The NHL trade deadline is fast approaching and the New York Islanders will once again be buyers. With captain Anders Lee out indefinitely, they’ll certainly need a top-six winger to take his place in the lineup.
Outside of that, the Islanders might not be looking for much else. They could still be on the lookout for a depth-defender to add, but they’ll wait on that to see how Thomas Hickey does.
The veteran Isles d-man is just getting back to the ice following a long NHL hiatus but has looked good in his two-game cameo so far. If that keeps up, Lou won’t be on the market for that depth defensive piece anymore.
Here’s a look at who the Islanders are being linked to and if that link makes sense.
New York Islanders trade deadline links evaluated
Dustin Brown | LA Kings
In his 31 Thoughts blog, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman mused at how Dustin Brown could be a target for Lou Lamoriello who’s looking to add goals to the lineup.
Sure, Brown has 14 goals on the season, but the 36-year-old carries a $5.875 million cap hit this year and the next. Brown seems good for at least 20 goals in a full-season, but at his age, I wouldn’t assume he can do it next season. If he was on an expiring deal this trade would fit a heck of a lot more.
Rickard Rakell | Anaheim Ducks
The Fourth Period links the Isles (as well as a few other teams) to the Ducks winger. Rakell is on pace for a solid 52 point year (over 82 games) and was twice a 30 goal scorer. He could very well fill the Anders Lee gap in the lineup. He isn’t a rental, he carries another year on this deal at $3.8 million. But at that price point, keeping him around could be figured out for another year.
Taylor Hall | Buffalo Sabres
The Islanders have been looking to add Taylor Hall for some time now. Could they circle back as things spiral in Buffalo? Certainly, with Anders Lee out for the year, the Islanders are one of the few teams who could fit in Hall’s cap hit under the ceiling. That already makes them a viable destination.
Considering the cost of bringing him in, which could be lower than expected, and that he’s a pure rental, the trade make a ton of sense for the Islanders.
Is he the right fit? He may not be the perfect fit, but he’s easily one of the better players available out there.
Kyle Palmieri | New Jersey Devils
Another pure rental that is linked to the Isles is New Jersey Devils forward Kyle Palmieri. While Lou was still in charge of the DEvils at the time they acquired Palmieri, Lou wasn’t the GM, and he left a few weeks later he was hired by the Leafs. So the link between the two is marginal at best.
Still, Palmieri has been a consistent 25+ goal scored at the NHL since he arrived in New Jersey. He fits exactly what the Isles are looking for: rental, veteran, 20+ goal potential.