The New York Islanders and New York Rangers nearly never trade. It’s a silly old tradition that the teams should put to the side this year.
As an NHL GM, your job is to put together the best team possible in order to compete for a championship. It’s a complicated job with a very simple goal, win. While building through the draft is important, it’s also imperative to supplement your team with trades.
Look at a team like the Pittsburgh Penguins, they are in the mix every single year and they almost always improve at the trade deadline. That’s not a coincidence.
With that in mind, imagine closing off interactions with a team based solely on their geographical location. For the Islanders, you can’t trade with the Rangers. The last time these two teams traded was May 25, 2010, when the Islanders sent Jyri Niemi to the Rangers for a 6th round pick.
If Lou Lamoriello can improve his team with someone on the Rangers why not do it? It shouldn’t matter that the team he’s trading with also plays in New York, especially if it’s for a player that can impact this roster right now.
The perfect fit for the Isles, in this case, is Chris Kreider. Kreider, who is on an expiring contract would serve as a top-six rental option for the New York Islanders, something they desperately need.
In 57 games this year, Kreider has 42 points (23 goals, 19 assists) a 60 point pace over a full season. Outside of an injury-shortened 2017-2018 season, Kreider has put up 20 goals or more since 2014-2015.
His career-high in points is 53, which he is on pace to blow out of the water this year.
The Islanders get their guy while giving up their 2020 first-rounder which they hope is in the late 20’s at minimum. Bode Wilde, who somehow fell to the Islanders in the 2018 NHL Draft in the 2nd round, is the number two prospect in the Islanders system according to The Athletic.
The Rangers are in the midst of a rebuild and can use all the draft capital and high-end prospects they can get while the Islanders, rightfully so, are in win-now mode. It’s a win-win for both sides.
Kreider – Barzal – Eberle
Lee – Nelson – Bailey
Beauvillier – Brassard – Bellows
Martin – Komarov – Dal Colle
When Cizikas comes back obviously he slots back into his spot on the fourth line and Leo Komarov can move over to the wing. The top-six is a much deeper unit with Kreider to the mix and the reunion of Lee and Bailey who have played well together since 2017.
The 3B’s third line is an intriguing line. That goes from a black hole to a line that becomes a very nice depth scoring line.
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Yes, a trade between the Rangers and the Islanders is unlikely but it shouldn’t be. Never limit yourself as a GM, even if it means trading with the team that also calls New York home.