Editorials

Islanders: Every December Trade In Team History

By Matt O'Leary
27 Sep 1999: Goalie Felix Potvin #28 of the New York Islanders is ready for the puck during the game against the New Jersey Devils at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Islanders 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello /Allsport
27 Sep 1999: Goalie Felix Potvin #28 of the New York Islanders is ready for the puck during the game against the New Jersey Devils at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Islanders 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello /Allsport /
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December is usually a quiet month for trades. Today, we’ll look at every Islanders December trade in team history.

When looking at in-season trades, usually December is a very quiet month for trades for the Islanders. At that point, it’s still too early in the season, and it’s rare to see a team decide to move on from a player or buy to “go for it”.

With this unique offseason, right now a trade should be more likely to happen with an anticipated start in January or February. What I wanted to do was go back and look at every trade in December in team history.

We’ll start from the beginning and work our way to the most recent. Our first one comes, in December of 1972:

1 Murray Anderson and Tony Featherstone

Murray Anderson never played for the Isles or Canadiens in fact. He played in just 40 career games all coming in 1974-1975 with the Capitals. Featherstone also never played for Montreal although he did have a monster season in Toronto with the Toros in the WHA.

2 Mike Kaszycki for Gord Lane

Kaszycki was a second-round pick by New York in 1976. He started off pretty solid with the Islanders putting up 81 points in 145 games. After getting traded to Washington, his career fizzled quickly. As for Lane, he went on to win four Stanley Cups with the Islanders.

3 Dwayne Lowdermilk for Futures

The day after Christmas, Lowdermilk was traded to Washington. He was a third-round pick in 1978 who played just two career games in the NHL with Washington after getting moved.

4 Islanders acquire Jack Capuano

Yes, the Isles at one point traded for that Jack Capuano. Gagne played just nine games with New York as Ladex, like Capuano, never laced them up for the Islanders. Neither Stevens nor Thibaudeau ever did much for the Leafs.

5 Islanders acquire Marc Laforge

Grieve played just three games on the Island before getting moved. Unfortunately, Laforge never played for the Islanders and had just 14 games under his belt in his NHL career which ended in the 1994 season.

6 Islanders trade Dean Chynoweth

Chynoweth was a first-rounder from 1987 that just never panned out for the Islanders. He put up just 12 points in 147 games over seven years with the Isles before they moved him for a fifth-rounder.

7 Islanders trade Craig Fisher for cash

Fisher never played a regular-season game for the Isles. In the mid-90s the Isles were strapped for cash and Mike Milbury flipped him to Florida for some extra cash. He played just four games for them in 1996-1997.

8 Gaul for Crowley

Gaul never played a regular-season game for New York and played just one game for Colorado. In six games with the Islanders, Crowley put up 2 points. This one is clearly a wash.

9 Islanders trade Felix Potvin

Mike Milbury ditched Felix Potvin, who was brutal in net for them, and a couple of picks for a haul of players. Muckalt played 72 games for the Islanders with 15 goals, Scatchard had 168 points over five years with the team, and Weekes played in 36 games for the Isles with a .902 save percentage. All things considered, one of the better Milbury trades.

10 Islanders acquire Sean Pronger

Yes, Sean is the brother of Chris Pronger. No, he never played a game for the Islanders. Pronger would then go on to finish his career with Columbus and Vancouver after his cup of coffee on Long Island.

11 Islanders trade Mike Stapleton

Is it just me or does it seem like Milbury liked working with Vancouver on trades? Stapleton was washed when the Isles had him in 2001, they flipped him for a ninth rounder and he played his final 18 career games in Vancouver.

12 Zhitnik for Meyer and a 3rd

Zhitnik spent just 89 games on Long Island but he was fairly solid on the blue line for the Isles in the mid-2000s. Meyer played 178 games with the Islanders over four years and had 39 points. He averaged 21 minutes of ice time for the 2008-2009 team.

13 York for Robitaille and a 5th

Mike York was fantastic for the Isles in 2005-2006, putting up 52 points. The following year he started slow and the Isles flipped him to Philly for Robitaille and a fifth. Robitaille put up 23 points in 50 games for the Islanders but that fifth turned into Matt Martin.

14 Wisniewski to Montreal

Wisniewski played just 32 games for New York but he was fantastic in those games averaging over 23 minutes a night and he had 21 points to his name. He would go on to put up 30 points with Montreal before Columbus gave him the bag in the offseason.

There haven’t been too many trades of significance for the Islanders in December. With this year being an offseason month technically, I’d argue that there’s a better chance of a trade this December than a regular in-season December.

*All trade info courtesy of NHL Trade Tracker*

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