The more time I spend on Islanders twitter the more brain cells I feel like I lose. I get it, everyone is frustrated, myself included with this team. The aspirations were for a Stanley Cup and instead they are an underwhelming and mediocre team.
Naturally, after every loss, the armchair GM's come out and scream for a sale from the rooftops. Heck there are even calls for Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello as ridiculous as that is. Sure, they were mostly irrelevant for the 25 years in between legit leadership but after one (1) bad year you might as well just start it over right? Blow it up!
My question is who do you really think is getting sold off?
TrAdE jOsH BaiLeY!
I hear you, Josh Bailey hasn't been very good this year, but he has two years remaining after this at a $5 million cap hit. Who is trading anything for that? For better or for worse, you have to hope that the Josh Bailey's or Kyle Palmieri's figure it out and don't play to career outlier numbers next year and beyond. Demote them to smaller roles. There's no reason your third line in 2022 can't be Bailey - Pageau - Palmieri.
Your only real sale options at this deadline are guys on expiring contracts. Andy Greene, Zdeno Chara, Zach Parise, Cal Clutterbuck guys like that. The return on any of those guys won't be very high but at least you could get something in return. The frustrating part is Parise has been probably their most consistent forward on the season. I don't want to see Parise go but if this is the direction this season is going then you have to do it.
In the offseason you could explore trading Scott Mayfield and/or Semyon Varlamov. The future is not hopeless. They need to tweak their roster, not blow this thing sky high after three straight deep playoff runs because of a bump in the road.
The takes are just a bit much for me. Like I said at the top, everyone is frustrated but the thought that it's a complete teardown and rebuild is so misguided it's not even funny. The Islanders are expected to have $13.8 million in cap space this offseason. Add another $5 million on top of that if you move Varlamov.
Sign Johnny Gaudreau, Filip Forsberg, or Tomas Hertl find a lefty defenseman who can skate a little bit and you're more than fine. Move Josh Bailey to the third line, promote Oliver Wahlstrom to the top-six and run it back. They need more talent (in the offseason) that's it. I doesn't have to be made any more complicated than that.