Joined by their friend Arthur Staple of The Athletic, Mike and Dan remember a rare NHL five-for-one trade that didn’t really work out for either the Islanders or Maple Leafs.
Just before training camp 2015, the Islanders sent winger Michael Grabner, an impending free agent coming off a couple of down years, to Toronto for five prospects: forwards Taylor Beck and Carter Verhaeghe, defenders Matt Finn and Tom Nilsson and goalie Christopher Gibson.
In a very buttoned-up sport, trading one player for almost an entire starting lineup should be notable. But in this case, the results were, uh, mixed at best.
Staple, who covered the Islanders at the time and is back on the beat now, tells us about Gibson’s intelligence and intermittent excellence, Beck’s missed potential, Grabner’s short stay with the Leafs (and why he gave Staple the cold shoulder for a while), and how everyone missed on Verhaeghe before his recent breakout seasons.
Time to look back on what seemed like a wild trade that just got sucked into the ether.
Thanks again to Art for coming on. It’s always great catching up with him and we’re thankful to have him back covering the Islanders again.
WEIRD BONUS MATERIAL!
- Details on the Grabner trade from the unbiased Leafs TV crew.
- And Islanders training camp spotlight on the potential of Taylor Beck.
- Gibson was about a minute away from his first NHL shutout when Connor McDavid just took it (and the win) away from him.
- Some guy named Arthur Staple talked to the Finnish-born Gibson about his unique upbringing.
- The Islanders clinched a playoff berth in 2016 with Gibson making 32 saves in a 4-3 OT win in Washington. It was the kid’s first win in the big league.
- Gibson also made 50 saves in a 5-2 win in Calgary in 2018. He became the first Islanders rookie since Billy Smith to make that many saves in a game.
- He made 37 saves in a win over Pittsburgh a few weeks later. Yeesh.
What makes a “Weird Islander?”
We’re always open to suggestions about other Weird Islanders to discuss. Remember the criteria. Candidates must fulfill one of the two of the following:
- Played one (1) season or less for the Islanders or very short stints over multiple seasons.
- Be a veteran NHLer who is not generally associated with his time on Islanders.
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