A proposed trade between the New York Islanders and the Minnesota Wild was nixed when Mikko Koivu thankfully didn’t waive his no-trade clause.
The New York Islanders were looking for center depth and scoring depth at the trade deadline. They needed someone to anchor their third line and to add someone for the top-six.
Lou tried to knock two birds with one stone by dealing with the Minnesota Wild. In a single trade, Lou sought to bring in Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu. But with Koivu nixing to move his no-trade, it fell through and Lou brought in Jean-Gabriel Pageau instead.
Thankfully, Koivu decided to stay and saved the Islanders from themselves.
Need for 3C
It seems that in the deal to get Parise, the Islanders were going to give up Andrew Ladd but also send Kieffer Bellows, and according to Michael Russo, the Wild also wanted the Islanders first-round pick in 2020. The one that eventually went to the Ottawa Senators for Pageau.
Ladd, Kieffer Bellows and a first-round pick for Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu sounds like a great deal if it was 2016 when both were 50+ point players. Neither are that player anymore. Both are over 35 years old now, Parise just eclipsed 35 last July. And their better days are behind them.
Bringing in vets is very on brand from Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz. But hitching your playoff wagon to 35 year olds isn’t the most sound decision. Giving up one the Islanders only two NHL-ready prospects (Noah Dobson is the other) and a first is a big pill to swallow to get some scoring depth, move Ladd, and to have Koivu for the remainder season.
I get that Koivu has a 52.4 faceoff win percentage this season and is 54.1 percent efficient on the faceoff over his career. But as soon as the calendar flips to July, the Islanders will be in the same position they are now, looking for a third line center. But if the deal went through they wouldn’t have their first-round pick to try and address that
Jean-Gabriel Pageau is perhaps the best possible addition for the Islanders on the third line. The 27-year-old, who signed a six year deal, will be here for years to come. He holds a 52.2 percent face-off efficiency over his career and is a great two-way player.
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The Islanders were going to have to give up their first-round pick to acquire either Koivu or Pageau, I’m glad they went for Pageau even if means we keep Ladd.