The New York Islanders never trade with their biggest rival, but Lou Lamoriello should make an exception and acquire Rangers center, Ryan Spooner.
Depth forwards seem to be scattered across the New York Islanders roster, which could lead to an overload of middling players next season. There are multiple players on one-way deals, including Ross Johnston and Tom Kuhnhackl, that seemingly do not have roles on this team.
It is a necessity that the New Islanders add real talent to the roster and try to find a way to replace some of John Tavares’ offensive production.
Tavares was a point-per-game player and there are few guys like him, but the Rangers have someone with seemingly no future on the team that could be gotten for cheap.
Ryan Spooner is a terrific supporting player who will fit into the Islanders second-line center position perfectly. He tallied 16 points in the Rangers final 20 meaningless games moving up and down a struggling lineup full of young players.
He is perfect in a secondary scoring role and the Islanders need to pounce.
The New York Rangers are rebuilding and Spooner does not fit into their future. They do not value him as a long-term piece, but he’s also not valuable in the short term because the team will not contend and he will hog a valuable spot at the center position.
Brock Nelson would be perfect for the Islanders crosstown foes. Nelson could be signed to a two- or three-year deal and provide veteran leadership for the Rangers. Additionally, his next contract will most likely be cheaper than Spooner’s (a huge benefit), and he can use a change of scenery.
Nelson would slot in as a right winger for the Rangers, which would allow Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil to mature as full-time NHL centers.
This RFA for RFA swap would be perfect for both teams, and if the New York Islanders throw in a draft pick and prospect, it will be a no-brainer. After the trade, the Islanders can sign Spooner to a four-year deal worth approximately $16 million, the same deal the team offered David Perron.
Having so many forwards under contract is never ideal, but that should not cause the Islanders to ignore upgrading the unit when an opportunity arises.
Spooner would give the Islanders the depth scoring that they so desperately need following the departure of John Tavares, as well as some timely, highlight-reel plays.
Spooner notches 1.86 points every 60 minutes played, which is a very impressive 73rd out of 359 eligible skaters. As a member of the Bruins, Spooner was a second-line center on a championship contender before being traded. On the New York Islanders, Spooner will have a similar role as the second line center.
Beauvillier – Barzal – Eberle
Lee – Spooner – Bailey
Ladd – Fippula/Kovar – Komorav
Martin/Johnston – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
There isn’t a better player that the Islanders can get for so cheap. Lou Lamoriello, take notes. Ryan Spooner needs to be a member of the New York Islanders next season.