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Back to the Well: Islanders acquire D Davidson from Oilers for pick

Depth on defense for a team that can use all the help it can get.

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Edmonton Oilers v New York Islanders
No relation to Rob Davison.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Just as I was leaving the movie theater after watching Black Panther for a second time (it’s even better upon further viewing), Garth Snow was also taking part in one of his favorite activities, acquiring useful players from Oilers counterpart Peter Chiarelli.

The Islanders acquired defenseman Brandon Davidson from Edmonton for a 2019 third round pick today, a move that they hope could add a little stability to their generally shambolic defense.

Offense isn’t his forte exactly, what with only 20 points (8 goals, 12 assists) in 137 career games. But he’s got a career 51% 5v5 CF and a 1.7 RelC. His 57% 5v5CF in his season or so in Montreal was the best of his career. In other words, he’s somewhat in the mold of a Calvin de Haan, which is good because since de Haan’s injury back in early December, the Islanders’ defense has cratered like a vibranium meteor rocketing through space and smashing into the heart of Africa.

As a restricted free agent, if he works out, there’s a chance he could stick around beyond this season, especially since de Haan is a UFA and will most likely not return. I don’t know if Davidson is a direct replacement, but it’s possible the Islanders could be looking that way. Or maybe one for fellow UFA Thomas Hickey? Who knows.

Davidson, 26, was a sixth round pick of the Oilers in 2010. After a few seasons, he was traded to Montreal at last season’s deadline for center David Desharnais, but was re-acquired by Edmonton this season on waivers. Now he’s off to Brooklyn.

I’m not the type to sweat a third round pick, especially ones from a year out. And as was pointed out to me earlier, Davidson was on waivers before the injuries to de Haan and Johnny Boychuk even happened. Also, as Jenny says in the comments, the Oilers were in better position to re-claim him at the time anyway.

I’ve also watched the Islanders defense bumble their way through the season and although Davidson is clearly a depth option, I’m hoping anything can help at this point. We’ll see when and where he slots in when he gets here.

But since I have no idea what I’m talking about, let’s go to some experts:

Via Oilers chief water carrier, David Staples of the Edmonton Journal:

The Islanders get a solid bottom-pairing defenceman who can help shore up the their weak blueline. Davidson isn’t much of a puck-mover, but he’s a tenacious and fundamentally sound d-man who can kill penalties, deliver forceful hits and is rarely out of position.

TSN radio host Dean Millard:

The Athletic’s Jonathan Willis sees a good deal for both teams and the player:

This trade means that Davidson will go from playing out the string to the thick of the playoff race, joining former teammate Jordan Eberle on a New York Islanders team that clearly values him. As far as exits go, there are far worse possibilities.

So, not a sexy move but potentially a solid one at a pretty reasonable trade deadline price. Don’t be surprised if this is Snow’s only move before Monday’s deadline. Unless he calls Chiarelli again.