New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow has an offseason plan that shouldn’t be overlooked.How many Stanley Cup’s did Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo and Matt Martin win with the New York Islanders?
A combined zero.
Sure, the trio is comprised of three immensely valuable players. However, people have to realize that this is a business. There’s a cap limit.
Okposo was a great scorer, sure, but they’ve played well without him. He’s injury-prone and weak in the defensive zone. Nielsen was a phenomenal two-way forward, but he received a fair offer, and made the decision to bolt. Martin was a key component of the squad’s sacred fourth line, but he’s replaceable — and was asking for too much dough.
It’s not like the Isles were hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup with these three players, anyways. Sometimes a change in scenery is a positive for both the team and the players.
Ladd, 30, has good size and scoring ability. Although a little bit older than Okposo, it’s been noted that he’s a guy that could age well. He dishes out hits, is a great team player, and plays adequately with highly-skilled linemates (ahem, John Tavares).
In addition, Ladd has hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup, and is far better in the defensive zone than Okie.
Chimera, 37, is a good combination of size and speed. He tallied forty points with Washington last season, much more than Martin has ever posted. Similarly to Martin, he’s a good forechecker with laudable versatility. Unlike Martin, however, he’s been utilized on both special teams.
As an additional point: as Jeff Capellini tweeted, the Isles will now have Ladd, Chimera, Tavares, Johnny Boychuk and Travis Hamonic to lead the team. That’s a lot of weight taken off of the captain’s shoulders.
It’s highly doubtful that the Isles will stop there. The team will have roughly $6.67 million remaining in cap space, and that’s before any potential buyouts or trades.
On the latter note, there have been a plethora of rumors surrounding a potential trade. There are surely many two-way forwards on the trade block.
The Isles also have depth in their favor. They will have Mathew Barzal, Michael Dal Colle, Anthony Beauvillier and Joshua Ho-Sang all fighting for a roster spot. Oh, and that’s before acknowledging that Mikhail Grabovski, Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech will be returning from injuries.
Let the chips fall and see what happens in October.