In recent articles, yours truly has written the New York Islanders should be aggressive in terms of adding a proven player at the trade deadline. On second thought, the Isles should protect their future.
By all indications the New York Islanders GM, Garth Snow, is trying to improve the team between now and the February 26th, NHL Trade Deadline. That’s great but the price cannot be one where it hurts the organizations’ future.
Snow’s approach to the trade deadline must be where he is a careful buyer. Granted the Isles are currently the second wild-card team in the East (keep in mind other teams have played fewer games) but it’s a coin flip at best if they print playoff tickets.
But even if the blue and orange sneak into the playoffs does anyone believe they can beat a Tampa or a Washington in a seven-game series?
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Prospects and draft picks are tradeable assets. However, this year’s Islander team has not shown they can be anything more than a team that makes the playoffs and lose in the first round.
So that means the Isles first and second round picks in this June’s Draft (they have two picks in each round) should be off-limits. Also, the top prospects in their system must be unavailable as well. This group includes Kieffer Bellows, Devon Toews, Robin Salo, Josh Ho-Sang, Ilya Sorokin, and Linus Soderstrom.
If there is a good player who could be part of the Isles core the next two to three years an exception can be made. However, it’s unlikely such a player will be available at the deadline.
This might sound strange but the Isles shouldn’t sell either. One might say we should either go for it or sell. Let’s give this current Isles team and coaching staff a chance to surprise us this Spring.
In addition, the Isles do not have many sellable pieces that can bring back a high return. John Tavares is not getting traded, so just eliminate that idea.
Of the other pending unrestricted free agents on the Islander roster, only Josh Bailey would bring back anything of significance. Trading Bailey would probably net a second-round pick and a solid prospect.
If a team were to offer Snow a first-round pick and a strong prospect for Bailey that is a different story. The chances of that happening are remote, especially with the number of forwards on the trade market.
As the saying goes “in Missouri, you have to show me”. The Isles haven’t shown they are worthy of trading a significant future chip.