New York Islanders: Buy one, sell one, and keep one as the deadline approaches

New York Islanders. #7 (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
New York Islanders. #7 (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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New York Islnaders
Artemi Panarin (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Buy the best winger on the market.

Sorry if this is obvious, but he is my favorite deadline target, he is probably your favorite deadline target, and I hope he is the Islanders favorite deadline target. His name is Artemi Panarin and he is excellent at the whole hockey thing.

While I am horrified at what this would cost the Islanders, if they had to make a massive splash at the deadline, which is becoming more and more apparent, he is the guy to get. His 67 points this season speaks for itself. He can do it all on offense and could easily average more than a point per game this season.

In the Islanders’ system, he could do wonders. If you paired Panarin with Barzal they would both be primed to be one of the best duos in the entire playoffs. Even sticking him with Filppula on a line could work, who knows. You could even put him on a separate line from Barzal to have a Barzal line, Panarin on the wing a different line, then the best fourth line in the Cizikas line.

The point is, Panarin would be a massive upgrade over everybody the Islanders have and he could instantly help the stagnating offense and make whatever line he touches more productive.

If the Islanders are to buy at the deadline, it should be for this free agent to be. While there is no guarantee he wouldn’t re-sign with the blue and orange, that is not new for the Islanders.

The guy would still be looking for a payday so even if he does not want to stay he would bring it. Plus, a certain former captain left for nothing after bringing nothing for two years, Panarin leaving would be numb for Islander fans, they’ve been through worse. That is if he even does.

While I agree giving up two arms and a leg for Panarin could prove to not age well because we still do not know just how legit this Islanders team is, he would be someone that makes this year’s team better.

He would change the narrative that the Islanders do not go for it. Plus, even if Lou does want to keep his draft picks, and the prospects he drafted, then there could be other options. Even if Lou does tune his inner Garth Snow and just get a guy who fills a random need, the Isles are still just one or two players away.

Either way, the Islanders need to be buyers at the deadline. While, I wouldn’t turn down a popular target like Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, or a Wayne Simmonds type, the Isles should have all their eggs in the Panarin basket.

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That’s it. My game is over. That is who the Isles should buy, sell, and keep. Only lady time knows what the heck Lou Lamoriello will actually do come the deadline, but at least it will be something. Let’s do that hockey.