Rocky Mountain Low For the Isles At The Trade Deadline

Rocky Mountain Low For the Isles At The Trade Deadline



There seemed to be only one prize that the NY Islanders coveted this past deadline. Just as I wrote back last summer, the Islanders have been very wary and trying to pick off a high-level talent that a team might find expendable or tradable due to other needs. This has really only occurred with two players. I’ve talked about the basically unreported attempt by the Islanders to get Taylor Hall a few times now. So, it is pointless to re-hash. In choosing Larsson from New Jersey over Travis Hamonic, which many pundits and “experts” all complained on…. if you look at Edmonton’s success in their first pairing, there is Larsson playing up to 25 minutes a night with Klefbom. Maybe they knew what they were doing after-all.


Then this past trade deadline, the NY Islanders tried to do whatever it took to land Matt Duchene.


We also know how that went.


Adrian Dater, the Avalanche’s best writer also followed suit.

Andy Graziano heard much of the same.


Then what followed was a stand-off that had Isles fans groaning.



Here is the issue… which people are not relaying in reports.

  1. The Colorado Avalanche want a top 4 D under the age of 25.
  2. They want that top 4 D to have some NHL pedigree and track record of success.
  3. They want a top prospect.
  4. They want a 1st round pick.

That was the cost of Matt Duchene.


The NY Islanders only had Ryan Pulock to offer the Avs, but this did not fulfill #2. This is why they stalled. The Avs had made it clear they did NOT want Travis Hamonic. He is 26, injured yearly, and to be quite honest, not a top pairing defenseman.


The truth of the matter is that the NY Islanders were the Colorado Avalanche’s fallback. What they really seemed to want were players like Brandon Carlo from the Boston Bruins. Someone the Bruins were not going to deal, and certainly not while trying to claw their way back to a playoff spot.


When it comes down to it, the Isles were sloppy seconds. Part of this is Garth Snow’s own fault. By leaving Jack Capuano coaching, whose style in recent years seemed to mistrust youth, Pulock lost valuable time and use last season. Sure, his injury this year also affected his availability and use this season. However, by leaving Capuano’s poor development of kids to fill gaps, Garth also shot off his own toes this trade deadline in trying to land Duchene. Had Pulock had some more NHL time under his belt and items that an opposing GM could use as proof, I think it is likely that the trade would have been made.


Now Sakic will wait until near the NHL draft, where there will be a scramble of teams all trying to work out items. Perhaps then, a team like Anaheim or Nashville, who have under 25 top 4 D with NHL experience, will fulfill the Avalanches needs for Matt Duchene.


In the meantime, once again it looks like an NHL elite talent is not to be for the Isles. The Islanders are suffering from gaps and flaws because they were failed to be filled in-time with developed young talent. They are paying for Capauno’s tenure in much more ways than just their record and standings this year. That is on the Isles GM. Not Joe Sakic. 


In the meantime, it seems the Isles once again let it be known that Travis Hamonic would NOT BE DEALT.


Funny how we heard that before, too. It is player relations 101 to declare that when the Avalanche had no desire for him in the first place. Makes it sound so noble and keeps the drama from spilling over to the team.

Hopefully fans know better by now on the Isles GM’s methodology and statements made to pundits should not be taken at face-value. Of course this is what they will say. Just like probably down the line there will be trickles on how Ryan Pulock wasn’t offered. All tied with a neat little bow.



This was actually unsurprising. Interest was never as it was rumored. Makes me think Allan Walsh, “super agent”, was just cashing in a few favors to attempt to make a market for his player.

  1. The Isles were never going to deal Halak to a competitor vying for a playoff spot.
  2. They would have only gotten a late to mid-round draft pick, at best, anyway.
  3. They want goalie insurance in case of injury this year. And most importantly….
  4. They MUST expose a goalie in this expansion draft. Halak is in the last year of his contract next season. If Vegas wants to make a splash, they can get someone who wants redemption. The Isles were not going to expose Greiss.




About B.D. Gallof


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