The New York Islanders are currently in a playoff spot. Who could have predicted that? Unless the Isles bottom out they cannot be sellers at the NHL Trade Deadline.
After last night’s dominant win over the Lightning, the New York Islanders occupy the first wild-card spot in the East. They are currently one point ahead of the Canadiens in the Wild Card race and the Isles are right behind Columbus and Pittsburgh for two of the top three spots in the Metro.
But the Blue and Orange do have a few pending unrestricted free agents come July 1, which begs the question how do the Isles handle the here and now versus the future? Unless the Isles fall apart over the next month they can’t be sellers.
Trading away some players who may not be here next season for draft picks and or prospects is not the message Lou and Trotz want to send to their players, as well as the fanbase.
As long as the Isles are in the playoff race they cannot be sellers. It appears the Isles will battle Montreal, Buffalo, and Carolina for the two wild-card spots in the East.
Talking Picks & Prospects Anyway
Any deadline deal involving these players would garner a rental market return. Lee is likely the only one where the Isles could receive a first rounder in return. The other players we are talking about picks between the second and fourth rounds and prospects that are not blue chippers.
Let’s be clear about one thing and that is the Isles have to re-sign Lee. While Anders is not in the same breath as John Tavares, the Isles can’t lose a significant player in their prime two years in a row, their current captain, no less.
The numbers to keep in mind with Lee is six and seven. An extension for Anders is going to fall between six to seven years with an annual value between six to seven million.
Yes, the Isles could be missing out on a couple of draft picks by not trading a player or two who won’t be here next season. Keep in mind the organization has depth in terms of talented young players on the roster now, in Bridgeport, and in the prospect pipeline.
The Isles need to keep building the foundation they have started. Doing a sell-off so they can land a couple of extra picks between rounds two and four is not a road the Isles should be considering.