New York Islanders and the Three Reasons They Stood Pat
The NHL Trade Deadline came and went for the New York Islanders. The Isles Lou Lamoriello didn’t pull the trigger on any move. There are three main reasons why the Isles stood pat.
Much to the chagrin of the New York Islanders fanbase, Lou Lamoriello did not add a scoring forward at the trade deadline. While the blue and orange faithful are both disappointed and upset there are legitimate reasons why this happened.
Things Didn’t Fall the Isles Way
First and foremost things didn’t fall for the Islanders way during the trade deadline period. First Columbus decided to hold on to Artemi Panarin and then complicated things more so for the Isles by going all in and landing Matt Duchene.
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The Minnesota Wild decided not to move pending unrestricted free agent Eric Staal (he signed an extension). Also, the Panthers at the end of the day listened but held on to Mike Hoffman.
The Isles were in on Mark Stone but once Vegas was willing to give up top blue-chip prospect Erik Brannstrom that made things that much harder for the blue and orange. Ironically Brannstrom who was the 15th overall pick of the 2017 Draft was part of the expansion draft compensation the Isles sent to Vegas.
The Rangers actually had a couple of players who could have been good fits for the Isles in Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello but there was no way these two crosstown rivals were going to make a deal.
Isles Had a Short List
The fact the Isles didn’t land a second-tier forward tells you that Lamoriello had a short list of players he liked at the deadline. If Lou highly regarded any of Gustav Nyqvist, Wayne Simmons, Marcus Johanssen, Derick Brassard, or Ryan Dzingel, one of them would have been an Islander.
No doubt Lou shook every tree to see if there was a hidden possibility that no one was talking about. One of these possibilities floated was Minnesota’s Jason Zucker who is having an off-year. But while Minnesota’s GM Paul Fenton moved Charlie Coyle and Markus Granlund, Zucker (and Staal for that matter) didn’t go anywhere.
Simply put after Duchene and Stone there wasn’t anyone that Lou loved.
Lamoriello and Barry Trotz made it clear they didn’t want to mess with the this team’s chemistry. The Islanders wanted to complete a trade where they only added to their NHL roster, no subtractions.
How much did this come into play in terms of a deal not happening only Lou and Trotz know for sure. But at the end of the day, the Isles decision-makers wanted to keep this group intact.
No question Islander fans should feel disappointed that Lou couldn’t find a way to improve this team with the right player. But for those kind of deals to work the acquiring piece has to be a fit otherwise it will wind up being a big move an organization regrets.