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"Off The Post: Inching Closer to the Future"
Long Island, NY • United States • 25 Years Old • Male
With the Isles off for the next few days, I figured I'd discuss with you my thoughts on what is probably the most intriguing trade rumor that I have read thus far. Again, they are just rumors, and although Hockeybuzz gets these rumors from "reliable sources," they are still just rumors that may not develop into anything more than just food for thought. But here we go.

What if you heard on March 4, 2009 that the Isles traded their first round pick (and what seems to be either the 1st or 2nd overall pick in this year's draft) for a signed Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers?

It would be monstrous...either a complete disaster or one of the best deals made. The fact that Garth Snow has shown that he is not afraid to make a big splash in the trade market as seen with the Ryan Smyth exchange, we know that nothing can be taken for granted. He has stated that he is committed to developing a young successful team in the future...that this year and the next few years would be dedicated to the maturation process of players like Okposo, Bailey, Tambellini, Bergenheim, Nielsen, Campoli, Gervais, and so on. In order to do that, Snow has stated that he would rebuild through the draft with "the sprinkling" of a few free agents in the off-season. So would he possibly trade Tavares for Kovalchuk straight up?

In my opinion, as great as Ilya would look in an Islanders uniform, I would have to say this is the wrong deal to make. There is no doubt that he is one of the most flashy and dynamic forwards in the game; he always makes his presence felt when we play the Thrashers and has some of the best hands in the league. On the other hand, Tavares has been seen as a 'god amongst men' in the OHL.

Due to a birthday conflict, Tavares was held back from being drafted last year, where he most likely would have went first overall as well after scoring 118 points in 59 games with the Oshawa Generals. Now he has captured a gold-medal with the Canadian Juniors team and is still dominating after being traded to the London Knights. Currently, John has 28 goals and 56 points in 33 games, on pace for another similar year. He has shown great leadership capabilities and the ability to single-handedly decide a hockey game.

Personally, I would much rather draft Tavares and whomever else we can this year with whatever trade we make. Doug Weight may bring us another first round pick...Guerin and Comrie may add depth in the draft as well. In the off-season maybe we would be able to re-sign Weight and Guerin or maybe a better-scoring pair like the Sedin twins. Either way, the Isles do need to keep a strong veteran nucleus with a young re-building team, Kovalchuk or no Kovalchuk. As enjoyable as it would be to watch him score goals for the Isles as opposed to against them, I would much rather watch Tavares turn into a player that might eventually be better than Ilya in the years that follow.

If Snow is indeed committed to building a contender through the draft, he should stick to the plan and avoid any intriguing trades such as this.

What do you think? Would you possibly trade Tavares for Kovalchuk?
Filed Under:   Islanders   NHL   Tavares   Kovalchuk   Thrashers  
January 11, 2009 5:04 PM ET | Delete
if its a garuntee that u can get tavares he is the smart choice, but if its a toss up and no promiss that he can be had because if u dont finish last. then kovy..altho if u havent noticed a bad team even with kovy isnt gonna get a cup. just look at atlanta now
January 11, 2009 5:11 PM ET | Delete
They better not trade that 1st rounder for Kovalchuk. John Tavares is far more valuable than Kovalchuk because Kovalchuk is already 25, Tavares is 18. Tavares has a bright future and it would go against Snow's plan of drafting to produce a good team rather than trading for one. Also, I don't think Kovalchuk wants to go from one awful team to another.
January 11, 2009 5:13 PM ET | Delete
good call NYI im with you 100%
January 11, 2009 5:38 PM ET | Delete
According to THN's draft issue, most teams had Stamkos ahead of Tavares even if he was available for last year's draft. I doubt the Islanders would finish in the bottom two if they had Kovalchuk. They'd still be a lottery team, but I don't think they'd finish that low. That said, I still wouldn't make this trade. Tavares or Hedman are more valuable in the long run.
January 11, 2009 6:13 PM ET | Delete
is stamkos gonna be a bust??? or should he be seasoning in the ohl still??? he seams to really suck this year. altho maybe its because he is playin for tampa..i feel like tavares is gonna be twice the player stamkos will ever be.. ive been hearing about tavares since he was like 15. i didnt here about stamkos till like 2007..... whats up with that. i just cant believe stamkos went 1st overall and went before Filitov and Hodgson an Schenn
January 11, 2009 6:42 PM ET | Delete
the only reason that Stamkos isn't back in the OHL is because of the hype surrounding his drafting and that he is a major part of marketing a bad team in a non-traditional market. Although Tavares is definitely looking like a better and better pick... hockey scouts have been saying that Stamkos has the potential to follow a Steve Yzerman career arc whereas Tavares would be an elite sniper type talent. You be the judge, as a Leafs fan dreaming of local product Tavares in Blue and White, I can tell you who I would pick right now.
January 11, 2009 7:40 PM ET | Delete
Hodgson or tavares get the calder next year my prediction. altho im usually wrong at everything so i wont be surprised if somone corrects me and tells me some reason one of them isnnt eligable to play
January 13, 2009 1:21 AM ET | Delete
If Snow was really that good he would play off of the disparity between the top two picks and the rest of the draft. Snow should be able to get Atlanta's first pick along with Kovalchuk. Maybe he could throw them a few of the Isles' second rounders to help the deal. Without getting a first round pick back it would be a bad deal even though Kovalchuk is an amazing player. Also as someone said he's too old... He would be 28 by the time the Isles are decent again... Granted some of the picks they made last draft and some the picks they will make become viable NHLers.
January 26, 2009 12:48 AM ET | Delete
The Islanders are not going after any big money players, Wang does not want to throw his own cash around, its been prooven this offseason and I talked to someone in with the team tey said they are banking on taveras or Wang will be selling the team. They need to forget this 100 acre fantasy reproduction and just build a new stadium thats it. Wang needs to open his eyes
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