New York Islanders: The Case For Signing Ryan Dzingel
By Matt O'Leary
The New York Islanders still have a hole on the wing in the top-six. With the trade market rather quiet, maybe signing Ryan Dzingel is the best route.
As currently constructed, the New York Islanders are missing some pop in the top-six. Anders Lee, Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey, and Jordan Eberle are all locks for the top-two lines but there’s one more open slot.
The Islanders tried to get Artemi Panarin for that other slot but were unable to convince Panarin to come to Long Island. While many have pointed to a trade as an option to improve the top-six, it seems like the trade market has gone cold.
There hasn’t been a trade in a week and there have been no rumblings of someone becoming available. Most of the free agents have been scooped up already, but there’s one name that sticks out, Ryan Dzingel.
Dzingel is coming off a 56 point season (26 goals, 30 assists) with the Senators and the Blue Jackets. At 27-years old it’s a bit of a mystery as to why he’s still on the market a week after the free agency period began.
Some point to his poor playoff performance, just one goal in nine games, as the reason why he’s still available. While it may seem that NHL GM’s have short-term memory with Dzingel, over the last two years he has 97 points and back to back 20 goal seasons.
I don’t know about you but that seems more than capable for second-line duties. With the overall lack of noise on Dzingel, you can likely get him on a shorter-term deal, similar to what the Sabres were able to do for Marcus Johansson.
At a $4-$4.5 million AAV on a two-year deal, that is absolutely worth any “risk” that might be involved with signing Dzingel. A short-term deal actually makes a lot of sense for the Islanders.
It allows for guys like Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows to get seasoned in the AHL for another year or so, while the Islanders also get top-six production in the now while they wait. Adding Dzingel to the mix solidifies the lines in 2019-2020 also:
Lee – Barzal – Eberle
Dzingel – Nelson – Bailey
Beauvillier – Cizikas – Dal Colle
Martin – Komarov – Clutterbuck
By the time the Dzingel contract is up, the Islanders will be looking to integrate Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows into the mix anyway, both guys have top-six upside as well.
Instead of trading assets away, why not take a flier on someone who has provided solid production over the last two years and won’t cost you all that much. It’s a win-win for Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders.