According to David Pagnotta, the New York Islanders are exploring the idea of trading for a rental to help their playoff push.
The New York Islanders meteoric rise to the top of the Metropolitan Division has been both unexpected and enjoyable for the Islanders faithful. While the John Tavares led Toronto Maple Leafs struggle, the Isles are surging, winners of five in a row.
Currently, they sit a top of the Metropolitan Division with a three-point lead. They’ve won 15 of their last 18 games to put them in a comfortable lead in the division, but they should look to improve on that.
It appears that Lou Lamoriello sees this opportunity too, and could be in the market to add to this Islanders team come the trade deadline.
According to David Pagnotta, the Editor-in-Chief of The Fourth Period, he says the Islanders are exploring the idea of trading for a rental and guys with term.
Before the season, people expected them to sell off at the deadline because they’d be out of it. Now, with a 93 percent chance of making the playoffs things have changed for this club. They’re in a position to be buyers.
Guys With Term
Trading for someone with term is usually the preferred route. That way you are guaranteed multiple years of who you are trading for versus just a couple of months. The only thing is it’s going to be a bit more costly.
The Islanders have picks in the first two rounds, and the fifth-ranked prospect pool so they can afford to move some pieces around.
Here’s some names that could be available with some term; Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn, Alex Galchenyuk, Dougie Hamilton, Jesse Puljujarvi. Of these names, the two from St. Louis are obviously the most appealing for the Islanders.
Their biggest issue has been the power play, so looking for someone to fill that role makes a lot of sense for this club.
The Islanders are in a rare position where they could afford to move for a rental. Often times you have to give up a first round pick for an elite rental with the chance that they don’t re-sign but there’s a couple of reasons as to why it’s worth the risk.
In three of the past five drafts, the Islanders have had multiple first round picks. Those picks have yielded Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, Michael Dal Colle, Josh Ho-Sang, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Noah Dobson.
If they skip a year of first rounders as they did in 2017 and potentially in 2019 also they’ll be just fine with the amount of depth they already have in the pipeline. Also, with the salary cap expected to go up the Islanders will have roughly $34 million in cap space.
They could very likely be in the mix for re-signing their rental. Some rental names include; Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, Wayne Simmonds, and Gustav Nyquist. The prized possession is Matt Duchene, who the Isles have been looking to nab for almost three years now.
Duchene is having a career year, 46 points (20 goals, 26 assists) in 40 games. The Isles could, in theory, trade for him and then extend him to a contract as well. He’d likely want to test free agent waters but with the Isles cap space, they could afford him with no issues.
The Isles can and should look to be active at the trade deadline next month. Their window opened just a bit earlier than expected but they should take advantage and begin to go for it now.