Author Archives: Trade Man
The impact on the Islanders is immediate. Any hopes of clawing back into the playoff race are shot. The Islanders entered the Olympic break 3-6-1 in their past 10 games, 12 points behind Detroit — a team that has played two fewer games — for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The playoff hopes were probably toast regardless, but the Islanders started 2014 with eight wins in their first 10 games. They will also come out of the break with games against Toronto, New Jersey, Florida, Winnipeg and Edmonton, not exactly a murderer’s row. The trio of Thomas Vanek, Tavares and Kyle Okposo is as lethal a line as there is in the NHL. Only two other lines (the David Krejci and Jonathan Toews lines) have produced more than their 33 goals this season.
Now it’s likely that Okposo will be the only one of those three on the ice for the Islanders when New York plays the Oilers after the trade deadline on March 5.
If he wasn’t already, GM Garth Snow has to go into complete sell mode.
If the Devils are to avoid missing the playoffs for a second straight season, they will have to find a way to score more goals. That much is certain.
What is not so clear is where they’ll get those goals. The NHL trade deadline is March 5, if general manager Lou Lamoriello can swing a deal for a goal-scorer.
As improbable as it sounds, Martin Brodeur could be entering the final two weeks of his Devils career.
Gagner is a very good player who still has some unexplored upside, but he simply isn’t the right fit for Edmonton, and vice versa. No team this small up the middle on the top two lines is going to succeed in the Pacific Division. MacT needs to take him aside and say “it’s not you, it’s us,” and give Gagner a chance to succeed in a more conducive environment.
According to Edmonton radio host and Oilers analyst Bob Stauffer, the Montreal Canadiens or Pittsburgh Penguins — two Eastern Conference clubs known to be looking for help up front — might be interested in Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky. The veteran winger has a chance to showcase his skills in Sochi, but only registered a single assist in 30 minutes of ice time through the Czech Republic’s first three games.