Why the Tim Thomas Trade Is a Good Move for the Islanders

Daniel FriedmanCorrespondent IFebruary 10, 2013

UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 31: Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins skates in warmups prior to the game against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on March 31, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. The Bruins defeated the Islanders 6-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Most of you are probably scratching your heads right now, thinking the Tim-Thomas-to-the-Islanders trade doesn't make much sense.

Considering I was doing the same at first, I'm not gonna blame you. But, having thought a bit more about the situation, I think I can perhaps make some sense of this Tim Thomas fiasco.

My take on the move? It's a win-win for Garth Snow.

The Isles only fork over a second-round draft pick if Tim Thomas plays for them this season, which he's not going to do. So essentially, they got Thomas for free.

Now yes, this was a salary cap-related move. Thomas's contract puts the Islanders over the cap floor this year, which is something they needed to do. 

What makes this a smart move is not simply the fact that Snow won't even have to give Boston anything. It's that he now has the rest of the year to open up negotiations with Thomas to try and re-sign him for next season.

Given that Thomas is 38 years old and, therefore, isn't going to command as much attention in free agency, there's a pretty solid chance the Isles could pull it off.

Were they to sign Thomas, whether or not Evgeni Nabokov returns for another go-around, they'd be able to shore up their goaltending for 2013-14.

It would also spell the end of the Rick DiPietro era, though that's very much a possibility to occur this summer, regardless of who signs and who doesn't.  

Best of all, even if Thomas re-signs next year, Snow still keeps that second-round pick, because that part of the deal was contingent on Thomas reporting to the Isles this year. 

Now, you might be asking why the Islanders wouldn't trade for an impact player who can put 'em over the cap floor and will play this year.

The truth is, you're not getting an impact player for a conditional second-rounder, or for anything worth giving up right now.

Anaheim's not giving up Bobby Ryan for Marty Reasoner and Joe Finley, you know. 

I think there might be more to this that isn't public knowledge right now. There is also a possibility the Islanders might toll his contract, so that it's effective next season. I don't think they'll go that route, but he is currently suspended by the Bruins, so it's an option. 

Still, at any rate, I think Garth Snow made a solid move here, whether or not Tim Thomas reports. 

But that's just my opinion; feel free to have your own.

Comments are welcome.