Coming off their second appearance in the semi-final in as many years, the New York Islanders are looking to keep the core together and make another deep playoff run. This year, they have three RFA’s who are important to get signed and not a ton of cap space to do it.
Anthony Beauvillier, Ilya Sorokin, and Adam Pelech are all RFA’s and due new deals and the Isles have just $5.8 million in cap space (before moving Johnny Boychuk’s contract over to LTIR).
Clearly, the Isles are going to have to do some things to make their cap work but one of those things we can be sure won’t be trading Adam Pelech. Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic wrote why an Adam Pelech trade would address a huge need for the Bruins.
Fluto Shinzawa, who has covered the Bruins since 2006, is correct that Adam Pelech would be great for the Bruins. The only issue is that there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that Lou Lamoriello is trading him.
Shinzawa cites the Isles cap issue and the Devon Toews trade last year as a reason that Pelech could be moved. Unfortunately, what we’re forgetting is context here.
Devon Toews, while a good player, was nowhere near as important to the Islanders. Toews was a puck mover for this team who at times was a liability defensively. In a defensive first system, that’s not exactly what you want.
That’s not to say Toews is bad, he’s not, he just is better suited in a system like Colorado’s vs the Islanders and Lou Lamoriello realized that and moved him for cap reasons. Pelech is an elite-level shut down d-man.
On the regular season, Pelech had a HDCF% of 63.5 and an xG% of 58.3 according to Natural Stat Trick. Essentially, he doesn’t give up very many scoring chances to opponents (which is exactly what Barry Trotz’s system thrives on).
This team went to Game 7 of the semi-final, why would they move a top-pair d-man especially to a team that they would likely have to get through in order to go to a Stanley Cup? It genuinely makes no sense.
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Sure, almost every single team in the league would want Pelech on their roster, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be made available by a team still in the midst of their Stanley Cup window. I really don’t get this one at all.