Vegas Golden Knights will officially be in the hockey business this afternoon. I’s dotted…T’s crossed…George McPhee can start dealing.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) March 1, 2017
With the trade deadline today at 3:00 pm ET, there’s one team that doesn’t have to worry about their 2016-2017 season and losing players in free agency or not making the playoffs. That’s a team that hasn’t entered the league yet. The Vegas Golden Knights will make their NHL debut next season but without any players on their roster, they’ll still be allowed to take part in this year’s trade deadline. The Islanders should trade with them and here’s why…
Ex-Isle(s?) in Vegas:
The Golden Knight’s general manager is George McPhee who last year served as a alternate governor, Vice President, and Special Advisor to Islanders’ general manager, Garth Snow. In addition, it has been reported that former Islander head coach, Jack Capuano, is one of the main candidates for the head coaching job in Vegas. With that, it looks as if the Knights know more about the Islanders than any other team in the NHL. From how they play, to how they think, to who they have, Vegas has the advantage on the Islanders.
We’ve talked about this many times on allislanders.com… The Expansion Draft will be a challenge for many teams and the Islanders especially. Teams can protect either seven forwards, three defenseman, and a goalie or eight skaters and a goalie. Baring a trade, the Islanders are likely to choose the later option with four defenseman (Leddy, Hamonic, Boychuk, Pulock) they’d probably want to protect. That leaves them four other skaters to protect and with Tavares and Ladd (Boychuk too) having no-movement/no-trade clauses in their contracts, they must be protected. So really, two more skaters (not that they wouldn’t protect Tavares, Ladd, and Boychuk anyways) and that causes a problem for the Isles who still have Strome, Lee, Nelson, Cizikas, Bailey, de Haan, Hickey, and a whole lot of other players they could protect.
Let’s Make a Deal, Vegas:
Vegas can’t trade for players but they can trade for draft picks. Here’s what the Islanders should do… The Islanders should trade conditional draft picks to the Golden Knights. For example, they could offer Vegas a conditional third round pick if they don’t take Calvin de Haan in the expansion draft. This works the other way around too. If the Isles want to get Mikhail Grabovski’s contract off their hands, they can offer a conditional second round pick for them to either choose Grabovski in the expansion draft or agree to trade for him as soon as they are allowed to trade for players.