The New York Islanders didn't make a trade at the deadline. Take that as you will. But the clear aim now for Lou Lamoriello is to look at the offseason for the retool.
Lou said as much in the post-trade deadline presser. How he plans on achieving that retool is through "hockey trades".
So what does "hockey trade" mean exactly, and what does that mean for the Islanders?
New York Islanders: What is a hockey trade?
A hockey trade is where both teams give up something they have in excess for something they don't have. One of my favorite examples of such a deal is the trade between Columbus and Nashville when Ryan Johansen was traded for Seth Jones.
Center depth in Columbus was traded for defensive depth in Nashville. That's essentially what the Islanders GM is talking about.
So where do the Islanders have extra assets?
Well, they have two starters. Semyon Varlamov wasn't moved at the trade deadline but the market was expectedly small for him. Maybe three teams were looking to bring him in a goalie of his caliber (Edmonton, Toronto, Minnesota)? That likely changes, in a positive way, for the Islanders in the offseason. The market for Varly should grow.
And one of those destinations might have what the Islanders need. A top-four D or a top-line winger. Varly alone might not be enough to make a deal go through, but the idea isn't to find a 1:1 trade out there but to find a team that needs Varlamov and has what the Isles want.
The Isles also have a number of middle-six wingers they could send somewhere. Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Bailey come to mind simply because they have no trade protection to speak of. Kyle Palmieri has a full no-trade clause next year.
Beau can bring more value than Bailey with Beau being eight years younger than Bailey and having a deal that's $850,000 cheaper, not to mention the potential that Beau can still be a 50-60 point player in the league for a few years still. Those days are likely behind Bailey now.
If the Islanders are going to make a "hockey trade" those are the two options that come to mind for me.