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.
"It's a little easier transition the second time around. I know how to deal with it, I know how to handle myself & I'm excited to put my best foot forward." Davidson on departing the #Oilers for new opportunity in Brooklyn pic.twitter.com/iRgYenAvwh— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 24, 2018
But since I have no idea what I’m talking about, let’s go to some experts:
Davidson is an RFA after the season and has been a positive Corsi Rel every year of his career until this year, where he still has a 52% CF. For a third round pick next year, this is a strong move. I like it. Great job by Snow. https://t.co/E00Yujnsx7— Carey (@habermetrics) February 24, 2018
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:
In a way I’m sad to see BDavidson dealt. He was one of the few late round picks of the #Oilers that made it. They have a history of dealing guys before they go onto long careers. Not sure Davidson fits that category but he was an NHL damn. Pre Game Show on @TSN1260 at 6:30.— Dean Millard (@DuckMillard) February 24, 2018
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.
I really like Davidson, but that's a solid return for a good third-pairing D, especially since EDM has two other good third-pairing D on the roster in Auvitu and Benning. https://t.co/6lFwu2TKGx— Jonathan Willis (@JonathanWillis) February 24, 2018
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.