Case Studies

Mitch Marner and the Islanders: A Complicated yet Sensical Pairing

When the Montreal Canadiens offer sheeted Sebastian Aho, it shocked the hockey world. Should the Islanders follow in their footsteps?

There are many reasons why the Islanders should send out an offer sheet to young Toronto Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner. The New York Islanders power play has not been at its greatest in the past few years, and the stats don’t lie. During the 2018-2019 season, the Islanders power play percentage stood at only 14.5%, while in the 2017-2018 season the Islanders stood at 23.2%.

This serious change in statistics could be due to one main factor: ex-star centerman John Tavares leaving. During the 2017-2018 season, he had a whopping 30 power-play points, as compared to Islanders leader Mat Barzal who only received 18 points this season.

And although Marner only had three more points than that of the Islanders leader, Marner could kick start the Islanders power-play unit. If the Islanders were to get a player like Marner to fill the skates of John Tavares, perhaps the Islanders could not only restore their power play from former seasons, but exceed it.

However, there is one glaring problem standing between the Islanders and Mitch Marner: the two arenas. Yes, the fact that the Islanders have been struggling to settle into a home the past few years could seriously hold them back from picking up not only Marner, but other star NHL players as well.

No player wants to play between two arenas throughout the season. Barclays Center is known for being one of the worst arenas in the NHL between ice with no cooling pipes underneath it, a distracting car in deep corner and boards that really don’t help either team.

No matter how loyal and rowdy the New York Islanders fans are, players are totally turned off by the situation the Islanders are currently in. And that could affect Mitch Marner.

So, the Islanders and Mitch Marner seem like a good fit, but which side could potentially say no? Marner or the team?

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