Islanders GM Garth Snow talked to a lot of teams, but it didn't yield any results before the NHL trade deadline passed on Wednesday. SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…
Alright, Andy. Despite a lot of rumbling, the Islanders stood pat at the deadline. What are your general impressions of what transpired the last few days?
Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter
Honestly, it's alarming to me. I don't blame Garth for not getting Matt Duchene, because my sources told me that Joe Sakic kept changing the asking price. Snow had two very competitive offers out to Colorado, which met Sakic's intitial demand, but he ended up holding out for a fourth piece.
I heard nothing concrete on any discussions for Edmonton's Jordan Eberle or Tampa's Tyler Johnson, two other players with term that seemed to interest Snow. At the end of the day, the team is no different than they were yesterday, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing.
Well, let me play devil's advocate here. At best, this team is a second Wild Card this year. Why mortgage the future now when they can re-evaluate again in June and potentially make a trade then? The Avalanche will presumably still be looking to deal in the summer, and the Lightning will still be cap-strapped. Is there really harm in standing pat for the time being?
If we are talking Duchene, I agree. I put none of that on Snow at all. And even though I've heard nothing concrete on the asking price for Eberle or Johnson, it was probably still high. I will say that if Garth had a chance to get either of those two by sending a prospect, he should be blamed for his inactivity.
But again, I just don't get that. I know fans want something to happen. So do I. But let's face it: the Islanders are lucky to even be in the race right now. The East is loaded, and even with importing a player, it's unlikely they're getting past the Capitals. So isn't the prudent thing to do to stand pat and see how the market develops in the summer? Isn't that what a grownup does, as opposed to just swapping young prospects for aging stars only to get mediocre results, like Mike Milbury did for years?
You bring up some valid points, but isn't the goal to make the playoffs each year and try to make a deep run to the Stanley Cup final? If so, you do whatever you can to improve your club and put them in the best position.
As I wrote yesterday, the Isles' peripherals have not been good, despite the record under Weight. The schedule presents them a brutal path to the end of the regular season, and some teams in front of them and behind them did improve today.
But my point is that if you're going to trade for Johnson or Eberle - or even Duchene, for that matter - there's little downside in waiting three months. Johnson will still need a contract, and Eberle will still have two years of team control left. You only miss out on these next few months, which the Isles are playing with house money now anyway.
And I feel like that's a contradictory argument. They're not good, but they should try to make a run. Is one player going to make them that much better? Are they going to beat a Capitals team in the first round that can score at will? I get that future assets don't always pan out, but I just don't see where Garth dropped the ball here.
I do think any of Duchene, Eberle, or Johnson makes the Islanders much better than they are today. More likely to make the playoffs, and as far as Washington goes (who the Islanders have played them tough for three seasons now), I don't think that would an automatic Capitals win as most would assume off the cuff.
My main point is that I cannot blame Snow without knowing what contingencies existed after Duchene. But I do think there may have been a few 'sneaky' moves that could have been made to upgrade complementary scoring, even if the upgrades were slight. Maybe he could have thrown a third rounder for a Teddy Purcell, who went to Boston.
Maybe you're right. Maybe he could have pulled the trigger on something else, or gone more aggressively after Eberle or one of Tampa's RFAs. But to me, this looked like Snow took an aggressive, yet responsible approach to all of his talks, and I really can't fault him for that.