So we’ve come to a point in the season where the Islanders are near a playoff spot, but appear not yet ready to make that big push. A lot of fans in the NHL are looking at their teams and are wondering if they will buy, sell, or hold on a few players and the Islanders are no different. For now it’s safe to assume that teams like Florida, Philly, Washington and Buffalo will be selling a few players while teams that appear locked for a playoff, like Boston, Pittsburgh etc will be buyers. But this is an Islanders team that, on some nights, will make you proud to be a fan or drive you to drink. So what should the Isles do: Buy, Sell, or Hold? Let’s take a look at team investing 101….
It’s no secret that the Isles should be better (not by much) than their record indicates. They’re at the NHL .500 and from whom I’ve talked to most fans expected them to be at least two games over. Trouble to finish games and playing consistently are the major flaws of this team. But with other teams struggling, whether out of the playoffs or trying to stay in the playoffs, the Islanders are in the thick of the playoff race, so in this instance, they should “Buy” (aka trade a draft pick/prospect for an established player or sign a free agent), improve the team, make a run for the playoffs, but don’t wait for April 3rd. The Isles need to gain ground now so make moves sooner rather than later.
Then you have fans who believe that the Islanders are just not that good enough even if the Islanders were to be buyers, so the mentality would be to “Sell” a few vets (aka trade them for draft picks), and possibly make a deal before or during the draft like Garth Snow did getting Lubomir Visnovsky for a second round pick. The benefit to that is you may get a key player that’s needed for the next years playoff push.
Then you have what they call by a “hold” meaning you don’t trade anybody and you let the Islanders play out the season. With news being reported that most of the vets (except for maybe Marty Reasoner) are in talks of new contract extensions, the Islanders may just be giving the younger prospects more time to development in Bridgeport so there could certainly be enough talented depth in the organization next year, something the Islanders have rarely had in a very long time.
When investing in the Islanders this year, it may be a good idea to do all three. It’s been clear the last few years that the Isles have been sellers. But you have to take a look at your long term prospects: who they are, what position they play and most importantly how are they progressing. The fact that the Isles are looking into resigning most of the vets tells me that most on that Bridgeport team are not yet ready to make the jump to the big league. Now, if there is a player available at the right price then the Isles should go after him. Finally there is also nothing wrong with getting rid of “dead wood.” I mean, if the Isles can trade Rolston and Mottau at the same time, they can trade anybody. What would you do?
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