Editorials

Islanders Lou Lamoriello has made good on each trade so far

Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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General Manager Lou Lamoriello has so far hit a home run on every trade he’s made since he was hired by the New York Islanders.

NHL general managers don’t always get it right. New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello knows that. Toronto Maple Leafs fans aren’t pleased with some of their former GM’s moves.

The Derick Brassard free agency signing, while low risk, was still a failure by the Islanders GM. But so far in his tenure, Lou Lamoriello has hit it out of the park on each of the three trades* he’s made while at the helm of the Isles.

(Lou has actually made four trades as GM but Matt Lorito for Justin Schmaltz has no impact on the NHL roster so I’m glossing over that one.)

Matt Martin

Two days after losing John Tavares in free agency to the Toronto Maples, Lou traded goalie Eamon McAdams to the Leafs for Matt Martin.

After signing Valtteri Filppula, Tom Kuhnhackl, and Leo Komarov in free agency bringing in yet another bottom-six forward, even one as well-loved as Matt Martin, wasn’t met with a ton of optimism.

Fans were happy to see Matt Martin back wearing the orange and blue he’d worn for seven years before heading north of the border but it was yet another bottom-six player when the Isles needed top-six support.

Two years later, Martin has allowed the Isles fourth line to get back to what it does best in setting the tempo during games. When they aren’t healthy the Islanders are lost.

He’s also transformed himself into a depth scoring option in the playoffs with three goals in the postseason (one less than Tavares). I had to add that last one.

Andy Greene

Islanders fans had to wait 593 days before Lou made another trade. He sent a 2021 second-round pick and defensive prospect David Quenneville to the New Jersey Devils for a player he knew very well in Andy Greene.

The lefty veteran was brought in just ahead of the trade deadline to cover for the injured Adam Pelech.

Greene did a good job covering for Pelech during the regular season. But once Pelech was healthy following the NHL’s long delay to get back on the ice, Greene fell to the seventh spot on the Isles defensive depth chart.

Greene got a second look when he’s stepped up big in the playoffs after Johnny Boychuk went out with an injury against Florida. Greene stepped in to play alongside Nick Leddy on the third pair, and even though Boychuk is healthy Trotz hasn’t subbed him out of the lineup.

Greene might be a lefty playing in a righty’s spot, but his solid no-nonsense play fits in perfectly with what the Islanders are doing. Giving up a second-round pick next year and a prospect that was buried on the depth chart for what is essentially a no.6 defenseman is an easy price to pay.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau

This one is perhaps Lou’s best move yet. As my college Terence Macken wrote earlier today, Pageau has been a trade deadline revelation for the Isles.

The price seemed high for what was a career year from Pageau with the Sens. But the Islanders were getting what is effectively the best third-line center in the game who proved he could easily cover as a top-six center if need be.

And just look at some of the prices for centers in previous seasons.

Martin Hanzal effectively brought back a first and second-round pick for Arizona back in 2017 and Lars Eller returned two second-round picks for Montreal back in 2016.

Like my colleague Terence said:

"Would you trade two second-round picks for Pageau? The only conditions are if he re-signs one of the picks becomes a first and if you win the Stanley Cup an extra third-rounder will be added. I would have jumped at that immediately."

Terence is absolutely right.

Only Bo Horvat and Denis Gurianov have more playoff goals than Pageau’s seven in this postseason. Pageau also leads the league in +/- with a +13 in the playoffs and his 55.6 FOW% ranks 12th for players who’ve taken at least 100 draws, again, in the playoffs.

Pageau is an absolute stud down the middle for the Islanders and worth every pick they have sent to the Ottawa Senators.

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Lou has made three (technically four) trades for the Islanders and all three have been sure-fire home runs.

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