The New York Islanders made a small transaction yesterday with the New Jersey Devils:
Now this can certainly be a “change of scenery” for both players, but this change may help the Devils in the short term:
Clearly a change of scenery will be beneficial for Durandeau if given a chance as he has chemistry on his side now, but what about Thompson? The list of right wingers in this organization is mind-boggling. Holmstrom, Palmieri, Fasching, Wahlstrom, Clutterbuck, Gauthier, Maggio, Dufour, and now Thompson. Next year, Alex Jefferies should be on the Bridgeport roster and will leapfrog over Tyce. Where is his chance if he earns it? New York Islanders general manager, Lou Lamoriello never makes a deal unless the end result will benefit the organization and right now, this trade favors the Devils.
There is one difference between the two players that does give the Islanders an advantage: Thompson is on a one-way contract ($762,500 AAV), while Durandeau is on a two-way. Thompson has already cleared waivers so the Islanders do not have to worry about losing a player for nothing. This sets up Lamoriello with more leverage to help out a team in a tight cap situation.
Because a few of these players on the Islanders would either clear or be claimed on the waiver wire (or send struggling players on strenuous contracts down) this gives the other team(s) the flexibility to accumulate needed cap space around the trade deadline. Thompson also does not have to be qualified, making him an UFA at seasons end and the Islanders are currently sitting at just over five million dollars ($5,247,500) for next year, according to CapFriendly.
So if I had to guess, I would say Wahlstrom, Gauthier, Fasching, Maggio, Jefferies, Dufour and Iskhakov would be on my radar to be traded in a package of some kind. Of course the numbers would have to match just in case defenseman Adam Pelech does return, but adding more cap space for next season while helping another team this year and getting a proven player back with enough space to now do a trade and sign deal? That seems to be Lamoriello’s trend, so nothing would shock me if Lou pulled off another trade sooner rather than later.
A move like that would hopefully give the Islanders a positive change of scenery for this and next year. What’s in the package? I’ll let you debate that.