Islanders Insight’s Top Shelf: 2/27/16

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Tyler Kennedy

We are only 48 hours away from the NHL trading deadline. Social media is abuzz with potential trade targets, theoretical trade packages, and constant refreshing of Bob McKenzie’s and Darren Dreger’s Twitter accounts. But, as far as the Islanders go, no one is quite sure how general manager Garth Snow will handle his 10th deadline.

Across message boards and comment sections, fans have a wide variety of opinions on how Snow should view the deadline. Many think he should be willing to trade away valuable draft picks and prospects for a potential difference-maker. Others believe he should conserve his future assets to maintain a healthy prospect system for years to come. There are also some fans who have called on Snow to “sell” and retool for a run next year by trading away impending free-agent Kyle Okposo.

While there is no correct answer, Snow must address one glaring weakness on the Islanders’ roster; the lack of depth. The team is currently in the midst of a lengthy cross-country road trip, but are only carrying the minimum 12 forwards on their roster. An unexpected injury to Mikhail Grabovski has forced Jack Capuano to leave him back in New York and play Steve Bernier, who’s been a healthy scratch for all but 18 games this season.

Usually, when teams travel on lengthy road trips, they will bring along an extra few skaters in case an injury should befall one of their regulars. It speaks to the lack of depth in Bridgeport that Snow elected not to call any forwards up for the trip. Only Taylor Beck has been called up from the AHL this season, and it’s clear they Islanders are unwilling to do that again.

Look for Snow to make a move for someone like Tyler Kennedy, who was acquired for peanuts at last year’s deadline. As the playoffs inch closer, the Islanders need only to look at last year to appreciate the importance of having depth in a playoff run.

Islanders Links:

Three takeaways from Thursday night’s victory in Calgary

Tom Liodice looks ahead to Monday’s trade deadline

Matthew Klimberg appeared on the Dump and Chase Podcast

NHL Links:

The Blackhawks continued to stock up for the playoffs by acquiring Weise and Fleischmann

The geriatric Avalanche defeated the (Grey) Wings in the Stadium Series Alumni Game

Alex Ovechkin became the first player to reach 40 goals this season

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