New York Islanders 2019 NHL Trade Deadline: Targets, Options, Predictions

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello attends the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello attends the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The 2019 NHL trade deadline is here. The New York Islanders are said to be big players at the deadline, who are they targetting, what are their options, and what can we expect?

At the 2018 NHL trade deadline, the New York Islanders were seven points out of a playoff spot. Their approach to the trade deadline was quite different than it will be in 2019. In 2018, they wanted to make the playoffs but weren’t willing to break the bank to try and do so.

That’s why at last season’s deadline, the New York Islanders swapped Chris Wagner for Jason Chimera with the Anaheim Ducks. Then Garth Snow called up old buddy Peter Chiarelli in Edmonton to acquire defenseman Brandon Davidson for a third-round pick.

A year later, Lou Lamoriello is at the helm of the New York Islanders and his team is a lock for the playoffs with 79 points from 61 games and sitting two points at the top of the Metropolitan Division. The plan is different than it was just a year ago.

Now the plan for the New York Islanders is to increase their talent pool by buying a big name player. One that can hopefully help them push deep in the playoffs.

Available Targets

Of who’s still available on the trade block Ottawa Senators Mark Stone and Florida Panthers Mike Hoffman are the two big targets for the Islanders. Stone is an elite two-way winger in the NHL that can control the pace of play and put up a point-per-game, while Hoffman is a pure goal scorer. Netting 26 goals already this season, and never falling below 22 goals in a season. Both provide exactly what the New York Islanders need. Extra scoring in the top six.

They aren’t the only names out there, but they represent the two better options for the Islanders now that Matt Duchene and Artemi Panarin are off the block.

Stone won’t come cheap. It seems that Ottawa wants a similar package to the Duchene deal; four pieces. Hoffman, with a year left on his deal, would probably be a cheaper option. That extra year on his deal also means the Isles don’t have to worry about fending off potential suitors in July if they acquire him.

What Does Lou Do?

But it all comes down to what will Lou do? Will he go for it and pay a hefty price to bring in Mark Stone for a few months and then give him a huge free agent contract? (He should). Or will he refuse to pay inflated prices, keep his prized assets, and take a run at one of these players (like Stone) in July when free agency comes around?

Lou has the option of doing nothing. We know that Lou is fine if nothing is added at the deadline. His team is still in first place after all. But when the second line for the team is Komarov-Barzal-Kuhnhackl, there’s a clear need for top six support.

There are only hours remaining until the 3 pm deadline. I believed that the Islanders would add Matt Duchene. With the way the news was trending it felt like a deal had to be coming. And then, of course, that wasn’t the case, with Duchene going to Columbus. So now I don’t know what to think.

I desperately want the Islanders to add Mark Stone. I firmly believe he’s the perfect type of player for their style of play and to fill the need that they have in the lineup. But with the asking price set at a Matt Duchene level who knows if Lou is willing to meet Ottawa’s demands.

(He should. Mark Stone is a better player than Matt Duchene in my opinion.)

My prediction is going to be about as lame as possible. I believe he will add a player to the roster. But I don’t think it’s going to be a big name. That’s just me going off of reports circulating around the hockey universe. But with the way Lou runs his shop none of that is definitive. No one actually knows what Lou is doing.

We’re all waiting with baited breath. The New York Islanders are in first place in the Metropolitan Division with only a month left in the season. The playoffs are all but a guarantee, and the Islanders have a glaring need in their lineup. The hope is Lou can fill it before 3pm EST.