While many may disagree, I believe that the Islanders handled the 2017-18 Trade Deadline as best as they could have. Islanders fans tend to get a little crazy in the days leading up to the Trade Deadline, but for what reason? The Islanders have played like one of the worst teams in the NHL since December, and are clearly heading downhill. Fans, like myself, are frustrated, but that doesn’t mean that Garth Snow and the Islanders should throw away players and picks to try and just sneak into the playoffs.
To some Islanders fans, making the playoffs is like winning the Stanley Cup. Why should the Islanders throw away important pieces of their future just to get someone to help them make the playoffs? They have not been playing well lately, and would get destroyed by Tampa Bay or Boston in the first round anyways. Would giving up draft picks and players be worth that? No.
Garth Snow and the Islanders management are well aware of all of this, and quite frankly are disappointed in the production that they’ve gotten from their team. I agree with Garth Snow when he basically said that the Islanders don’t deserve to get a good player at the deadline. What would that do for us? Make us an eight seed like we always are? Get us a win or two in the first round? Hockey teams aren’t playing to just make the playoffs, they are playing to win the Stanley Cup.
The acquisitions of Brandon Davidson (EDM) and Chris Wagner (ANA) was all that this team needed, and quite frankly deserved. They got two solid defensive players which this team desperately needed, while only giving up Jason Chimera and a third-round pick. Davidson has played well, scoring a goal and looking very good on the defensive end. He could prove to be a solid replacement for Thomas Hickey in the offseason, who is a UFA at the end of the year. Wagner is second in the NHL in hits, and is a younger and more talented than what they gave up in Jason Chimera. Garth Snow improved the Isles’ defense with these moves, but didn’t feel he needed to make a blockbuster deal that can change a franchise for years to come.
Another argument people keep bringing up is John Tavares. Everyone feels that if Garth Snow had made a bigger trade at the deadline, John Tavares would’ve automatically re-signed with the team. I believe that it is more important to Tavares to see that the Isles organization cares about their future, rather than just trying to get them into the playoffs as a wild card team, and getting yet another first-round exit. Tavares is a very loyal person, and I truly believe him when he says he wants to be an Islander for life, and don’t think that one deal at the deadline will affect that.
Overall, it simply wouldn’t make sense for the Islanders to make a blockbuster deal at the deadline this year, because whether you like it or not, they aren’t and haven’t been playing like Stanley Cup contender.