The perpetual silence in the New York Islanders world only gives more hype to what will be one of the busiest offseasons in the NHL’s history.All is and has been quiet in the world of the Islanders the past month or so.
Outside of new hires for Doug Weight’s coaching staff, there has been little to no significant news.
But, throughout the silence a nervous energy is building in the Islanders fanbase. Weight’s 16-17 Isles were a completely different story than the team prior, and with the second winning-est NHL record since the coaching change was made, the Islanders are already a better team on paper with a rejuvenated staff.
With the Stanley Cup Final half over and with the expansion draft exactly two weeks away, teams are finalizing their protection strategies and preparing for the busiest offseason in NHL history.
Why so certain that this July will be so much fun? Well, take a look at this past year’s trade deadline.
The silence in March was deafening in the NHL, and with Vegas primed to take at least one player from each team most GM’s stood pat at the deadline. The fact that Thomas Vanek getting dealt to the Florida Panthers for a third-round pick was “big news” goes to show how little really happened at the deadline.
The Islanders have been getting interesting buzz regarding trade deals involving Travis Hamonic, supposedly being offered straight up for Jordan Eberle and as part of a package-deal for Matt Duchene.
While Jordan Eberle would be a nice addition to the top-6, fans will be quick to point to the forward’s absence in the 2017 playoffs (2 assists in 13 games). At age 27, Eberle is slowly climbing up in years and resembles a smaller, faster and more nimble Kyle Okposo.
Matt Duchene would definitely be a more enticing grab since the left-handed center is already very familiar with team captain John Tavares, and can play either LW or C when needed. Fortunately for the Islanders as buyers, Duchene’s weak 2016-17 campaign will put his price-tag at an all-time low but with good upside since it’s assumed he will rebound in 17-18.
Once the Isles roster is shaped up after the expansion draft in two weeks, General Manager Garth Snow will have a much better idea of how to tweak his club. And, hopefully, a trade or two will have already taken place to round out a need in the middle six.