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New York Islanders Five Worst Player Personnel Decisions Ever

UNIONDALE, NY - JANUARY 21: Rick DiPietro #39 of the New York Islanders watches the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning from the bench at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on January 21, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NY - JANUARY 21: Rick DiPietro #39 of the New York Islanders watches the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning from the bench at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on January 21, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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20 Nov 1998: Center Trevor Linden #32 of the New York Islanders in action during the game against the Dallas Stars at the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. The Stars defeated the Islanders 4-2.
20 Nov 1998: Center Trevor Linden #32 of the New York Islanders in action during the game against the Dallas Stars at the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. The Stars defeated the Islanders 4-2.

Trevor Linden In and Out

In 1998 the New York Islanders were still trying to bring in big-name veterans to give their franchise some sort of credibility. After all, at that point, the Islanders hadn’t made the playoffs in four straight seasons.

So Mad Mike Milbury (his nickname not mine) sent third-year players Bryan McCabe and Todd Bertuzzi (and a third-round pick) to the Vancouver Canucks for Trevor Linden. Linden had scored over 70 points four times in his NHL career by 98. The Islanders were getting a leader as well as a guy that could score.

McCabe was a steady defenseman that could chip in with a few points while Bertuzzi showed promise, scoring 80 points in 192 games for the Islanders.

But if Linden could come in and make an impact on the score sheet and make the Islanders respectable then what the Isles gave up would be worth it.

Except Linden didn’t and couldn’t. The Islanders were worse in the only full seasons Linden was on the team for. So in 1999 the Islanders who couldn’t afford Linden (why acquire him to begin with?) traded him to the Montreal Canadiens for the Habs tenth overall pick in 1999.

The Islanders drafted defenseman Branislav Mezei. The Czech defenseman spent three years in the NHL. So recap. The Islanders traded Bryan McCabe, Todd Bertuzzi, a third, and then Trevor Linden himself, and all they had to show for it was Branislav Mezei. Wow.

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Isles Four Untradable Players. Next

They traded for a player that didn’t end up being very good. They gave up two good players to get him. And in the end, they were left with nothing to show for it. And they couldn’t even afford him! Woeful decision making.

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