There’s one big name player available at the via trade before the deadline; Ottawa Senators Mark Stone. His price is four picks and or players. The New York Islanders should make that deal.
Earlier today we saw the Columbus Blue Jackets send four pieces to the Ottawa Senators for Matt Duchene. A deal the New York Islanders could have matched easily, but didn’t. Either they didn’t want to or didn’t know they had the option.
Either way, four pieces is a lot for any player. But the Ottawa Senators still have forward Mark Stone on the trade block, and it seems they want four pieces for him too. The New York Islanders shouldn’t think twice about making that trade.
He might be under an expiring deal, but Mark Stone is the one player in this trade deadline class that is worth the risk of trading pieces away if there’s even a remote possibility of getting him to sign a huge extension.
Quality Is Worth The Risk
According to TSN Insider Bob McKenzie, the Ottawa Senators are looking for four pieces in return for Mark Stone ahead of the trade deadline on February 25th.
"If the Ottawa Senators do trade Mark Stone the belief is that they’d be looking for four elements to the trade. It could be as much as two first-round picks and two very good prospects."
Again, that’s a lot for any player. Although former teammate Matt Duchene was just able to return the same haul from the Columbus Blue Jackets (both first-round picks had conditions attached). But this is Mark Stone, and with all due respect to Matt Duchene, Mark Stone is a better fit for the Islanders.
The one thing we hear and know about the New York Islanders style, and what they look for from their players is the ability to play well away from the puck and to be hard to play against.
Simply looking at Mark Stone’s takeaway rates gives you a clear indication as to how he plays off the puck and how hard he is to play against. Over the last four seasons, there isn’t a single player with more takeaways than Mark Stone’s 241 (Jeff Skinner is second with 210).
The man is an absolute monster away from the puck. All he wants to do (and does with alarming success) is get that puck back.
That’s not considering his career 53 percent CF%, his average 68 percent neutral zone puck battles won, or a +10.3 expected goals for in his career. It’s also not considering that Mark Stone produces 0.85 points-per-game in his seven-year career or 0.95 point-per-game over the last three seasons.
Mark Stone is the perfect player for the New York Islanders. If they had to give up a similar trade package than the one given for Matt Duchene then Lou Lamoriello absolutely should. The quality that Mark Stone brings to the table is absolutely worth the risk of him going to free agency.
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I’m a risk-averse person. I don’t like a situation where the New York Islanders give away picks and prospects for the shot at landing a player. But for Mark Stone, it’s an exception worth making.