The New York Islanders have completed their big Trade Deadline swing, acquiring from the New Jersey Devils both Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac, surrendering only a first-round pick, a conditional fourth-round pick, and two warm bodies to allow all the contracts to fit under the 50-contract limit.
The trade immediately bolsters the Islanders’ lineup, adding in both a scoring wing that was badly needed following the loss of Anders Lee and a fifth center, because you can never have enough center depth—look how much it hurt not to have Casey Cizikas in the lineup during the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Oh yeah, there’s a game tonight. The Islanders tonight finish up the A-B-A-B patterned portion of this home-stand, hosting the Philadelphia Flyers. These two teams last played this past Saturday, in which the Islanders snagged a shootout win. The Flyers’ playoff hopes fade with each loss, but they’re not dead yet. So they will likely be desperate, as they were last weekend.
It has not yet been confirmed, but I would expect to see the shiny new toys in tonight’s lineup.
Isles Trade Winds Blowing
- So it was a big splash and a blockbuster: Palmieri and Zajac, each at 50% salary, for the 2021 first-round pick, a conditional 2022 fourth-round pick, and minor-league forwards A.J. Greer and Mason Jobst. [Islanders | Newsday | NHL | amNY]
- By getting the Devils to retain salary, the Islanders have a little more than $3 million in LTIR space to add another player, if they so choose. [LHH]
- This move signifies that the Islanders are all-in this season and they’re building for a playoff run. [Islanders]
- Devils fans are sad to see go both Palmieri and especially Zajac; Zajac was the last remaining player from the 2012 Stanley Cup Final run and the last player to have played at the Meadowlands. [AATJ]
- The Islanders are getting in Palmieri a scoring winger that hasn’t scored to his normal pace this season but has been creating offense arguably better than he ever has before. He’s also a power-play weapon and a strong two-way player. [The Athletic]
- The trade grades out well for both the Islanders, who received an A- for landing a big fish and center depth without giving up too much, and the Devils, who received a B+ for getting a first-round pick in a buyers’ market. [The Athletic]
- But some questions arise: namely, how do they help? What assets are left? Might either Palmieri or Zajac be extended? And will Lou make another deal before the deadline? [The Athletic]
- Both Palmieri and Zajac are excited to join this organization and have a chance to win.
- As is tradition, the team site previews tonight’s game.
- I think GM Lou Lamoriello was waiting for this article to publish before making his deal: why the first-line Leo Komarov experiment was working and what it allowed Mathew Barzal to do. [The Athletic]
- The Isles are encouraging, but not mandating, that their players receive a COVID-19 vaccine. [NYI Hockey Now]
- It may be time to rethink how we evaluate defensemen and not just give the Norris Trophy to the guy that scores the most points. Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech get a lot of love in this one. [The Athletic]
- Speaking of which, Pelech and Pulock are arguably the best defensive pair in the entire NHL. They may be the keys to a long playoff run and Stanley Cup victory. [Newsday]
- LISTEN: On this episode of No Sleep Til Belmont, Arthur Staple and A.J. Mleczko chat about Mathew Barzal, Josh Bailey, and the potential for Taylor Hall, pre-Palmieri trade.
- LISTEN: And on this episode of Island Ice, Andrew Gross talks the upcoming Islanders-Rangers games with New York Rangers Newsday beat-writer Colin Stephenson and chats Trade Deadline (oops!), as well as answers your questions.
- Does your child want to try out for the Junior Islanders Quebec Team? Find out more here. [Islanders]
- This (yester)day in Isles history: Clark Gillies is born (1954) and Anders Lee scores his 40th goal of the season (2018).
Last night’s NHL scores featured nothing in the East Division, but the Toronto Maple Leafs eked out a win over the Montreal Canadiens, which allowed goalie Jack Campbell to set some sort of record for the Leafs. Also, the Minnesota Wild walloped the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 8–3.
- The Winnipeg Jets will be without Blake Wheeler indefinitely with concussion-like symptoms. [NHL]
- Washington Capitals goalie Henrik Lundqvist hopes to be cleared to return to the NHL this season following open-heart surgery. [NHL]
- No-movement clauses have shaped who will be available for the Seattle Kraken at the 2022 Expansion Draft. [Sportsnet]