Kevin SchultzIn the midst of the Islanders November tailspin — 2-10-1 in their last 13, if you’re counting — multiple reports have GM Garth Snow looking to make a trade to improve the team.
On Friday after the Islanders 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Detroit, ESPN’s well-connected Pierre LeBrun noted that Snow is making the rounds looking for a trade partner:
Today in the Ottawa Sun, Bruce Garrioch said much of the same but added Ryan Miller’s name into the mix (nevermind that he thinks last spring’s playoff series went seven games, instead of six).
That has GM Garth Snow working the phones.
Two league executives told the Sun that Snow has been working the phones to see if he can get a goaltender to try to get the club back on track in the race for the post-seaason.
However, Garrioch says that the Islanders’ “ideal scenario” is to convince Buffalo netminder Ryan Miller to waive his no-trade clause for a half-season stint on Long Island. There’s two problems with the Miller scenario; 1) are the Islanders willing — or even able — to part with more picks, which is what Buffalo wants to further its rebuild? That may not be wise. 2) Miller is only a rental for a season that is already nearing life support, so is it worth it? Maybe the team should find a cheaper rental or a longer-term option and pursue Miller when he hits the open market in the summer (if, of course, they’re actually willing to spend the money).
Some interesting options do exist with other teams outside of Buffalo.
Anaheim has an excess of netminders and are a good non-conference trading partner. In Anaheim, there is a back log of netminders consisting of UFA-to-be Jonas Hiller, high-priced and late-blooming prospect Viktor Fasth and 24-year old Frederik Andersen, who has put up excellent numbers at every level (albeit in small samples).
The Leafs also seem to be a match for the Islanders as they need help in areas other than goaltending. It seems unlikely, but maybe the Islanders could pry James Reimer away from Toronto. The Leafs are in a tailspin of their own but goaltending isn’t the issue, as Reimer and Jonathan Bernier have put up solid numbers. To add to that, both Reimer and Bernier are restricted when their contracts are up so they could be long-term options.
Even in Carolina, despite the injuries to Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin, Justin Peters has proven to be a capable stop-gap with a .920 SVP in 10 games. It would be a gamble but would also come at a lower price.
For my money, the high-priced rental of Miller doesn’t make sense unless all of these options are completely off the table.