Isles Trade Vanek, Anger Fans

posted in: NHL | 5

Well, we knew the Isles would be trading Thomas Vanek today. That much was obvious. Islander fans were hopeful that dealing him bring back a return that might help mitigate what the team had already lost in trading Matt Moulson, a 1st and 2rd pick to Buffalo to acquire Vanek in the first place.

They were not appeased by the return. 2012 Second Round pick Sebastien Collberg, and Montreal’s 2nd round pick this year. Collbery is a 5’11” RW currently playing in the Swedish Elite League, who has never scored more than 5 goals in that league. Not exactly a top-tier prospect.

Look, I’m not going to ride Garth Snow for this trade. This had been coming since the gamble early in the season to trade for Vanek didn’t turn this team into the playoff team we thought they could be. That gamble was precipitated by Garth’s decisions in the offseason to stick with Nabakov in goal and not add a defenseman, but to instead count on the continued improvement and development of guys like Hamonic, MacDonald, Hickey, Strait, etc. Not to mention the forwards who seemed ready to finally live up to their potential like Okposo, Bailey and Grabner. (Heck I was even the person whos aid if they all step up and Nabby regains his form, I could see this team sneaking into the top 2 or 3 in the division, obviously none of those things happened!)

Unfortunately, that gamble backfired, Okposo was really the only Islander who actually did step up his game this year, the rest were either middling or just downright awful, leading to the Vanek gamble, which also backfired, and now here we are. A non-playoff team, desperate to get anything for players before they leave via free agency, being taken advantage of by other teams.

For most teams, losing out on those kinds of gambles and being forced into this situation would be enough to get a coach and GM fired, or at least one of them. But this is the Islanders. Even Mike Milbury was gainfully employed here for a decade.

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