With Matt Duchene now gone, Garth Snow‘s New York Islanders could look to a depleted trade block to add another forward.
On Thursday, Arthur Staple of Newsday tweeted that Joe Sakic’s Avalanche and Garth Snow’s Islanders haven’t “been close on a [Matt] Duchene deal,” because if they were, it “would’ve gotten done a long time ago.”
The chances of the Isles landing Duchene were slim to begin with, as Sakic has been incredibly cautious in dealing his top scorer. But if there was any hope that it would happen, there’s very little now: Staple reports that the Avs have been targeting Travis Hamonic, who was recently traded to the Flames.
Without Hamonic, who appeared in “every” ask Colorado made to the Isles, it’s very unlikely that Snow will be able to appease Sakic enough to cajole him into trading Duchene. Which means that it’s onto Plan B…
What exactly is Plan B? Well, it’s probably not free agency. Staple reported Thursday that the Isles have no plans to host any free agents this week, and have reached out only to Justin Williams, who has a long list of suitors and not much reason to come to Brooklyn (the other feasible move would be to target Nick Bonino).
So if Snow seeks to add another top-6 forward, or another top-4 d-man, he will probably do so via a trade. In order to get, one must give. While it’s just speculation, writers have been throwing out names like Michael Dal Colle, Calvin de Haan, Brock Nelson and Joshua Ho-Sang as possible trade pieces.
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Here’s who they might fetch:
In the realm of possibility…
Alex Galchenyuk, LW, Montreal Canadiens
The Habs acquired Jonathan Drouin from the Tampa Bay Lightning, so it’s unsurprising that they’re reportedly looking to trade Galchenyuk. The Isles can’t offer much by way of a top-4 defenseman, but they could package de Haan as part of a larger deal.
Galchenyuk, 23, notched 17 goals and 27 assists (44 points) for Montreal last season. With good size (6’1”, 210 pounds) and outstanding creativity, he’s one of the biggest offensive threats in the league. Per Newsday’s Staple, the Isles have been linked to him in the past.
Evander Kane, LW, Buffalo Sabres
Entering the final year of his contract, there isn’t a strong market for Kane, leading many to believe that the Sabres would be best off retaining him for the 2017-18 season. That said, if the Isles make a legitimate push, there’s a chance he could come downstate for an even return.
Kane, 25, notched 28 goals and 15 assists (43 points) for Buffalo last season. He has goal-scoring instincts, and is an impressive skater. Never backing away from a confrontation, he’s used his feistiness for both good and bad. He would need to convince Snow that the bad won’t overshadow the good.
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Not a chance…
Marcus Krüger, C, Chicago Blackhawks
The Hawks had a deal in place at the expansion draft to trade Krüger and Trevor Van Riemsdyk to Las Vegas. It didn’t work out. That said, Krüger is still “likely” to be traded, sources tell The Athletic. While the Isles haven’t previously been linked to him, there’s always a chance that Snow will throw a curveball.
Krüger, 27, notched 5 goals and 12 assists (17 points) for Chicago last season. He has solid instincts and good checking ability, which makes up for a lack of size and strength (6’0”, 186 pounds). Unless Snow moves Casey Cizikas, Krüger isn’t coming to New York.
Jimmy Hayes, RW, Boston Bruins
Listed on TSN’s Trade Bait List, Hayes has one year left on his contract. The Bruins won’t actively shop him, so other teams would have to inquire about his status. It wouldn’t make much sense for the Isles to be amongst those teams.
Hayes, 27, notched 2 goals and 3 assists (5 points) for Boston last season. He has a huge frame (6’5”, 215 pounds) and an impressive skill set, but is effectively nonexistent when it comes to putting the puck in the net. He epitomizes a bottom-6 forward.
>>UPDATE: The Bruins have released Hayes, as of June 30, 2017.
The only other forward on TSN’s list is Dustin Brown, the Kings’ veteran left winger. But his contract is among the biggest in the league, and he has a no-trade clause. Meanwhile, there are a couple of top-pair defensemen on the list, including the Panthers’ Jason Demers and the Knights’ Luca Sbisa.