The New York Islanders did not make any headlines at the NHL Trade Deadline. Instead, they made two small trades. The Isles were smart to be quiet at the deadline.
McDonagh Not a Fit
If all things were equal would Ryan McDonagh be a perfect fit for the Isles? The answer to that question is a big yes.
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However, all things aren’t equal. Let’s face reality there is no way the Rangers were going to trade McDonagh to the Isles for anything short of Mathew Barzal. Making a deal with the Devils is one thing for the Blue Shirts, but the Isles, that’s not going to happen.
Secondly, McDonagh is only signed through next season and then becomes a UFA. The Isles are not a contender this season even with McDonagh. To give up the number of assets it would take to land the Rangers former captain for one season is not how the Isles should use their chips.
Wasn’t a Fit at the Deadline
When looking at the players traded leading into the deadline it was very hard to find a fit for the Isles. Yes, Petr Mrazek could be an upgrade over Jaroslav Halak, but keep in mind the last two months the Isles problems have been the play in front of their goalie’s.
Have to give Garth credit for not making a trade for appearance sake. Garth has to know his job is in jeopardy but yet he put the long-term health of the organization first. Give him kudos for that.
So happy that the Isles didn’t make a Thomas Vanek type of trade this past Monday. That would have been pure window dressing.
Having said that ownership has to make a change in the GM’s chair after the season.
Two Nice Little Moves
The Isles did make two nice little moves before the deadline. Davidson (age 26), could be a solid-physical, third pairing D-man that is really good in his own zone. That is lacking right now on the Isles.
Wagner (also 26) can improve the Isles play from the bottom-six forwards, which has been an issue this season. Wagner is a UFA at season’s end so he will get a 20 game showcase on whether or not he should be brought back.
To acquire these players the Isles only gave up a third-round pick in 2019 and Jason Chimera who was moving on after the season (UFA).
The Islanders needed to improve the back-end of their roster and they very well could have done so at the deadline at a very cheap price.
Islander fans wanted a big move at the deadline. There really wasn’t one there to be had and the timing was not right.