The New York Islanders need help defensively. So why trade Thomas Hickey? If you approach trades and team building pragmatically it makes sense to leverage Hickey’s worth in the market.
If the trade market is going to yield a good return for New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey, shouldn’t the Isles pull the trigger? Wouldn’t it be in their best interest to leverage whatever advantage they can get?
That’s Nick Holden, who’s a 22-35 point player averaging 19:00 minutes of ice-time for a third-round pick in next year’s draft and an ok defensive prospect.
Why Trade Hickey?
As Carey points out, Hickey is a pending UFA with a three year $6.6 million deal set to expire. He’s going to demand an increase. And there’s no way to think that Hickey is worth it.
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At 29-years-old, averaging 21 points a year and, when the team is 100% healthy is often a healthy scratch. With young players like Scott Mayfield, Sebastian Aho, Ryan Pulock and even Devon Toews now on the roster or on the way up, there’s no reason to spend money on Hickey.
Listen, Thomas Hickey isn’t anything more than a third pairing defenseman. And third pairing defenseman shouldn’t be making $2.5 million or more. I understand that the Islanders brass like Hickey, but that’s not a good reason to keep a player. Not in this cutthroat industry.
By that same token Hickey, nor any player, should walk away for free.
It’s not that Hickey is bad. He’s not great, either. But he’s not bad. For the role he plays, he’s valuable. Again, credit to Habermetrics for pulling this data comparing Hickey to Holden.
Trade? No Trade? Maybe Later…
Should the Islanders trade Hickey now before the trade deadline? Now might be too early. Again, the Islanders need any abled body defenseman they can get their hands on at the moment.
If the Islanders can get a third and a prospect for Hickey before the draft then that’s the best time to strike. But if the feeling is that the market for defensemen might be too saturated by June then maybe making the trade now for peak value is a good idea.
The pragmatist would say to make the trade now while the iron is hot. The important question is what does Garth say? Trade now, or wait and see?