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Islanders Lou Lamoriello has to be aggressive at trade deadline

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 17: General manager Lou Lamoriello watches the game between the New York Islanders and the Nashville Predators as he reaches the 2,500-game milestone as GM. Only two general managers in NHL history has served as many regular-season contests, including Lamoriello’s counterpart (2,816 GP) David Poile of Nashville and Glen Sather (2,700 GP).at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on December 17, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 17: General manager Lou Lamoriello watches the game between the New York Islanders and the Nashville Predators as he reaches the 2,500-game milestone as GM. Only two general managers in NHL history has served as many regular-season contests, including Lamoriello’s counterpart (2,816 GP) David Poile of Nashville and Glen Sather (2,700 GP).at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on December 17, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The New York Islanders have had a very successful season so far. They have proven last year was no fluke. But to be a true contender they need to be aggressive at the trade deadline.

Clearly, the New York Islanders can play with anyone. But to make a playoff run this Spring, Lou Lamoriello has to add a significant piece.

The Islanders are in a position where they are “go for launch” to get a significant trade done. They have all of their draft picks and they have a good prospect pool to draw from.

If Lamoriello wants the Isles to have a realistic chance of going on a lengthy playoff run he has to add another high quality forward to the lineup. Clearly, there is a need at center, as well as another offensive forward.

The Isles have been playing this season one center short due to the off-season loss of

Valtteri Filppula

and

Derick Brassard

really should be playing the wing.

The Isles have seen a slight increase in the offense this season (2.86 goals per game vs 2.72 last season). The power play has improved as well (19.5% this season vs 14.5% last year), although the Isles haven’t drawn enough penalties; that’s an article in of itself.

The Isles still need to find the back of the net more. Currently constituted it’s hard to see the Isles beating Washington, Boston, or Tampa in a seven-game series with the current state of their offense.

If Lou walks away from the trade deadline empty-handed like last year, it’s very unlikely the Isles will do any better than last year’s result which of course was losing in the second round of the playoffs.

Targets & Cost

There are two targets for Lou to focus on and they are J.G. Pageau of Ottawa and Kyle Palmieri from the Devils.

Pageau would fit like a glove on the Isles third line and give them that missing center they have been seeking all season. Pageau will contribute secondary offense, play Barry Trotz’s two-way game to perfection and give the Isles another strong penalty killer. Pageau is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end so he’s a rental.

Palmieri is an offensive winger that can help the Isles in terms of their offensive production. Palmieri is a strong contributor to the power play and that is an area the Isles need to improve in as well. Putting Palmieri on a line with Mathew Barzal sounds enticing.

Palmieri is signed through next season with a very reasonable cap number of $4.65 million. So Palmieri could help the Isles this season and next year as well.

Outside of the Isles top prospects of Oliver Wahlstrom, Ilya Sorokin, Bode Wilde, and Simon Holmstrom no one down below should be considered untouchable. If the cost of doing business for the Isles is their 2020 first-round pick then so be it. Lou has to push some chips to the middle of the table to get a meaningful deal done.

Barzal Talks 3rd Period Benching. Next

The time is now for Lou to strike. The Isles need to get better at the forward position for them to have a realistic chance at having a big playoff run this Spring.

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