New York Islanders Are Out of the Matt Duchene Derby
The New York Islanders made big news the other day when they resigned Brock Nelson. The dominos that fell as a result of the Nelson signing are the Isles are now out of the Matt Duchene derby.
The New York Islanders, Lou Lamoriello completed his first step of the Isles off-season by signing Brock Nelson to a new six-year deal.
Many of the blue and orange fan base have been clamoring for the Isles to make a big offer to Matt Duchene come July 1st. That’s by the boards now.
Nelson in – Duchene Out
Lamoriello did not sign Nelson to a six-year deal to have him be the third-line center or to play him on the wing. A huge part of Nelson’s value and hence why he got a really good contract lies in the fact he is a top-two center on a contending team.
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Nelson showed this past season that he is a two-way pivot (25 Goals, 53 Points, +20) for a team that has high aspirations. Let’s not also lose sight of the fact that Nelson fit really well in Barry Trotz’s system. Trotz was probably the right coach to get the most out of Nelson, who in years past was maddingly inconsistent.
It’s already a given that Mathew Barzal will be the Isles top center for years to come. Keep in mind his entry-level contract ends after next season. Expect Barzal to be signed to a lucrative long-term deal at that point.
When you add all of this up and the fact that Duchene will get a monster contract this summer the net result is he doesn’t fit the Islanders.
Isles Need Goal Scorers on the Wing
The Isles are pretty much set at center with Barzal, Nelson, Casey Cizikas, and either resigning Valtteri Filppula or signing someone like Brian Boyle. Youngster Otto Koivula needs a little more seasoning in Bridgeport before he makes a jump to the NHL.
The Isles need wingers who can put the puck in the net. Finding a goal scorer who can skate with Barzal is critical.
As terrific as Duchene is he doesn’t make sense for the Islanders. However, Artemi Panarin, Jeff Skinner, or Mike Hoffman fit for what the Islanders need.
The Isles will be adding a couple of big players this off-season on top of resigning their own critical guys. Duchene will not be one of those new additions.