The New York Islanders have dropped a September surprise. The blue and orange have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with veteran blueliner Zdeno Chara. It’s a good short-term move for the Islanders.
The New York Islanders had an opening on left defense when they traded Nick Leddy early in the off-season. They finally found Leddy’s replacement in Chara. Well, they found Leddy’s replacement for now at least, and maybe beyond.
Chara Fits For Now for New York Islanders
Lou Lamoriello has reportedly been working the phones all summer trying to find a quality veteran left defenseman. Since Lou was unable to find a deal that made sense he has signed the 44-year old veteran Chara.
Chara is on a one-year deal so it works with the Islanders’ tight cap situation. Chara also brings leadership and intangibles which adds to an Islander’s super strength.
The question will be how many minutes can Chara play on a nightly basis. Can the Big Z give Barry Trotz somewhere between 16 – 18 minutes a night? How well will Chara hold up during the gauntlet of a hockey season (including post-season)?
While these are all valid questions the first key is for Chara to give the Isles quality minutes between the start of the season and the trade deadline. Come the trade deadline Lamoriello will most likely have a number of trade options that are not really available now. If need be Lou can go out and land a veteran defenseman at that time.
Have to think Seattle will trade Mark Giordano come the deadline unless of course, they have an inaugural season like the Vegas Golden Knights did, which is highly unlikely. Surely there will be other options at the trade deadline as well. For instance, the Detroit Red Wings will move Leddy.
Chara’s signing could work out for the first two-thirds of the regular season or be a Home Run and work out for the entire season. It’s hard to argue with this signing of Big Z.
The Chara signing is a win-win for the Islanders on so many levels. The Isles are all in this season on the quest for the Stanley Cup.