Yesterday the Islanders acquired both Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac in exchange for the following:
-A first round pick that will most definitely be late in the round due to the Islanders (hopefully) making a playoffs run
-Mason Jobst who showed some speed in the pre-season
-AJ Greer, a prospect the Islanders acquired from the Avalanche earlier this year, who may never touch NHL ice
So in sum, pocket change for two essential players the Islanders can use. However, both players are UFA’s at the end of this season. With both players earning $4-5 million each a year, there’s no way the Islanders can afford to resign both. These players are most certainly rentals. Even if Lou was able to perform a miracle by moving Komarov and Ladd to free up cap, would you even want these players back another year?
There’s pros and cons. Kyle Palmieri can score goals and Travis Zajac will be essential to our bottom six. There will be no more Ross Johnston and Leo Komarov on the first line- that’s for sure.
While I’m thrilled with the news of this trade, I’m cautious with what the Islanders still need. Are a 30 and 35 year old enough to bring the Islanders into Cup contention? Well, yes- they already are in Cup contention. But is this enough to win the whole thing? I’m not here to say no- because you should NEVER doubt the Islanders. The one thing holding me back from saying “WE’RE CUP BOUND” is the missing piece Anders Lee left. Anders Lee is a player you cannot replace. If he wasn’t injured and we made this deal, you might as well plan the Cup parade now. But without him it’s a different story.
Now I’m not saying go after Taylor Hall, but maybe a big guy in front could be useful.
Here’s what some people think the Islanders line will look like after the trade:
I think you have to give Palmieri a shot at the first line with Barzal. He can put pucks in the back of the net and fully unleash Mat Barzal. I also believe you keep Pageau at center and put Zajac at wing.
Pageau has won 56.6% of his faceoffs this year and Zajac has won 49.9% of his.
So in all, this is an outstanding trade. Is it enough? We’ll just have to find out. Palmieri is 30 years old so if we can re-sign him for cheap it may not be a bad idea. Zajac, 35, is earning over $5 million so I would avoid signing him.
Let’s make a run, Isles fans!