Islanders Overpaid for defenseman Andy Greene
By Johnny Berman
In trading for Andy Greene, The New York Islanders added a veteran leader and a strong penalty-killer, but was the price they paid too high?
To acquire Andy Greene, the New York Islanders gave up a 2021 second-round pick and AHL defenseman David Quenneville. I don’t mind Lou throwing in Quenneville because the Isles already have a solid core of young defensemen.
Furthermore, Quenneville has had somewhat of a disappointing offensive season in the minors. In 32 games in the AHL and ECHL this season, Quenneville had recorded eight points and a -12 +/-. Of course, he is only 21 and may very well thrive in the Devils’ system, but even if that happens, I think the Isles will still be content with guys like Ryan Pulock, Devon Toews, and Adam Pelech.
Rather, my problem with the trade is the second-round draft pick. I get that it isn’t until 2021, but a second-round pick is still a second-round pick. And when next season concludes, the Isles will not have the opportunity to add a valuable piece to their future in this round.
Previous Second Rounders
Consider that previous second-round picks by the Islanders were used on players such as Travis Hamonic, Scott Mayfield, and prospect Bode Wilde. Meanwhile, Pelech and Toews were drafted in even later rounds.
Of course, pending UFA Andy Greene will likely not be on the team next season, and as he will be 38, he may not even be in the NHL.
I get that the trade was made with very much of a “win-now” mindset, but the trade doesn’t even address the Islanders’ biggest need, a scorer. The Islanders have scored just one goal in their last three games, and have scored the fifth-least goals this season among Eastern Conference teams. Even non-playoff teams, like the Sabres and Rangers, have scored more goals.
I think that the second-round pick would have been better suited as part of a package to acquire a scorer. As an example, to acquire Tyler Toffoli from the Kings, the Canucks parted with a second-round pick, a fourth-round pick, forward Tim Schaller, and a prospect. With the pick they traded to the Devils, I think the Islanders could have put together a similar package to instead acquire Toffoli, a former 30-goal scorer.
If the Islanders needed to add a defenseman to replace injured Pelech, I think they could have found an alternative to Greene with a lower price tag. For example, the Jets were able to acquire defenseman Dylan DeMelo from the Senators for just a 2020 third-round pick. For a player that puts up similar offensive numbers to Andy Greene, DeMelo might have been a better addition for the Isles.
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The Islanders would only have had to trade a third-round pick as opposed to a second-round pick and Quenneville. Yes, Greene brings leadership and playoff experience and is probably a better defender than DeMelo (especially on the PK), but the Islanders already have leaders with playoff experience and a strong defense and decent PK.
If the Isles are unable to make it to the promised land this season, the Andy Greene trade may very well turn into a trade that Isles fans look at with disgust for years to come.