The New York Islanders were almost part of a potential blockbuster deal this week. The New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, and Montreal Canadiens almost completed a trade that would have seen Max Pacioretty move to Long Island.
The New York Islanders, Sabres, and Canadiens almost completed a major trade. According to Sportsnet’ Eric Engels, the deal would have seen Ryan O’Reilly to Montreal and Pacioretty to the Islanders.
Just the other day Eyes on Isles posted that trading for Pacioretty would have been a mistake.
If the Islanders went through with the trade, their firepower would be even stronger than it is now. It would have also come at a perfect time to perhaps entice John Tavares. If the Islanders got Pacioretty he would certainly play alongside the Islanders’ captain.
With Pacioretty, the Islanders potentially could have had so much firepower. You could say the Isles wouldn’t be the seventh best offense in the league. They’d perhaps be one of
Why It Could Have Happened
According to the Report from Engels, the reason the Isles walked away from the deal was due to how the draft board fell. If it wasn’t for the Coyotes and the Rangers going rogue, maybe this trade would have played out.
"And after the Vancouver Canucks took defenceman Quinn Hughes, the Chicago Blackhawks took defenceman Adam Boqvist and the New York Rangers went off the board with right winger Vitaly Kravtsov, it suddenly became abundantly clear that Lamoriello was going to land two of the consensus top-10 prospects in the draft by holding onto his positions."
Think about the potential of an Islanders top six consisting of:
On a regular year from all parties that’s one of the better top six in the NHL. A 40 goal scorer in Lee, two 35-40 goal scorers in Tavares and Pacioretty, a point-per-game player in Barzal, 25-30 goal player from Eberle and Bailey who could return 50-60 points.
That’s a fantastic top six. One that pending free agent John Tavares has to see and think: “I’d like to play there.”
Now, I said a regular year, because we all know that with 17 goals on the season, Pacioretty wasn’t his usual self. No one was in Montreal. Getting him to the Island to play with Tavares and Bailey would probably return him to form.
What Max Brings
If there’s one thing the Islanders didn’t do well offensively last season was shooting the puck. They ranked 19th in terms of shots-for per game with 31.4. Adding Max Pacioretty who had 212 shots, a number ecplised by only a single Islanders player – John Tavares – would drastically alter that metric.
Want your voice heard? Join the Eyes On Isles team!
With that being said, getting Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson at eleven and 12 was fantastic for the Islanders. In a different world where those picks weren’t made, I would love to have Pacioretty in an Islanders uniform. But I think Lou made the right decision by drafting Wahlstrom and Dobson.