The 3 trade deadline strategies for the NY Islanders to consider

Lou Lamoriello left the door open to all possibilities on Thursday.

New York Islanders Training Camp
New York Islanders Training Camp / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The New York Islanders will have decisions to make regarding their roster before the NHL's trade deadline on March 8th. Through 56 games this season, the Islanders are 23-19-14, tied for 4th place in the Metropolitan Division with the Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils.

All three teams are seven points behind the 3rd place Philadelphia Flyers and six points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot. While far from impossible, the odds of the Islanders making the playoffs are becoming less favorable by the day.

When speaking to the press on February 22nd, Lou Lamoriello left many questions to be desired regarding the Islanders' trade deadline strategy. For starters, he did not rule out the possibility of trading the team's 2024 first-round draft pick. "We made some pretty big player trades because you felt you could win. That's when you do it". Lamoriello also left the door open to restocking draft assets for the future: "No such thing as no one will be traded". However, he also pointed to the hiring of Patrick Roy as an example that he still believes this team can make the playoffs. Taking into account Lamoriello's mindset and the reality of where the Islanders currently stand in the playoff picture, what are the reasons to consider each trade deadline strategy?

The reason to buy: A better chance to win in the short term

There are two separate paths to take when buying at the trade deadline. The first of which is acquiring a rental player who will become a free agent in July as an attempt to jolt the team. Similar to a coaching change, Lamoriello would acquire a bottom-six forward to show the players that the front office still believes this team can win as currently constituted. The second path is to acquire a player and sign them to a multi-year contract extension. This was Lamoriello's approach last season and in 2020 with the acquisitions of J.G. Pageau and Bo Horvat.

In the rental player scenario, the Islanders would trade a lesser asset such as a 3rd or 4th-round draft pick, and create more offensive production from the bottom-six positions. In the trade and extend scenario, the team would trade a first and/or multiple second-round picks for a player to build around now and in the future. Suffice it to say, either scenario makes the team better in 2024 and potentially in 2025, depending on which path Lamoriello decides to take.