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New York Islanders Master Plan to Fix the Defense

By David Lazar
SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 07: Justin Faulk #27 of the Carolina Hurricanes in action against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on December 7, 2017 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 07: Justin Faulk #27 of the Carolina Hurricanes in action against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on December 7, 2017 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 05: Adam Pelech /

Trade Away Some Loose Ends

The Islanders have four defensemen under contract for next season: Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuk, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech. Two of those players are worse than the other two. That’s right. Mayfield and Pelech cannot be everyday players on the Islanders if this team wants to go far next season.

Ryan Pulock, Calvin de Haan, Thomas Hickey, and Brandon Davidson are not under contract for next season, and if the Islanders were to add another defenseman to the team (e.g. Justin Faulk), trades will need to be made.

Mayfield and Pelech have team-friendly deals and are serviceable players, but the Islanders need to shake things up. Trading both of these players for mid-round draft picks would enable the Islanders to not just re-sign more important players, but also add in free agency and through trades.

Garth Snow does not like to give up on his players and be proven wrong, so this will not happen if Snow is the general manager of the Islanders this offseason. However, trading Pelech and Mayfield would be the right thing to do and it would give the Islanders some much-need, long-term roster flexibility.

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