At this time of the NHL season, it’s important to remember that not all trade speculation is created equally. We need to make sure we separate the good rumors from the bad and that we always keep in mind that while many claim to be, most people on Twitter are not ‘Insiders’. That being said, Bob McKenzie is definitely a good source of information and when he speculates on a trade destination we should take it somewhat seriously.
— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) February 23, 2016
We all know that PA Parenteau is into his last week as a member of the 2015-16 Maple Leafs, the fun part is waiting to see which team is willing to pay the most. Whatever you think of him as a player, Parenteau is on a great contract and will bring a bit of secondary scoring to a contending team. He’s exactly the kind of player that gets you a return at the deadline that many think is absurd in hindsight (see Antoine Vermette at last year’s deadline).
While they weren’t listed as one of our top-5 destinations for Parenteau, McKenzie is right the Islander make a ton of sense as a team that would be interested. They could use another winger that can score and likely have pressure on them to make a bit of a run this year as the Islanders are nearing the “but they never do anything in the playoffs’ label. If McKenzie is basing his speculation on any sort of inside information (he usually does), we should definitely be counting the Islander in as one of the teams bidding on Parenteau.
Now the fun part, what kind of return could we expect from the Islanders in a P-A Parenteau trade. Everyone knows that my favorite prospect in all of hockey is a member of the Islanders organization but even I’m not crazy enough to think Garth Snow would trade Mathew Barzal for Parenteau. Could the Leafs try to sweeten the pot and exploit the “deadline craziness”? Sure, but it’s incredibly unlikely.
Aside from Barzal, the Islanders have some pretty nice pieces that the Leafs would definitely have a lot of interest in. At the top of the list would be two buy-low candidates in Michael Dal Colle and Josh Ho-Sang. The two OHLers have tremendous skill but both seem to have a dark cloud hanging over their heads. After being a top-5 pick a couple years ago, many (including himself) expected Dal Colle to make the Islanders this season. When he didn’t, he was sent back to the OHL where he sulked his way through the first half of the season before being one of the first cuts from the Canadian World Junior Team. since being traded to a contender in Kingston, Dal Colle has been on fire showing the skill that had the Islanders drafting him so high. He could definitely be a guy that the islanders give up on too soon and has the upside to be incredibly intriguing to the Leafs.
And then there’s Josh Ho-Sang who despite his best efforts can’t seem to shake the ‘bad attitude’ stigma that has followed him through junior. He has been called a bad teammate, been accused of being a show boat, dropped in the NHL draft because of his ‘attitude problems’ and was sent home from Islanders training camp this past fall after bing late to the first practice. None of that, however, takes away from his high-end skill. The label that has been bestowed on Ho-Sang has been very much overblown. He’s a cocky player but he’s 18 and has always been the most skilled player on his team, it’s to be expected, heck some coaches and fans like that sort of attitude. He’ll grow and learn, especially playing for Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe who had the same cockiness during his OHL career. If you can buy low on a player as skilled as Ho-Sang you take the risk.
Aside from the two OHL wingers, the Islanders also have Ilya Sorokin who is one of the best goalie prospects in the world. He would fill the a huge hole in the organization as the potential goaltender of the future.
Maybe I’m overblowing the value of Parenteau, but teams have given up more for less at the trade deadline (come one, two 2nds for Polak and Spaling?). The Islanders also have a number of contracts that they would probably like to get rid of and the Leafs aren’t afraid of taking on money to sweeten the pot. One time beloved Maple Leaf Mikhail Grabovski is on a horrendous contract (2 more years at $5million) and could be an obvious salary dump but the contract is so bad that the return for the Leafs are getting would have to be incredibly significant.
At this point it’s only speculation but there may be a fit, and the fact that McKenzie ties Parenteau to the Islanders is in no way a coincidence. The Islanders have done a great job of drafting over the past few years and have stockpiled a pretty nice collection of prospects. If nothing else, it’s fun to dream about snagging one of them to play with William Nylander and Mitch Marner down the road. I’ll just leave this here: