Garth Snow's Shopping List: Islander Deadline Trade Targets

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Garth Snow's Shopping List: Islander Deadline Trade Targets
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
The Ultimate Deadline Pickup

Butch Goring's acquisition by the New York Islanders in 1980 is generally seen as the most successful deadline deal in history since it led to the Islanders' run of five straight Cup Final appearances and four straight Stanley Cup wins.

NHL general managers ever since have hoped to catch deadline lightning in a bottle but have not succeeded. Major trades are usually costly in assets and rarely alter a team's course for the better.

The Boston Bruins, for example, won last year's Stanley Cup in spite of the very costly acquisition of Tomas Kaberle.

Kaberle cost the Bruins a blue-chip prospect as well as a first and a second-round pick but did nothing to help their very weak power play.

Deadline deals that succeed are usually more in the tweaking category. The 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins needed veteran leadership as well as an effective linemate for Sidney Crosby. They got both with a third-round pick when they traded for then-Islander captain Bill Guerin. He was a key piece in their successful Cup campaign.

Of course, the biggest decision a general manager has to make is whether his chances of making the playoffs are good enough that he should consider buying talent at all, whether he should stand pat or whether he should sell off talent for draft picks and / or prospects.

The Islanders are in between. While some aging veterans like Brian Rolston and Steve Staios may be shopped, more valuable pieces like Frans Nielsen, PA Parenteau, Evgeni Nabokov and Al Montoya will stay.

The real question is whether the Islanders should be buying at all. Snow has said that he will make deals that make sense to improve the Islanders. I would translate that to mean deals that will obtain useful talent under contract past this season that will help the team in the future.

Potential deals fall into three categories: The Big Tuna (megastars), Defense and Offense.

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