With the Islanders struggling to get out of the bottom of the Metropolitan Division standings, Larry Brooks of the New York Post writes the Islanders and GM Garth Snow should look toward acquiring Avalanche forwards Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene to play alongside John Tavares.
Part of this trade, Brooks writes, should include defenseman Nick Leddy. Leddy fits the criteria of a top-four defenseman that Colorado is seeking and does not have a large cap hit that would slow down trade talks.
In his third season in New York, Leddy has 21 points and minus-8 rating in 40 games.
Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter
It's impossible to look at the Islanders 2016-17 regression and not agree with what Brooks is suggesting in this column.
There is no doubt responsibility and pressure clearly lie with Snow and the offseason he didn't have this past summer, although to be completely fair, nobody could have predicted Andrew Ladd falling off a cliff or Jason Chimera bringing nothing, except for a few goals here and there, that his predecessor, Matt Martin didn't. The loss of Frans Nielsen and lack of a replacement was the icing on the cake. Even though Casey Cizikas has had a fine season, it might take another season or two for him to fully grow into those shoes, if he does at all.
The one thing easy to disagree with, at least for me, is moving Leddy. Top-pair, transition-speed defensemen don't grow on trees, and I realize you have to "give to get," but if I'm the Islanders, there is no way I'm moving my ONLY blueliner who can move the puck out of my zone almost effortlessly and create on the offensive end. Not to mention, each team needs a power play quarterback and Leddy provides that as well.
Even if the Islanders had a prospect in Bridgeport with a similar skill set, and they don't, I might give it five seconds of thought before again, resisting such a move. Not to mention, given what we have seen out of Ryan Strome's "development," especially after recent failures, would you even trust the current administration that they could properly bring that player along?
I'm sure there are tons of teams looking for a Travis Hamonic type player if the Islanders have to "give to get," plus prospects and draft picks you can include to make a deal possible. Snow just has to stop showing blind faith and loyalty and take such a leap for the good of the team on the ice.