet to move the pick to acquire something the Islanders can use right now. He’s been working on rebuilding the Islanders for eleven seasons now. I don’t trust him to rebuild this team in a post-Tavares world.

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