Have you been sitting on pins and needles all weekend, waiting desperately for the Islanders to pull off a major trade, especially in the hours following the Rangers' acquisition of the old, expensive but still sort of effective Eric Staal and one day after the Panthers acquiring literally everyone else? Are you at the edge of the poker table waiting for Garth "close to the vest" Snow to push his chips into the middle of the table and tell the other players that he's all in?
Because if that's you, um, you probably don't want to read this report from Newsday's Arthur Staple.
Oh. I guess it's too late now. Okay. But don't say I didn't warn you
Sources indicated to Newsday on Sunday that Islanders general manager Garth Snow was still unwilling to part with the team's first-round pick in June for a rental forward. With Monday's 3 p.m. Eastern Time trade deadline approaching and the rival Rangers having completed a deal for Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, there could be some pressure mounting on Snow to upgrade, especially among his forwards. But costs were still too high on Sunday for the GM's liking.
The majority of the article is about the Islanders' focus on getting more out of their current line-up, including Brock Nelson, who has just one goal in his last 11 games. It also mentions the expansion of the roster limit after the trade deadline, and that activating Eric Boulton off IR for tonight's game in Edmonton doesn't mean that he's in for the rest of the season.
But with about 18 hours to go before the deadline, the only thing anyone cares about is what new toys are coming in and how much they cost. Snow not wanting to deal his first round pick in this year's draft isn't exactly a surprise, but it will probably limit his interactions with other GMs.
That limitation doesn't necessarily mean the Islanders won't be adding shortly. In a couple of tweets just before the story was published, Staple laid out a few of his theories on what Snow's plan might be.
Here's my sense of #Isles right now: GS is talking to everyone, as he usually does. Not gonna deal his 1st and/or top prospect for rental...— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) February 29, 2016
... But that doesn't mean he does nothing. Team needs one more F with no depth beyond current group. So there's high- and low-level talks.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) February 29, 2016
So who's more in Snow's price range? One item on the shelf looks familiar:
Islanders don't have a 2016 second but do have one in 2017 which Leafs have asked for in exchange for P.A. Parenteau— gary lawless (@garylawless) February 29, 2016
Please also bear in mind that things could change - for the Islanders and any number of teams - in the next few hours.
Still, it's kind of a weird thing with the Islanders under Snow: they're capable of both huge swing-for-the-fences blockbusters (Ryan Smyth, Thomas Vanek, Boychuk & Leddy within in the hour, the Grabovski/Kulemin combo) or looking so conservative in their approach that it borders on compulsion (putting prospects like Ryan Pulock on the slow road to the NHL, sticking with an ineffective Evgeni Nabokov for one more year). Holding out for a good deal at the deadline in a year in which the Eastern Conference has only one real lights-out team falls under the latter category.
So we wait to see which side of the coin they land on. And we're probably not the only ones.
Text from NHL front office member: "I don't think you will be busy."— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 29, 2016
Nineteen hours to go. We shall see. #NHLTrade