Islanders Gameday Bits: Murray trade affect the D-man market?

He pushed me first. - Bruce Bennett

Does the Penguins' premium purchase of Doug Murray mean the Isles can command a lot for their UFAs? Or does "stand pat" mean stand pat in all forms?

The Islanders are in Washington tonight, where both teams have 31 points and could theoretically pull into a standings-points tie for eighth with a win.

Of course, the eighth-place Rangers (game in hand) also play tonight in Philadelphia. Winnipeg and Carolina also play each other. Last night there were two Eastern Conference games, and all four teams walked away with points. Three-point games will temper your playoff hopes right quick.

Anyway, here we are a week before the trade deadline and Arthur Staple suspects the Islanders will stand pat -- on the buying side, at least. He again references the possibility of signing the Isles college prospects Anders Lee and Scott Mayfield after their seasons conclude, as well as pursuit of contract extensions with their unrestricted free agents.

So buyers (no), sellers (maybe), or none of the above? There was some talk of them, like many teams, having scouts at some of the NHL games last night. But for a little context on the trade market, let's turn to yesterday's big Penguins trade.

Fear the Fin is a pretty sober, pretty analytical, pretty honest Sharks site. They've observed Douglas Murray's decline over the past few years. Their take on his trade to the Pens yesterday:

Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray, undoubtedly the team's worst blueliner this year and last, has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for not one but two second round draft picks.

Go Penguins!

The question for Islanders fans is whom will Murray leave his position to try to concuss what does this mean for the trade market for Islanders pending free agent defensemen Mark Streit and Lubomir Visnovsky.

The latter two are completely different defensemen, of course -- known for puck moving and not for big hits that have been Murray's trademark. Given what the Penguins just played for Murray and a similarly (but not as thoroughly) shadow-of-his-peak-self Brenden Morrow, it's possible: 1) The Penguins have their own market that's different than you and me; 2) There is a premium on "gritz" and other intangibles for even the league's top teams; or 3) the Islanders could make a killing on selling one or both if they find the right taker.

If Visnovsky doesn't carry a "flight risk" discount, you'd think he'd command a good piece with the way he's played this season.

However, before we get to that point, the Isles will presumably continue exploring contract extensions with both of them. Beginning tonight, they embark on a four-game road trip and a fifth one at home before the deadline.

Elsewhere
FIG Picks

We'll have a fresh post on tonight's game later in the day. Leave your First Islanders Goal picks over here.

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