The New York Islanders have struggled offensively throughout most of the season. The Islanders may look to add some scoring-help at the trade deadline, and that help could come in the form of Predators center Mikael Granlund.
How lackluster has the Islanders‘ offense been this season? Consider that among the eight teams currently sitting in a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Islanders have the least GF. And it isn’t very close.
The Islanders have 81 GF through 28 games. The next closest teams are the Flyers and Sabres, both with 96 GF. Sure these teams have played a couple more games than the Isles, but I have a feeling that the Isles will need more than a couple of games to make up a 15-goal differential.
Over the Islanders’ last eight games, they have mustered just 14 goals, good for 1.75 goals per game. In this stretch, the Isles have gone 3-4-1, a far cry from their 17-game point streak. Sure, the point streak could not last forever, and yes the defense, goalkeeping and coaching has been able to carry the team on most nights, but the offense will likely need to improve for the Isles to be serious contenders.
The problem is that the trade market this year might be rather thin. Usually, pending free agents on non-playoff teams are the players most likely to be traded at the deadline. This year, however, most of the top pending free agents are on potential playoff teams. And it is rare for these teams to sell at the deadline. Just look at what happened with the Blue Jackets and Panarin last season.
That means that guys like Zach Kassian and Mike Hoffman, who might usually be trade targets, will likely be staying put at the deadline this year. And the Islanders shouldn’t count on their cross-town rivals to be willing to trade them Taylor Hall or Chris Kreider. This leaves the Isles with a rather thin trade-target list, that includes names like Tyler Toffoli and Kyle Turris.
Here’s a pending UFA, however, who hasn’t been mentioned much in trade rumors: Predators center Mikael Granlund.