After much talk the only move the Islanders made at the deadline was to get Josh Ho-Sang a plane ticket to Dallas. The Islanders did not make a single trade in the weeks leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline, and that’s ok. The Isles are stuck between out of contention and selling off assets, and being a true Cup contender. There was not a player that was traded that would have changed the Islander season. Yes, they could have added a forward to give them a better chance at a playoff spot but there was not a player to help them move beyond that level. Making the playoffs is no longer good enough so selling assets to get to that level is wasteful.
It was an interesting deadline for rental players, some prices were very high, and conditions were the key. Looking at the forward market Brian Boyle went to Toronto for a second-round pick, Thomas Vanek went to Florida for an NHL defenseman (McIlrath) and a third-round pick. Many of the so-called impact players were traded for expensive prices or conditions which would make the prices expensive. I find it difficult to believe that any player traded would be enough of a difference to either guarantee the Islanders make the playoffs or give them a better chance at advancing. The idea that they should have given up a first or a second-round pick in order to get one of these players to lose in the first round of the playoffs is extremely short sighted.
Yes, there were some bargains to be had, Dwight King was traded for a fourth rounder, and Drew Stafford was traded for a sixth. These trades would have been trades for the sake of trades. These players in the bargain bin have zero impact on the destiny of this team and therefore not worth getting upset over.
The biggest issue of the deadline was around Matt Duchene. There were many rumors of what the cost for Duchene would be. Some of those reports make you wonder why he is not an Islander, while others made you wonder what Colorado was thinking. Since Duchene was not traded it is really tough to judge Snow. By all accounts Colorado did not want to give in to move him at the deadline. Snow’s record deserves critique but it is very difficult to hold this one against him for now. At the end of the day Duchene would have helped the Islanders make the playoffs but he would not be enough to help them advance. Duchene will be available again during the summer along with other players to help this team for next season. Caving in to Colorado’s demands could have been foolish.
Playoff appearances are no longer considered good enough, so making a move to only make the playoffs would have been short sighted. The most talented addition to this team may end up being Josh Ho-Sang who will make his NHL debut tonight, and with all the forwards traded he may be the best of the bunch. This was a quiet deadline for the entire NHL, outside of Bishop and Shattenkirk (neither of which was anywhere close to the Islander radar) no impact players ended up being moved. The best of the market ended up going for more than could have been expected. No matter how this season ends whether its playoffs or not, there is plenty to do over the summer. The Islanders did nothing at the deadline and that’s ok.