New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan was injured after breaking up a two-on-one in the overtime win over the L.A. Kings.
For nearly every defensive stat, the New York Islanders rank close to or in the bottom third in the NHL. Twenty-third overall against in shots per game, 30th overall penalty-kill, 29th overall in fewest goals against per game, and the list goes on.
Worse yet for the Isles is their defensive struggles aren’t going to get any easier with Calvin de Haan set to miss extended time due to injury.
#Isles Transaction: Calvin de Haan has been placed on the team’s IR list (upper body). Thomas Hickey has been removed from the team’s IR list.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 18, 2017
Calvin de Haan was placed on the team’s injured reserve list after undergoing an MRI on Monday, and it doesn’t look good for one of the Islanders’ remaining mainstays on defense.
One of the most polarizing Isles players on the roster, de Haan draws both the praise and ire of the Islanders fanbase. Ranked third-highest on the team in minutes played and one of the league-leaders in shots blocked, de Haan’s presence on the team will be felt now in an extended absence.
With that said, the Islanders have some decisions to make with their blueline. The first knee-jerk decision many have come to is “call up Devon Toews.”
While Toews may be inching closer and closer to seeing NHL ice, that would make four rookies on the Islanders defense (Toews, Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield and Adam Pelech). Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk would be the two mainstays, and that doesn’t even consider either of Thomas Hickey or Dennis Seidenberg.
Hickey and Seidenberg make for more ideal spare defensemen, their history shows they’re plenty capable of eating up around 20 minutes a night and they’re both experienced in the game. Seidenberg has struggled with consistency so far this season, so it’s more likely Hickey gets the larger bulk of the starting time.
While it would be ideal for the Islanders to make a move defensively (it’s not like General Manager Garth Snow doesn’t have the assets, the Islanders own Calgary’s 1st and 2nd round picks including their own), teams are aware it’s out of necessity and it’s going to be hard to win a deal in that position.