The New York Islanders first line suffered back in March when Anders Lee was placed on long-term injured reserve due to a lower-body injury. The captain was one of the main offensive producers for the team and with the season coming to a close, the Islanders needed backup.
Last week, Islanders President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello completed a trade that most Islanders fans were happy with. New Jersey Devils forwards Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac came to the Island in exchange for A.J. Greer and Mason Jobst, a first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.
The New York Islanders are better off without Hall
In the last couple of weeks, rumors circulated that the Islanders were in the mix for a deal regarding Kyle Palmieri or Taylor Hall. Many fans were interested in acquiring the Buffalo Sabres forward, Taylor Hall, to assist in offensive production.
The Islanders made the correct move and the best trade in the league before the deadline. Kyle Palmieri is a better fit for the Islanders over Taylor Hall. Travis Zajac was a surprise to fans that sweetened the deal and positively impacted the roster.
Taylor Hall would not be a good fit on the Island. With the talent that he has, he was struggling to show any of it in Buffalo. The Sabres are experiencing what seems to be a crash this season which did affect the way Hall played but where was this individual talent?
Jack Eichel is known for his play-making schemes and goal-scoring across the league. Before his injury, Hall was seen playing alongside Eichel. Starting off with Hall next to Eichel seemed like a great idea but at the time of the trade Hall only had two goals.
Taylor Hall had the opportunity to sign with the Colorado Avalanche before the start of the season but chose to go to the Buffalo Sabres. Due to the Avs cap space situation, Hall would have taken a pretty big pay cut to play for a team that is closer to winning the Stanley Cup. Seems like money was outweighing the chance of winning.
As of yesterday, it was released that the Boston Bruins acquired Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar for forward Anders Bjork and a 2021 second-round pick. The Bruins have a crazy amount of offensive talent which can push Hall to perform his best.
Hall is still getting paid and now he is on one of the most feared teams in the league. This is no threat to the Islanders as Kyle Palmieri has shown his dedication to the team within his play.
Palmieri fits best with Islanders
Last game, Kyle Palmieri was seen on a line with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Oliver Wahlstrom. Fans were ecstatic to see this third line released before puck drop. As the Islanders kicked off their matchup against the New York Rangers, Palmieri made it onto the scoresheet for the first time in blue and orange.
As a New Jersey Devil, Palmieri seemed to struggle when it came to providing that offensive push due to the lack of talent around him.
Palmieri currently has a total of 18 points this season and can easily increase that total with the offensive talent the Islanders have. The opportunity that is given will help Palmieri flourish offensively which will lead to the Islanders offense generating more.
His pride and passion for playing on the Island is reflecting in his time on the ice. Someone with this attitude in the locker room alone can cover for missing a staple like Anders Lee.
The Islanders strive to maintain a playoff spot in the most challenging division in the league and acquiring Kyle Palmieri will help secure that spot.