One player the NY Islanders could unexpectedly trade in the 2024 offseason

The NY Islanders still need to improve, and doing so could require them to trade a prominent player to put themselves in the best position to win.
Apr 30, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) celebrates his goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period in game five of the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) celebrates his goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period in game five of the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Islanders could and probably should make a big trade this offseason to land a forward who will help them light up the scoreboard a little (or a lot) more than they did last season. That ironically doesn’t mean they need to trade any defensemen to land such a player, even if that may be the logical way to go on paper. 

One challenge facing the Islanders is the array of modified no-trade and full no-trade clauses currently spread throughout their lineup and at every position. This doesn’t mean general manager Lou Lamoriello can’t trade these players; it’s more of the fact that he would have a much more challenging time moving them. This becomes especially true for such players who are on full no-trade clauses. 

But there is one player, a forward who has been with the Islanders for over a decade, who Lamoriello could insert into an enticing trade package, and that player is Casey Cizikas. It would be a shocker, as Cizikis has been a regular member of the Islanders lineup since he appeared in 45 contests in 2012-13, and he’s always played his role well. 

How would trading Casey Cizikas benefit the NY Islanders?

A shocker for sure, and why would a team be so willing to trade a player who is heading into his age-33 season and offers primarily value as a defensive forward who has averaged 13:24 of ice time throughout his career?

Easy: Some teams need a player like Cizikas, and they may have a high-scoring forward they could trade because they have a few ready to roll in their prospects pool to replace them. Teams like the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings are a couple of good examples, as the former has someone like Jeff Skinner, just to pick a name, who is older but still productive. 

Clearly, in a case like Skinner’s, there would be questions involving the team’s cap situation in a hypothetical trade, but NHL general managers make situations like these work often, and Skinner is just one of a few examples we can use. Overall, Cizikas would have value in helping teams, especially those who want to contend in 2024-25, get more physical, win more faceoffs, and provide better overall play in the defensive zone. 

Sure, it would be a shocker and the end of an era if someone like Cizikas went elsewhere, but there with no clauses potentially limiting his movement and immense value for a team that needs to improve their bottom-six, especially if they’re willing to trade a scorer, moving him would also make sense. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)