The Islanders were noticeably quiet at the trade deadline this week. The team is far from a playoff spot, with several unrestricted free agents on the roster.
Andy Greene, Zach Parise, Cal Clutterbuck and Zdeno Chara were all on expiring contracts and at the latter end of their respective careers.
Parise and Clutterbuck signed extensions, but Greene and Chara stayed with questions for the future.
Does Chara Retire?
Lou Lamoriello explained that Chara and Greene expressed staying with the club past the deadline. It is easy to see Lamoriello bringing Greene back in some capacity next season.
Being 38 years young, Greene still has a chance to produce at the same level and would like to stay in the area with a familiar organization. More importantly, Greene would come back to a team with a chance at the Stanley Cup.
Chara on the other hand is now 45 years old and does not have much left to prove in hockey. His game has declined over the last few years but has been steady as of late.
Despite the decline in play, Chara was still sought after by contenders at the deadline.
It would be part of a storybook ending for Chara to end his Hall of Fame career with the franchise that gave him his first opportunity.
The competitiveness of Chara tells me he has kept the door open for one more season. Like Greene, that would be contingent on the organization and the chance of winning.
Would the Islanders be interested in another round with Chara? More importantly, do the Islanders have room to have Chara and Greene back next season?
Chara is a positive presence in the locker room and can effectively kill penalties. That would be a welcome addition to any team looking for defensive depth.
I would be fine bringing back Chara as a 7th defenseman. The same can be said for Greene.
If Chara is in the mix next season, does that mean that Lamoriello may have an empty spot in the top six?
To clear space and be creative with “hockey trades”, anything is on the table. This team is built to win now, and the management clearly still believes this group can win.
A lot can happen this off-season, but it may not be goodbye for Chara or Greene at the end of the season.