I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t get excited about the NHL Trade Deadline. I understand and respect the logistics of the day, the same can be said for the necessity of wheeling and dealing for some, as well as the uneasiness for the players involved.
I still remember quite clearly, spending an entire day from morning to night at Nassau Coliseum on deadline day – my first year blogging about the Islanders. The Penguins were in town, we watched their morning skate from section 206, and then watched as several players ran the stairs on either side of our perch. Two players stopped and asked us for updates – it was a bit unnerving to inform Colby Armstrong he was likely going to be traded. Crazy stuff. (Another crazy bit was Garth Snow extending Mike Comrie another year…but hey – live and learn).
As a fan of the Islanders, you never want to see players you have grown to know and respect moved. But, as it has been said elsewhere thousands of times – that’s the nature of the business. At the same time, you always get excited at the prospect of adding to your core players, as the hope is to ultimately improve your chances at winning the Stanley Cup.
I came into this years deadline with little to no expectations. Garth Snow had already moved what I considered (you know – I was playing armchair GM here) – the teams most tradeable assets in Dwayne Roloson and James Wisniewski. Sure, he could infuriate the the fanbase by trading a struggling prospect like Josh Bailey if he was blown away, but at most I figured he would trade a pending unrestricted free agent or two.
Throughout the day yesterday I was glued to my iPhone – checked Twitter, TSN, watched NHL Network via Slingplayer, checked the TSN Tradecentre app, message boards, blogs – the whole nine.
Seemed as if nothing was going on – and it stayed that way all day.
At one point, it appeared that an Anaheim deal for Zenon Konopka was imminent – but big Z himself headed off that rumor with TSN directly. Radek Martinek was also spoken about as well – but Garth was apparently asking too much for each of these players. Good thing too, Martinek is one of the teams only healthy veteran defensemen and Konopka is way too important for the locker room.
As it would turn out, the only player moved from the Islanders yesterday was Rob Schremp – who was placed on waivers late last week. He was claimed by the Atlanta Thrashers. In his place, Justin DiBenedetto was called up from the Sound Tigers and makes his debut tonight against the Washington Capitals.
Kudos to Garth Snow for not wanting to disrupt what chemistry he has in his current roster for the sake of adding a draft pick or two for the upcoming draft. In addition, I am happy he decided, once again – not to mortgage the future for the sake of going after a rental player. This team isn’t quite ready to go that route – the promise land is still a ways off on the horizon.
Instead Garth Snow will likely look to add a piece or two this coming July when the free agency period opens – which for the sake of the team, I hope to be a little different this year than in years past.
When the Islanders take on the Capitals tonight in Washington, D.C. – Nathan Lawson will be the starter and DiBenedetto will be paired with Josh Bailey and Blake Comeau. I highly doubt the Capitals will be the same team the Islanders saw this past weekend, I hope they bring their A game.