The New York Islanders are looking for scoring wingers. Wait. What? Why? Don’t they have one of the better top six in the league? The Islanders have more pressing issues than scoring wingers.
There should be three items on the New York Islanders offseason plan. (1) Resign John Tavares to an eight-year extension. (2) Find a starting goalie. (3) Find a top-four defender. That’s it. There’s no mention of scoring wingers.
And why would there be? The New York Islanders had no problems scoring goals last season. With 264 goals scored they ranked eighth amongst all 31 NHL teams in 2017-18. The Islanders average 3.18 goals for per game, tied for the seventh most per game in 2017-18. The Islanders didn’t have a problem scoring goals last season.
So why are there rumbling of the Islanders looking for scoring wingers? It just doesn’t fit with what the New York Islanders need right now to improve their hockey club.
Don’t Forget About Bellows
"find some scoring wingers that potentially would act as some sort of offering to Tavares"
Why is this coming up? The Islanders certainly aren’t in need of a scoring winger in the top six. For argument’s sake, here’s the New York Islanders top six from the end of the 2017-18 NHL season. We’ll exclude Tavares in this because this is all about convincing him to stay by surrounding him with quality.
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Mathew Barzal – 22 goals, 63 assists, 85 points
Jordan Eberle – 25 goals, 34 assists, 59 points
Anthony Beauvillier – 21 goals, 15 assists, 36 points*
*Ended the season scoring at a 60 point pace.
That’s a top six that doesn’t need improvement. Unless the Islanders can find someone who is better than any of these players. Better players are certainly out there, but a better player is going to cost a lot of resources to acquire. Resources the Islanders can use to acquire a starting goalie or a top-four defender. Two items they definitely need in 2018-19.
We know the third line was bad last season so maybe the Islanders are trying to bring in a scoring winger to slot on Brock Nelson’s line. Why actively shop for one, when there’s one already available in the system? Kieffer Bellows would make the perfect fit for the Islanders third line.
The son of former NHL’er Brian Bellows scored 41 goals in 56 games for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL in 2017-18. The kid is a pure goal scorer. And he won’t cost anything because the New York Islanders drafted him 19th overall in 2016 and signed an ELC on September 22, 2017. He’s already in the system and ready to go.
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The New York Islanders shouldn’t be spending valuable resources such as cap space and draft picks to acquire players that aren’t a goalie or a top four pair defender. Unless they somehow ship out Andrew Ladd in that scenario. If you can somehow move that albatross of a contract then I revoke my right to complain.