With the NHL season almost at its midway point, it's time for contenders to try to add talent to their roster to make a playoff run while pretenders trade away assets for draft picks or prospects.
The New York Islanders fall into that second category, a team sending players away in return for draft picks and young prospects.
On December 28, the Islanders sent defenseman James Wisniewski to the Montreal Canadiens in return for a second-round and conditional fifth-round draft pick. Wisniewski was the team's top scoring defender, with three goals and 18 assists.
Wisniewski was also minus-18 on the season with the Islanders, but then again, the Islanders were not winning many games.
So far, the trade looks to have paid off for the Canadiens, where Wisniewski has two goals and three assists in just three games.
Another player the Islanders shipped out of town was goalie Dwayne Roloson. Roloson was not having a phenomenal statistical year, but anyone who watched him knows that on a better team he could be a top-10 goalie.
Roloson was sent to the Tampa Bay Lightning in return for prospect Ty Wishart.
Roloson is 41 and his talents were pretty much being wasted on Long Island. But it is surprising that the best the Islanders could get is someone who currently looks like an average-at-best minor league player.
With both of these trades it looks like the Islanders are putting their cards on the table and saying that this is yet another rebuilding season. A lot of fans do not have a problem of this and understand that it is a hardship that comes along with supporting a professional sports franchise.
Other fans say that the Islanders have been rebuilding for years, and ask when will they finally put a winning product on the ice?
One interesting question many Islanders fans have is: why trade Wisniewski?
Roloson's age makes his trade understandable, but Wisniewski is only 26 and was part of the top defensive pairing on Long Island.
Maybe Garth Snow saw something he did not like in Wisniewski, or maybe he felt that Wisniewski was being overvalued right now and it was time to move him.
Either way it seems fans will have to wait at least another year until the Islanders push for a playoff run.
Quick Side Notes
- The Islanders are 6-1-1 in their last eight games and only 12 points outside of the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference.
- The Islanders are currently on a do-or-die road trip with games against Calgary, Edmonton, Colorado and Chicago.
- The Isles beat two of the best teams in the league last week, taking down the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings, both in overtime.
- The Islanders seem to have a few more fans who are coming out and watching their games, proving that with success comes fans and ultimately revenue.
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