Islanders to go into full sell mode
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.