Rome was not built in a day. Lou Lamoriello understands this.
Much to the disdain of New York Islanders fans on social media, the first-place team made no moves leading up to the 2019 NHL trade deadline. The team’s only acquisition was Dennis Seidenberg, who signed a contract for the remainder of the season after practicing throughout the prior months.
Although the Islanders likely looked at the likes of Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, and many more of the top players on the market, Lamoriello decided that it simply was not worth it.
It is impossible to read his mind, especially because he keeps things so close to his chest. Regardless, whatever Lamoriello’s reasoning was, he made the right move by, ironically, not making any moves at all at the deadline.
Trading Noah Dobson, the team’s best defensive prospect in decades, was not worth it for Mark Stone. He is undoubtedly an elite player, but Dobson will provide much more help two or three years down the line (in all likelihood) than what Stone can now. Even so, the Islanders may have had to add more than Vegas did for Stone, depending on how George McPhee rated Dobson as compared to Erik Brannstrom.
As for the other potential deals, players that could turn the Islanders into true threats to go deep in the playoffs were few and far between, if not nonexistent.
Players like Gustav Nyquist or Wayne Simmonds, for their prices, could have helped the team for sure. But, does one of them make the Islanders into a Stanley Cup favorite? Absolutely not. That is where the logic comes in to play.
Someone like Simmonds would have been nice for Mathew Barzal’s wing, but it is simply not enough to push New York over the edge. So, why not just stockpile assets internally for one or two more years and then really make a run at it in years three through five of Barry Trotz’s contract. Lamoriello’s five year plan was never going to be completed in eight months.
The notion that Lamoriello is operating under the same regard as former general manager Garth Snow is ridiculous. Love it or hate it, Lamoriello has a plan and will always stick to the guns.
For an Islanders team that is defying expectations already, it is important to remember the big picture. First place or not, Lord Stanley will not be parading down Hempstead Turnpike in June. The future is what matters, and the risk associated at the trade deadline was simply not enough to pull the trigger and infringe on that.