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Snow on Vanek trade: Isles ‘need to take the next step’

Oct 27, 2013, 10:42 PM EST

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However you feel about Matt Moulson, the New York Islanders made a statement trade by giving up the winger and two quality draft picks to land Thomas Vanek. Isles GM Garth Snow didn’t deny the impact to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

“We had opportunity to acquire an elite player and given where we we are right now, you go for it.” Snow said. “If we hadn’t drafted so well, if we didn’t have good prospects, we couldn’t afford to take the risk.”

The Islanders currently find themselves in the bubble area of the East at eighth overall with 11 points (4-4-3), a mediocre record that prompted Snow to make a big trade, as Newsday’s Arthur Staple reports.

“I didn’t like the way we’d been playing,” Snow said. “We’re better than our record indicates and we need to take the next step.”

“Thomas is an elite player in this league and he’ll help us now and in the future.”

The “in the future” part is interesting, as Snow admitted they hadn’t started contract extension talks with the 29-year-old sniper. Then again, maybe the Islanders GM is thinking more big picture. This team hasn’t made many splashy moves, with their boldest ones sometimes earning protest-like responses from eventual converts such as Lubomir Visnovsky and Evgeni Nabokov.

As fans imagine how Vanek might work with world-class center John Tavares, others can’t help but wonder if Snow has anything else up his sleeves.

  1. killerpgh - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    If Snow is serious about the Iles taking the “next step” he better have another trade in the works for a goalie. Jonas Hiller?

    • bruceleroy1 - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:29 PM

      How about Ryan Miller?

      • bullwinkle88 - Oct 28, 2013 at 6:55 AM

        Miller for Okposo, the Isles 2nd pick 2014, 1st pick 2015.

        Darcy would make that deal.

      • jl9830 - Oct 28, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        But Garth Snow would laugh at Darcy lol

    • beermeone - Oct 28, 2013 at 12:05 AM

      Vanek for Miller and a 2015 1st

    • endusersolutions2013 - Oct 28, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      If the Sabers would agree to keep part of his salary/cap hit, a Miller trade could work. I also imagine Miller would be willing to take a pay cut to play for a conder with a future.

  2. pitpenguinsrulez - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    In my opinion I believe the Isles could be the Pens biggest threat in the Metro this season. This a big move on there part but they gave up a good bit to get a player that could be a rental if they don’t resign him which they might do. Although if they going to be a serious threat and have a deep run in the playoffs then they need to find a goalie. We broke Nabby last season and plus he’s not a goalie that can steal you a game let alone a series. The Isles future is very bright.

    • stakex - Oct 28, 2013 at 2:09 AM

      The only way that’s true is if the Islanders somehow work a second deal for Miller. He’s the only top tier goalie out there on the market right now, and without a better goalie the Islanders aren’t going anywhere.

      The biggest threat in the Met aside from the Pens is probably the Rangers. That might sound a bit laughable considering their inconsistent start, but they have shown signs of life lately including manhandling a really good Detroit team the other night. Once they get healthier, AV’s system starts clicking more consistently, and they actually get to play some home games I think the Rangers will be pretty dangerous again. I mean last night we saw how good they can be if everything clicks, when they pretty much manhandled a very good Detroit team. If they can find that on a consistent basis…. watch out.

      • jl9830 - Oct 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

        Lol. The Rangers are in a pretty big hole already. They’re lucky the rest of the Metro (sans PIT) played .500-or-worse hockey to this point to keep them alive at all. The Islanders are clearly a better team than the Rangers at this point.

  3. mrpinkca - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    “It’s time to take the next step, and Ryan Miller is just the player we need to take it.

    What? We got Vanek? That can’t be right.”

  4. imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    Next step, fire Garth Snow
    Trading 1st and 2nd round picks without having a goalie on the roster or in their system that has any upside is mismanagement of resources.

    Trades Nino, Moulson and picks in less than 12 months and still no goalie.

    He makes one step forward now and then, only to take one or two back, yet some Isles fan don’t see how bad a GM he really is, a good hockey owner would have fired him already.

    • jernster21 - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      John Spano would have never let this happen.

    • neeza06 - Oct 28, 2013 at 2:38 AM

      I think snow has done pretty well building a young team who is committed to staying with little money and no appeal to any free agents. Also you obviously cant judge this trade until we find out if vanek stays long term or not (someone was gonna get him if we didnt and this may be the only way we can get him to consider Long Island long term, thats the sad truth about this franchise still)

      That being said I think your 100% right about how snow has dealt with the goalie situation. I am a fan of his the most part but it has been frustrating to see good if not serviceable goalies move through the league for very little compensation while we sit back and do nothing ( i.e. Bernier, Schneider, Bishop, Mason). I have to agree this trade would have been a lot sweeter if say it was Moulson, niederreiter, and picks or another mid-level prospect for vanek and miller. I like clutterbuck a lot but hes a dime a dozen on this team mcadam is a long way away as a prospect.

      But this trade is still in the evaluation process and we wont know for sure for a while

      • Meta - Oct 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM

        I agree Neeza. This guy has done a lot with a little bit of money and dont give me that crap about nino. yes snow couldve gotten more for him but he had to work with what he had, a spoiled brat who remind me a bit of Nail Yakupov. i also agree about the goaltending situation. if this had been a trade for miller i think it wouldve been much more helpful to the isles. still, in my opinion snow has done a lot more to help this team that hurt it

  5. multiplemiggs - Oct 28, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    That 1st rounder will be 30th overall ;)

    • jl9830 - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:45 AM

      Loving the optimism on the Island. Go Islanders!

    • bullwinkle88 - Oct 28, 2013 at 6:57 AM

      I’m betting it will be a top 10 pick. You haven’t seen Vanek when he takes several nights off in a row.

      • jl9830 - Oct 28, 2013 at 11:01 AM

        I’m sure John Tavares, Frans Nielsen, Michael Grabner, Josh Bailey, etc. can take care of those nights.

  6. stakex - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    Looking at all the stats, there are two problems with this trade:

    1. For starters, Vanek’s numbers of late haven’t been that much better then Moulson’s. He’s had some more assists, and probably has a slightly higher ceiling…. but Moulson’s been a consistent 30+ goal scorer, and its unlikely Vanek is going to be much better than that. So is a slight upgrade really worth a 1st and 2nd round draft pick? They probably could have given up a lot less and added a bit more production on the 2nd or 3rd line instead.

    2. Last year the Islanders were 7th in the league in Goals For. Not overly amazing, but more then good enough to be a contender. However, they were 21st in Goals Against…. not good enough to be a contender. So wouldn’t it make sense that if they wanted to “take the next step”, to focus more on defense/goaltending? Adding more scoring isn’t going to get them deep into the playoffs if they can’t keep the puck out of the net.

    • nicknyhc - Oct 28, 2013 at 2:58 AM

      Don’t kid yourself, Vanek is a lot better than Moulson.

      Vanek’s numbers have been bad the last couple years because he played on a God awful Sabres team. Put talent around Vanek and he’ll put up big numbers.

      • bullwinkle88 - Oct 28, 2013 at 6:59 AM

        Don’t bet on that. Certainly his production should increase playing with JT, but he is very streaky and goes into periods where he’s invisible.

        The Sabres robbed the Islanders on this trade. The two picks cinched a Buffalo win. Darcy strikes again!!!

  7. hockey412 - Oct 28, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    So somebody help me understand this…basically, if they haven’t reached an agreement on a new contract by the deadline, they’d have to trade him, wouldn’t they? Can’t risk what they gave on a rental…I think they can be a contender but with the goalie situation it’s tough to take this kind of chance with zero return. I guess they’d have a good sense at that point whether he’d resign.

    Oooooo it’d be awesome if Lundqvist decided to switch to the other side of New York next year hahaha…the drama!

    • jpelle82 - Oct 28, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      moulson should test the market, and i wouldnt be surprised if the sabres low-balled him into being traded again or walking anyway. the sabres got enough to make the trade worth it even without moulson thrown in. still cant believe snow gave that much up for a possible rental in vanek either….though i fully expect vanek to resign. moulson has more goals than vanek in the last 5 years and was part of one of the arguably best center-winger duo’s in the league with tavares. dont know what he was thinking for even taking that call without miller being the primary talking point.

      • hockey412 - Oct 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        But that’s my whole point…come the trade deadline let’s say it’s evident that Vanek is not agreeable to your best offer. What do you do?

      • jpelle82 - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        especially since snow is usually dealing with a smaller than average budget to work with…i dont get it either. this is THE free agency for vanek…if he has any desire to go win somewhere, the islanders have a lot of proving to do to keep him, primarily in the goalie department. he’s looking at a big payday and at 29 years old he’s in his “prime” for that big contract before he becomes that 34-35 year old with maybe a few good seasons left in the tank and can only expect 1-2 year deals (iginla). i guess thats why it was done now, the islanders have some time to make it work, but if they arent winning you cant blame vanek for going somewhere else, he doesnt owe snow and the islanders anything.

      • jpelle82 - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        to continue on that thought…i personally dont see the islanders as a cup contender but snow is making this move with the obvious amount of risk that comes with it as if he is selling out for the cup this year (kinda like shero with the iginla deal). i dont see it, maybe he has more up his sleeve to make it happen, at this point of the season you never know, but from the outside looking in, i would think they are more than a vanek away from the promised land…

  8. pizzaman77 - Oct 28, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    I’m not sure if Islander fans and Sabre fans will see eye to eye based upon the “who is better” debate in Vanek and Moulson. As a Sabre fan, I vision Vanek as a much better player, even if their numbers look similar to that of Moulsons. For most of his career he hasnt played with great linemates. Obviously JT is a stud and a superstar in the league so I’d expect his numbers to go up a bit. I’m not doubting that Moulson isn’t a good player but I’d expect his numbers to drop while on the Sabres. Hope I’m wrong!

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