With just six days left until the most climactic day of the regular season—the NHL trade deadline—New York Islanders GM Garth Snow surely has a lot on his mind.
He has many decisions to make, regarding who should stay and who can be dealt away, which "bubble players" deserve a second chance, and which ones to give up on.
He also needs to determine whether there are any valuable players and draft picks to be had or moved—and at what cost.
Simply put, for Mr. Snow and his staff, this is the most hectic day of the year. The question is, what will he do?
First, I'd like to briefly go through a list of players who have a legitimate chance of being moved before the NHL trade deadline:
Martinek is a very solid blue-liner who is not only defensively sound, but knows when to jump in on offense.
The only problem is, his X-rays could be likened to the "Operation" game board. Oft-injured, any team considering picking him up would be doing so at their own risk.
Thankfully there are shootouts in the NHL—otherwise we'd never see Schremp's puck-handling ability.
Sure, he had his YouTube baseball-swing goal last year, but he is rarely a threat on offense during the actual game and he hasn't impressed the heck out of the team, or its fans.
Schremp's also been a healthy scratch several times this year, and for good reason.
Perhaps the Isles will wait it out and see if he can raise his game, but from the looks of things, I'd say he's going to the highest bidder. I'd also go as far as to say that even if he does not get traded, it's unlikely the Islanders will bring him back next season.
Trading Josh Bailey is extremely improbable.
Still, his name is indeed out there, and a number of teams, primarily the Los Angeles Kings, are interested.
It's doubtful the Isles would give up the young forward, but if another team gives them an offer they can't refuse, the possibility cannot be ruled out.
Comeau is another young player that the Islanders are highly unlikely to move, but he has struggled with much inconsistency this season.
If the right deal comes along, a Comeau-deal is entirely possible.
The biggest challenge for Snow and the Islanders, who still have a shot at the playoffs, will be to decide if they will be buyers, sellers or observers.
My hope for the team is that they don't decide to be any of said choices—I think there's a fair compromise to be made on deadline day.
Snow should not trade away young talent—be it Josh Bailey or Blake Comeau—unless he knows the Isles are getting an offer that is simply too good to pass up.
For me, that type of offer would have to include a prospect or young player of equal or greater value, and a first-round draft choice.
The Islanders should not feel compelled to deal away their whole future, even for a talented prime player (see Ryan Smyth). This is a long-term process, and the fact that the team is even remotely close to a playoff seed is in of itself a miracle—especially after the way this season started.
What should the Isles do on Feb. 28th?
I think Radek Martinek is expendable, and can be moved at the right price. Further, I have no problem with the Isles moving Martinek, but if I'm Garth Snow, I'd better be sure I leave no stone unturned before pulling any kind of trigger.
Despite earier trade rumors swirling around Matt Moulson and P.A. Parenteau, it's highly improbable that either player will be moved now, considering they both recently received contract extensions.
Additionally, both Moulson and Parenteau had been rumored to be shipped to Pittsburgh, and now that the Penguins have traded for James Neal with the Dallas Stars, that option becomes unnecessary for the Pens.
This is a bit disappointing considering the Stars were able to get defenseman Alex Goligoski from Pittsburgh.
Keeping Parenteau over Goligoski is a questionable move, but that of course is assuming that the Isles would have made a similar move with Pittsburgh to the Dallas trade—which is a relative unknown.
Regardless, Parenteau has been productive for New York, and has earned another year on this team. You won't be hearing me complain about his presence on the roster.
Overall, it doesn't appear that the Islanders will be too busy come February 28th.
They may make a tweak here and there and moving Radek Martinek (should that happen) will probably be the biggest deal they make.
The way the team is playing now, that probably suits the Islanders and their fans just fine.
Comments are welcome.