There’s an unwritten rule that the New York Islanders and New York Rangers can’t trade. That rule should be broken if it helps the Islanders improve.
Every year it seems like I find myself writing this same article when the New York Islanders are looking to improve and the New York Rangers have pieces they’re trying to sell that would help the Islanders.
Three years ago, it was the addition of Mats Zuccarello that would’ve helped and two years ago it was trading for Ryan McDonagh that could’ve saved the Isles derailed 2017-2018 season. Each time I wrote about the potential of an Islanders and Rangers trade I received the same response.
“ThE IsLaNDeRs CaN’T TrADe WiTh THe RanGeRs!”
There’s no real answer to the rebuttal of simply asking why. Essentially, the only reason people regurgitate back to me is that they don’t want to deal with the Rangers simply because it’s the other New York team.
If the Rangers and Devils could trade, see the Michael Grabner trade, then why can’t the Isles and Rangers make mutually beneficial swaps?
The Rangers currently find themselves roughly $4.2 million over the cap after giving RFA’s Jacob Trouba and Pavel Buchnevish contracts. They still need to sign Brendan Lemieux and Anthony Deangelo too, so they need to create space somehow.
Yes, the Rangers can use LTIR to help free up some room but it’s becoming glaringly obvious that they’re going to have to trade as well.
Chris Kreider, who has one more year at $4.625 million before coming a UFA, seems like the most likely candidate to get dealt.
That’s where the Islanders come in. They desperately need another winger in the top-six after missing out on Artemi Panarin and others in free agency. At the moment, Anthony Beauvillier is likely the second-line left wing which is a gigantic risk.
Adding Chris Kreider to the mix would instantly deepen this team’s top-six, as he’s an exceptional second-line winger option.
Kreider is coming off a 52 point season, which is just one point behind is career-high of 53 points which came in 2016-2017. While Kreider has been a great Ranger and a fan favorite, the probability of them reaching a long-term deal with him seems unlikely due to their cap situation.
In 2020, the Rangers might be without their second-round pick if Adam Fox plays more than 30 games at the NHL level. With the way their current roster is constructed that seems like a high probability so the Rangers wisely add a second-round pick back.
The blue shirts also add Sebastian Aho, who could honestly probably slot right in on the Rangers third pair. Aho, who has 22 NHL games under his belt and is coming off a solid year in the AHL (38 points in 53 games) is a much better choice than their current option of Libor Hajek.
And the Islanders get themselves a top-six forward on a cheap cap hit for one-year. Honestly, a stop-gap is probably perfect for the Islanders at this point. It helps them this year, while also leaving a slot for Oliver Wahlstrom or Kieffer Bellows next year.
The last thing you want to do is add someone long-term blocking Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows essentially permanently.
This kind of deal helps both sides. Yes, it’s unlikely that the Rangers and Islanders trade but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t happen.