The New York Islanders‘ hopes of clinching a playoff berth have been steadily declining since the NHL Trade Deadline.
At that time, general manager Garth Snow was clear about his deadline intentions, stating that his captain, pending UFA John Tavares, wasn’t going anywhere. He was also adamant that trading away assets for rentals just didn’t make sense for his club.
A few weeks and seven losses later, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos is questioning whether Snow’s conservative approach to deadline dealing was the right one.
“A lot of eyebrows being raised in terms of Tavares moving out of his natural position at centre to moving to the wing with [Matthew] Barzal [Sunday] night in Carolina,” Kypreos said during Hockey Night in Canada Saturday night, referring to head coach Doug Weight’s “experiment” to spark scoring down the stretch.
“I can also tell you that there’s a feeling that the Islanders did Tavares no favours at the trade deadline, not getting him the necessary players to make one last push for the playoffs,” said Kypreos.
The Islanders are currently sitting well outside the playoff picture with 70 points — a dozen points separating them and the New Jersey Devils, who hold the second wild-card spot.
“It almost feels like this thing is snowballing away from the Islanders and Tavares,” said Kypreos.