The New York Islanders have two sizable problems going into the 2020-2021 season. One problem is that they don’t have a winger who can score at will. The other problem is that they don’t have the cap space to make a move to get one. But, luckily for them, the Islanders still have two second-round picks laying around from the Devon Toews trade.
What if I told you that there’s a way to kill two birds with one stone? That the Islanders can resign all their guys and still get a top 6 forward. Enter Max Pacioretty.
Max Pacioretty was just an average top 6 forward who was declining with age when he was shipped to the Vegas Golden Knights. Then the 2019-2020 season hit, and Max Pacioretty broke out for the second time. It’s almost like he was reborn when he went to Vegas.
Well, there are two reasons for this. “Patches” got back to powerlifting, the thing that gave him his famous speed, and he had something to prove. Max Pacioretty turned back the clock 6 years. He played like a 26-year-old but had the experience of a 32-year-old. Max Pacioretty is exactly what Mat Barzal needs.
Speaking of Mat Barzal, how can the Islanders retain his salary and take on Patches’? It’s actually a lot easier than you think. Barzal signs a bridge deal, 3 years $7 million. This deal works for both sides, Barzal gets a good amount of money, and the Isles still have cap space. Then, Matt Martin and Andy Greene both get $1.25 million for 1 year. Now, Andrew Ladd must be sent to LTIR, this deal doesn’t work without that. Next, Thomas Hickey, Leo Komarov, and Ross Johnston get sent down to the AHL. Finally, the Islanders trade both second-round picks and Robin Salo to Vegas in exchange for Max Pacioretty. The deal is done, the Islanders get everything they want, and the Island is happy.