The New York Islanders have regarded like among the best groups within the Japanese Convention to begin the season with a 15-9 document. They’ve roster and are taking part in properly all through the roster, however to be a Stanley Cup-caliber workforce, they’ll must make one transfer, if no more, to place the workforce excessive.
The Chicago Blackhawks are one of many groups which can be in the course of a rebuild and are within the strategy of tearing down their roster. They’re an intriguing workforce for the Islanders and lots of groups seeking to contend this season as they’ve a number of star gamers that may gasoline a Cup run, and equally, they’ve a number of depth gamers that may assist put together a workforce for the playoffs.
Patrick Kane is the participant that lots of groups are going to watch at this yr’s commerce deadline with the trade rumors already circulating throughout the league. His contract expires on the finish of the season, and at 34 years previous, it’s unclear if he shall be part of the Blackhawks’ plans. Whereas they may maintain him as a participant to construct round, common supervisor (GM) Kyle Davidson and the entrance workplace may look to maneuver Kane on the commerce deadline for a number of belongings to assist out the rebuild.
The Islanders face numerous obstacles in terms of buying Kane, extra so than a number of the different groups that shall be within the face of the Blackhawks franchise. He has a no-trade clause and will select his subsequent workforce to complete the season and probably finish his profession. The opposite contract points embrace his cap hit, which is $10.5 million per yr and the potential for shedding him after the season as he’s a rental addition. Lastly, there are additionally the items the Islanders must ship to the Blackhawks to accumulate him, and contemplating the prospect pool isn’t nice, they will possible be outbid by one of many different groups desirous about including Kane to their roster.
Nonetheless, if the Islanders managed so as to add Kane to the roster, he would immediately make them the favorites within the Japanese Convention. Kane is an elite ahead that has led the Blackhawks to a few Stanley Cup titles and supplies playoff expertise unmatched by arguably another participant within the league. Furthermore, he’s the passer the Islanders’ ahead unit wants to finish the offense. With Brock Nelson, Anders Lee, Zach Parise, and Oliver Wahlstrom all having nice goalscoring seasons, the offense has loads of skaters that may discover the again of the web however except for Mathew Barzal, they don’t have an elite passer.
It’s unlikely the Islanders will land Kane with the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, and Colorado Avalanche rising as frontrunners to accumulate him. Even his hometown workforce, the Buffalo Sabres, could make a transfer for him if they’re aggressive by the commerce deadline. The Islanders might need an outdoor likelihood to accumulate Kane however contemplating his skillset, notably as a puck facilitator, he shall be a participant to watch because the season progresses.
The Blackhawks signed Max Domi to a one-year contract this offseason with the hopes that he can have a giant yr and so they can transfer him on the commerce deadline. It’s acquainted territory for Domi, who was a pending free agent final season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, however a giant yr noticed him traded to the Carolina Hurricanes on the commerce deadline. He’s seen as a dependable addition to an offense, and the Islanders might be one of many groups desirous about including him to the roster this season.
Domi is placing collectively an incredible season with the Blackhawks with seven targets and 9 assists, each of that are second-most on the workforce. The Islanders including him would give them a middle-six wing choice that like Kane, could be a pass-first participant who creates scoring probabilities. Domi won’t be the splash addition however he’s the kind of participant the offense wants and may spherical out the workforce for a playoff run.
Like Domi, Andreas Athanasiou is having a robust season on a one-year deal and can possible be traded by the Blackhawks if the workforce continues to wrestle. With six targets and three assists, Athanasiou is having a giant yr in a Blackhawks offense that has struggled and proving that he could be a outstanding scorer in a contending workforce’s offense. The Islanders may take benefit by including him as a depth ahead.
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Athanasiou isn’t a giant title for the Islanders to accumulate, not like Kane or Jonathan Toews, one other pending free agent. Nonetheless, he’s a well-rounded skater who notably would add a scoring presence to the center of the offense. Moreover, his versatility, taking part in the middle place and the wing all through his eight-year profession, offers the Islanders flexibility within the ahead unit, which notably will assist them out if the accidents begin to plague the roster.
Different Blackhawks the Islanders Can Purchase
The Blackhawks will look to maneuver from the gamers coming into the ultimate years of their contracts, but when the fitting supply is in place, they may commerce away some gamers which have a number of years left on their contracts. Jason Dickinson, who was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks within the offseason, and Sam Lafferty are two intriguing forwards that the Islanders may add to their center six, who’re each beneath contract till after the 2023-24 season. Each gamers might be sturdy depth additions, and consequently, are attention-grabbing gamers to watch this season.
The Islanders are hoping to win the Stanley Cup for the primary time because the 1982-83 season, and so they have a roster that may make a run for the Cup. Nonetheless, the one large transfer for a participant like Kane or the fitting depth additions can put this workforce excessive and propel them in a aggressive Japanese Convention.
Mike Fink joined The Hockey Writers in November 2020 and covers the New York Islanders. Along with overlaying the Islanders, Fink writes in regards to the NHL at giant and contributes as a weekly visitor to The Hockey Writers Podcast. Comply with Mike on Twitter @Finks_thoughts for extra Islanders and common hockey insights.