With a cap crunch incoming for the New York Islanders, we’ll evaluate if the Islanders can part ways with Thomas Hickey for anything.
I genuinely feel for Thomas Hickey. He’s had a rough go of it the last couple of years with the New York Islanders due to circumstances out of his control. In 2018, he was re-signed by Lou Lamoriello and proceeded to play the first 32 games for the Islanders.
An injury sidelined him, which led to the Isles calling up Devon Toews. Toews had an excellent start to his career which resulted in Hickey only playing eight more games once he got healthy.
Last year, he didn’t play a single game in the NHL and played just 14 in the AHL. Not only was he hurt again in 2020 but he faced difficulties off the ice as well. He lost his brother, Dan Hickey, at the age of 33 to glioblastoma, a highly aggressive brain cancer.
I can’t even imagine what that’s like for the Thomas and the Hickey family. It’s truly a tragedy that their family had to endure that this year.
With 40 games in the NHL over the past two years, the likelihood of Hickey being a keeper for the Islanders roster seems like a stretch. They could bury him in Bridgeport again, and save a little bit of cash, but I wanted to explore if Hickey could yield anything in a trade.
Hickey has a $1.25 signing bonus due to him this year. Once the Isles pay that, he’s only owed $1.25 million for the remainder of the year and just $2.5 million for next year.
At age 31, Hickey when healthy is a capable third pairing guy. I still think in 2020 he can be playing in the NHL, I just don’t think he’s better than anyone the Islanders can put out there on the third pair.
Here’s where a team like Ottawa can come into play. They need to make the cap floor, which they are nearly $22 million away from right now.
Here, the Senators take on Hickey’s contract and move up from the sixth to the fifth round as the Islanders slide their pick back. It’s only a six pick slide for the Islanders, who I think would be willing to take that if it frees up $2.5 million in cap space.
In Hickey’s last full year in the NHL, in 2017-2018, he finished with 25 points (5 goals, 20 assists) in 69 games and was a plus 20 on the worst defensive team in the league. That’s worth the “risk” for the Sens who desperately need to fill out their roster.
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In 449 career games with the Islanders, Hickey has 115 points and a playoff overtime goal to his name. Unfortunately, he likely won’t be the only familiar face heading out this year.