My kingdom for a 2nd-round pick?
"People know our situation," Snow said. "We haven't had many calls until recently. I'm leery of whether there will be much action."
... The Islanders lack the kind of elite trade asset that would bring back a high-end prospect or a first-round draft pick. So it's unlikely they will get more than a second-round pick as part of any trade, and they might have to settle for less if Snow is determined to add picks in the next draft.
Last year, there was fan disappointment when the Islanders couldn't (or wouldn't, depending on your source) salvage some picks at the trade deadline for pending UFAs like Ruslan Fedotenko, Josef Vasicek and Miro Satan (who had a no-move clause). This year -- particularly after Doug Weight's injury killed offers for him and put re-signing talk on the backburner -- there is simply resignation.
(Despite the rebuild, some have strangely advocated claiming the Sean Avery Circus on half-price re-entry waivers. Bleah. Check out fellow SBN (Stars) blog Defending Big D for a first-hand account of Avery's Wolfpack debut.)
If given a half-way decent offer (starting, and possibly ending, with a 2nd-round pick), I'd be happy to see the Islanders get something for Mike Comrie (a UFA) or Brendan Witt (a tough defenseman who just doesn't fit Scott Gordon's system, but who is signed for two more years at $3 million per). But with two weeks to go, it's tough to be optimistic.
The most fun thought, hot-stove-wise, is the prospect of Garth Snow getting aggressive by unloading some of his young NHLers whose bag of upside contains a mix of hope and disappointment. Think Sean Bergenheim (who turned 25 this month), Chris Campoli (24) and Bruno Gervais (24). Islanders Outsider had a great look at that angle, and Chris Botta took it on from an asset-by-asset perspective.
Frankly, I think the Islanders defense needs an overhaul (although, would I feel that as strongly iif Andy Sutton weren't out almost all year, forcing several D-men into minutes beyond their paygrade?). The first priority is some physical size that can also play GoGo Gordon's system (i.e., not Witt). The deadline can't help that, other than clearing space.
So where Snow will get that size this summer is unclear -- and whether unloading any current blueliners would help is equally uncertain. The Islanders have invested a lot of time developing those 20-somethings; cutting the cord now would require bold moves -- and a plan to replace them with something better.
While the hardest fan experiences of this rebuild may be merficully finished after this vexed season concludes, the hardest decisions are yet to come.
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