Isles Acquire Tim Thomas; Grabner Effect Alive in Loss to Rangers

How’s it going, Isles fans? I had to bolt New York early this morning due to the upcoming snowstorm, so I’m writing from Miami. This may be the last you hear from me until February 16th, as I will be on a cruise as of February 9th.

Anyways, after a day of traveling, I fell asleep as soon as I got to my hotel room. I woke up at 6:45 PM for the Islanders-Rangers game, and found out that today was actually a pretty big day in Islanders’ Country.

Yes, I woke up to the news that the Islanders had acquired former Vezina Trophy winner and Stanley Cup Champion Tim Thomas from the Boston Bruins in exchange for a conditional 2nd-round draft pick in either 2014 or 2015. The draft pick is conditional on Thomas, who is sitting out this season, on reporting to the Islanders, or any other team in the case that the Islanders trade his rights. If he never plays, Isles keep the pick.

Islanders General Manager Garth Snow on the trade:

“We have acquired an asset for our organization. This acquisition allows us flexibility with our roster moving forward”

And that’s the truth. The New York Islanders made a move to push them over the cap floor, which gives them more options as they expect to make more moves in the upcoming weeks.

Yes, I expect the Islanders to begin making moves. Veterans with expiring contracts (Mark Streit?) may be on their way out, and in order to stay by the floor, the Islanders dealt for the ghost of Tim Thomas.

Is it a cap floor move? Yes. Do I expect to ever see Tim Thomas in an Isles uniform? No. Still, it’s actually a smart move for the Islanders, who aren’t anywhere near the cap ceiling and could afford this type of deal. Thomas will never be paid by the Islanders, but will have his contract tolled until he feels ready to come back to the NHL. If he ever decides to play, the Islanders can trade him, and get back their 2nd-round pick, or maybe even more if they find a team in dire need of a goaltender.

If it means the Islanders can now begin making moves with Thomas replacing one or more contracts, the deal is fine. The Isles are already close to the 50-contract limit, so if they decide to ship out a few players, the team will stay above the cap floor and have room to sign prospects like Anders Lee, Brenden Kichton, etc.

Now, not too much longer after the Thomas trade, the Isles would face-off against the Rangers. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to watch the game. After hopping through a few bars, no one had the game on, and I settled with Philly-Florida instead.

The Islanders fell to their rivals 4-1, and from what I read, it was a very boring game. The Isles played lethargic hockey, they once again failed on special teams, and the Islanders extended their losing streak to three games.

One observation from what I read: The “Grabner Effect” is still alive and well. If you didn’t follow some of my past articles back when I started doing this, here’s an explanation.

Grabner failed to score on a breakaway in the second. Instead of tying the game at 2, the Rangers came right back and pulled ahead 3-1. Once again, the breakaway failed, and swung momentum 100% the other way.

Isles fans, we’re all familiar with this. We saw it all the time last year.  A game-tying chance turned around into a two-goal deficit, and that’s the common story on the Island. I used to argue that it was almost a reason to trade Grabs, although I don’t think that’s realistic unless he’s really not finishing. Regardless, two out of the last three games have seen Michael Grabner miss a breakaway chance, and left Islanders fans asking “what if”.

Some thoughts coming out of this one:

-I find it odd that the Islanders scratched Casey Cizikas.

-I also found it to be a good choice that the Islanders scratched Carkner.

-Joe Finley earned his first assist on the season.

-It’s DiPietro time.

-Sounded like this was the type of game that gets a coach fired. No energy,

-Islanders power-play continues it’s 0-fer.

-It’s simple. Islanders aren’t scoring timely goals, just like last season.

So, while I’m away, please feel free to interact on my Facebook page. I will be missing 4 games, and I want to come back home with as many updates as possible. Try to stay optimistic, and hopefully this slide stops by the time I come home.

Lubomir Visnovsky and Josh Bailey will be entering the line-up as soon as this Saturday. Reinforcements are coming. Let’s go Islanders!

The Islanders fall to 4-5-1 with their loss to the Rangers.

Follow @ChrisTriants

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About the Author: Writes at Islanders Op-Timism. Islanders Season Ticket Holder who tends to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hofstra Graduate currently working at Portnoy, Messinger, Pearl & Associates. I definitely want to end up working within the world of hockey. Blog: E-Mail: Twitter: @ChrisTriants

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