Written by Dan Raicevich and can be found on twitter at @dan_raicevich
First, they started this year off poorly due to the lack of health, sluggish play and a trade, that was in my opinion, one of the worst trades a team has made in some time in acquiring Thomas Vanek. GM Garth Snow felt that adding Vanek was a great move for the team, as he felt the two time forty goal scorer was the boost his hockey club needed to help build off their successful 2012-13 season.
Unfortunately, Snow was wrong on this as his Islanders sunk to the bottom of the standings and are sitting in the sellers position once again. Now, it is Trade Deadline day, and Garth Snow is going to be a busy man tonight and tomorrow.
Why is Snow going to be busy? Well, he is going to be needing to move the one player who many people in the hockey world feel is the coveted possession of this edition of the Trade Deadline in Thomas Vanek. Vanek will be moved over the course of the next hours. That is something that will happen, as Vanek not only rejected the generous 7 year, $50 Million dollar offer from the Islanders but he was scratched in the team’s game Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets.
Snow made his one major move, shipping off his other large target named Andrew MacDonald. MacDonald rejected an offer recently from the Islanders on a contract extension, but the defenseman has been moved and he is no longer Snow’s issue. Snow’s major issue is moving Vanek and securing some assets to help not only keep his job but help build his team around the elite center, John Tavares.
So, let me ask the million dollar question, where is Thomas Vanek going to land by 3:00 PM on March 5th?
To answer this question, I feel the most viable and likely place for Vanek to land is in Orange County with the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim is an elite team and Stanley Cup contender, any hockey fan can inform you on that. One thing that the Ducks did the pervious day is move a guy in Dustin Penner, whom I felt was a key component in the Ducks resurgence. Do trades work in pairs? I believe they can. Just look at how Edmonton operates their business. They like to make signings/trades in pairs. Now not every team does trade or make moves in pairs, but moving a very good, first line player in Dustin Penner mean another move is looming for the Ducks?
I think that the Anaheim Ducks will land Thomas Vanek for a combination of draft picks in either the 2014 or 2015 Entry Drafts, Emerson Etem and a B or C level prospect. Now, that price tag is high, especially putting Etem in this trade as he can be a stellar NHL player, but if you want elite talent and goal scoring that Vanek can offer. You sometimes have to give up talent to get talent. This is the Ducks time, they are playing great hockey and good enough to win the franchise’s second Stanley Cup. Thomas Vanek is and could be the missing link as Ryan Miller could be the missing link to the Blues.
To conclude, the Islanders are in a bad position I think. They cannot hold talent to support John Tavares long-term. Garth Snow has a lot of needs he needs to fill in the summer, as his needs cannot be all fulfilled in the next few hours. Thomas Vanek will get moved tomorrow. Ducks could be the leading candidate, whereas the Kings, Penguins and Wild are also landing the Austrian forward.
There is not a whole much more that the Islanders have to offer, where they cannot fire sale everyone for their lack of performance. They will likely address their issues in all their zones, such as goaltending, forwards and defenseman during the offseason. Tomorrow is just the day in which they can move their main assets to help set them up into a position to build their future.
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