It’s a rumor, but it’s a good one. New York Islanders trade target Patrick Laine could be on that trade block.
It’s September now and all of the big restricted free agents are still without a contract. Including Winnipeg Jets sniper Patrik Laine. At some point, something has to give. According to a recent rumor, Patrik Laine could be on the trade block. A very enticing possibility for the New York Islanders.
The Islanders need to find goals. They finished 22nd in goals for last season with 223. They need help on the right-wing. And they need more youth. Patrik Laine represents all of those things.
If he’s on the trade block, the Islanders need to make a move for the talented winger.
It might have been a down year for Patrik Laine, but he still managed to score 30 goals. Since joining the NHL three years ago he’s managed to score 110 goals. Only five players have more goals than he did over that span.
Having him on the Islanders roster would significantly improve an area they desperately need help in.
But what about his defense?
Barry Trotz’s system relies heavily on team defense. It relies on every player being committed to playing with and without the puck. Patrik Laine has received his fair share of critique for his defensive play. His -24 plus-minus is routinely used to show his defensive liability.
But who better than Barry Trotz to teach him defense? In 2013-14 Washington Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin finished the year with 51 goals and a -35 plus-minus rating. The very next year, with Barry Trotz at the helm Ovie scored 53 goals and held a plus-minus of +10.
Barry Trotz can get players who aren’t particularly strong defensively to play defense and still contribute offensively.
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Look, this is just a rumor. And with rumors we never know if they’ll come true. But if Patrik Laine is on the trade block, Lou Lamoriello should be making a call as soon as possible to fellow GM and former New York Islanders draftee in 1988 Kevin Cheveldayoff.