The New York Islanders play the Minnesota Wild tonight, and they need to just keep compiling points since everyone else in the wild card race has a bajillion games in hand. But before we get to our regularly scheduled game thread, some news:
If you missed it, the Islanders sent a 2024 third-round pick to Toronto for pending UFA winger Pierre Engvall, a purveyor of fine #47s on the jersey. (The Leafs, meanwhile, sent a third-round pick to Vancouver for Luke Schenn.)
Why did they do it? Because Lou Lamoriello really likes his speed and versatility, and also Lou thinks the Islanders are going somewhere.
Asked Lou Lamoriello whether intention is to re-sign Pierre Engvall, who is a pending UFA.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) February 28, 2023
"We'll take one thing at a time. He's certainly an individual that you'd like to keep in your organization with the style he plays and his speed. I can't overemphasize his speed."
I’m sure they’ll prove me wrong by making the wild card, then going on some upset spree that takes them to Game 7 of the second round or something. But for me it feels like excessive spending. Sometimes, you don’t go joy-riding in the flood waters, you stay safe at home and await better conditions. The Islanders’ inconsistent play this season and the murderers’ row of the Eastern Conference elite tells me this is not the season for them to spend on short-term additions.
If he proves useful and they retain him for a reasonable AAV, that’s another story though.
Anyway, he’s not expected to get to Minnesota in time for tonight’s game. The Isles shall finish this road trip without him.
Tonight’s opponent has also been active today, reportedly acquiring Marcus Johansson and Gustav Nyquist in separate silly deals.