The New York Islanders, playing their best hockey in 2 months, traded defenseman James Wisniewski to the Montreal Canadians this afternoon for a 2nd round pick and a conditional 5th round selection.
More to come as I am completely dumbfounded by this move at this time.
I understand Garth Snow making this move if he thinks Wisniewski wont re-sign with the Islanders and this is the best deal he’ll get (considering his -18, I would say Snow got a decent return for Wisniewski). What I don’t understand is who will step into his minutes? Do they go to Travis Hamonic? Is it too much to ask a 20 year old with 14 NHL games under his belt to become a number 1 defenseman? Is there another deal to be made? I don’t see it if there is, it’s possible since i’ve been told there wont be a conference call about this trade, maybe another is on the horizon. Either way, this leaves a huge hole on the Islanders blueline (which has just returned to being healthy and has been playing extremely well).
The second problem I have with this trade is the timing. Look, Wisniewski isn’t Nicklas Lidstrom, far from it, but coming off 4 wins in 5 games (against some good opponents) what are you telling the fans, who have been staying home for most of the season before this trade? If you are just going to play Bruno Gervais and expect fans to be excited about that it’s not going to happen. Bruno is a great kid and has been an excellent representative for the team to have out in the community, but he isn’t a wow me kind of hockey player. Never has been and never will be. Are you telling fans that you know you’re a lottery team this year and fans need to accept that? You know that the Islanders aren’t a better team now that Wisniewski is gone, his compensation wont be known for another 6 months, so again, why now?
The only answer I can think of is Wisniewski wanted out. I can tell you personally that losing did not sit well with this guy. Was it Wisniewski who made the infamous “country club” comment? I think so, since that’s the intense personality that he displayed from the moment he was acquired back in July. Even in post game interviews you could see that he would be dumbfounded after games. Now, you have to take into consideration that this will be his 4th team in 6th seasons, so could it a personality issue? I don’t think so, but you can’t discount it.
All in all, the Islanders got good value for Wisniewski but once again are left to answer questions about their roster and about their intentions.
About the Author: The New York Islanders have been a huge part of my life since I was 7 years old, and during the past 27 years I have experience many ups and downs with this team. The back end of 4 straight Stanley Cups, the Drive for 5, the Easter Epic, trading of my heroes John Tonelli, and Kelly Hrudey. Mike Bossy's early retirement, Pat LaFontaine for Pierre Turgeon, Dale Hunter, David Volek, Ron Hextall, Al Arbour's retirement, Bill Torrey to Florida, Mike Milbury, John Spano, The Milstein's, Hoistgate, the sale to Charles Wang, Draft Day 2000, Alexei Yashin and Michael Peca, Milbury's "reassignement", 40 days of Neil Smith, Ted Nolan, The Lighthouse Project, Kate Murray, Scott Gordon, going from 5 to 7 to 9, Josh Bailey, John Tavares, Calvin deHaan, El Nino, the 2 Kirill's and hopefully.....much, much more. I have been an Islanders blogger for the past 3 years, starting on Myspace, then for IslesNation.com and currently for HockeyIndependent.com, and I have been selected to the 2010-2011 New York Islanders Blog Box. I am an IT Manager for a quite large facility working for a government agency. I am married for 7 years to an incredibly patient woman and am the proud father of a beautiful 1 year old daughter. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: Twitter.com/tonystabile