Garth Snow has received a lot of criticism over the years, but last night he finally made a move pointing the New York Islanders in the right direction.Since the New York Islanders season came to an end back in April, everyone started to speculate over who would be the team’s causality to the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. Many, like myself, thought it would be defenseman Calvin de Haan or the gritty fourth liner, Casey Cizikas.
After the protected players list came out this past Sunday, rumors started to fly across the Twittersphere regarding who would be taken. Earlier in the week, it was reported by Arthur Staple of Newsday that the Islanders worked out a deal with Las Vegas that the Islanders would send this year’s first round pick along with Mikhail Grabovski to the Golden Knights, with Las Vegas selecting veteran forward Nikolai Kulemin in the draft. This report turned out not to be completely true, with Staple retracting his report that Kulemin would not be the causality of the draft, but the Grabovski and first round pick was true.
Hours before the draft, a tweet from longtime TSN insider Bob Mckenzie reported that the Islanders struck a deal with Las Vegas in which JF Berube would be selected. Yes. Third-string goalie JF Berube.
I'm hearing it's goaltender J-F Berube, as part of the larger deal between NYI and VGK: https://t.co/fVPATCrSiR
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 21, 2017
This was too good to be true. After the way NHL Twitter has been buzzing all week with rumors, who could actually believe this until it was officially announced during the NHL Awards.
The Vegas Golden Knights select goalie JF Berube.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 22, 2017
This report turned out to be true. Well, most of it. Along with the 2017 first-round pick and Grabovski, the Islanders also sent Las Vegas a 2019 second round pick and defenseman Jake Bischoff.
#Isles trade first-round pick in 2017 NHL Draft, second-round pick in 2019 NHL Draft, D Jake Bischoff & F Mikhail Grabovski to VGK.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 22, 2017
Yes, the Islanders did give up a lot to Las Vegas, but they protected a lot of their assets. They didn’t lose any of their young forwards in Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome. They held onto Casey Cizikas, a gritty sparkplug, who’s one of the best penalty killing forwards in the league. Most importantly, they did not lose any defenseman in Thomas Hickey and Calvin de Haan, who’s coming off his best season as a New York Islander. With the trade rumors swirling around Travis Hamonic, it was important that they did not lose any defensemen.
Another key part of this deal is that the Islanders dumped Mikhail Grabovski‘s contract, cutting $5 million off the books, which will allow Snow to upgrade the roster this offseason.
There will be critics out there saying that the Islanders gave up too much to protect their players. But you gotta love the move by Garth Snow here. It shows that he wants to win now. They don’t need the draft picks. This team has been rebuilding for too long now. It’s time to buy into the guys you drafted, add a few pieces, and compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup now.
So what’s the next move for Garth Snow? Now it’s time to go out there and find a weapon for John Tavares. By now, we all know that Tavares is a free agent after next season. One of the goals of this offseason is to get Tavares to sign a long term contract. Some are confident that he will stay in New York and others think he may bolt somewhere else such as his hometown of Toronto.
Snow needs to extend Tavares this summer and by adding an offensive weapon to the lineup for him, it will make his decision to sign here a lot easier. If Snow shows that he is willing to invest in Tavares by getting him some help, then Tavares will be willing to invest in the Islanders and sign a long term deal.
But what offensive weapon can Snow add to the Islanders arsenal? Over the past couple weeks, it has been speculated that the Islanders could go after Edmonton Oilers Jordan Eberle, a 27-year-old winger coming off a 51-point season. This could result in the Islanders sending over the Edmonton area native, Travis Hamonic. The trade makes sense for both teams giving the Islanders an offensive weapon and the Oilers a top-tier defenseman with a team friendly contract.
The other big name that has popped up is forward Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche. This rumor has been going on for months dating back to this past season’s trade deadline. The number one and three overall picks of the 2009 NHL draft linking up together would be pretty epic.
I have criticized Snow a lot these last couple months. But tonight he shut me up. He gave me a wedgie and shoved me into a locker.
As much as the fanbase rips on him, you have to respect some of the moves he has made for this team. Tonight Las Vegas selected former Islander first round pick, Griffin Reinhart. Snow traded the former fourth overall pick for a 16th overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft which turned out to be Matt Barzal, a key piece to the Islanders future. Reinhart played a total of 29 games as an Oiler.
So as much as we love to rip on Snow, let’s give him some credit for some the few good moves he pulled over the years. This feels actually feels weird praising Snow for doing something good.
But it’s not over yet for Snow. He still has a lot of work to do this offseason. This whole trade with Las Vegas won’t mean much if he doesn’t add an offensive weapon. You opened some cap space, you protected your assets to trade with, now go make a move Garth, while you’re on your high horse. Prove all of us Islander fans wrong that were calling for your head in April. The next week leading up to free agency is going to be pretty interesting for Snow and the Islanders.