Chaos For the New York Hockey Squads


The Rangers, along with the Devils and Islanders, have been a part of the current hockey madness. (Courtesy of Flickr)

Chris Hennessy, Contributing Writer

The last issue of The Fordham Ram ran over a month ago, and plenty has happened in the world of hockey since then, especially within the three local teams. The Devils fired their general manager and traded their best player, the Rangers called up their top prospect and the Islanders struggled offensively.

Starting in New Jersey, Taylor Hall and Ray Shero are no longer in the building. Hall, the 2018 MVP in Jersey, was traded to Arizona on Dec. 16 for a conditional first round pick, a conditional third and three prospects. Arizona has had a great season, sitting in first place in the Pacific Division, and Hall is a great compliment to its middling offensive core. However, the deal lacked a proper return for the Devils. If the Devils had waited until the February deadline, they could have taken advantage of a desperate team looking for a goal scorer (Hall is averaging a point per game right now), but they dumped him way before that.

The shocking news of general manager Ray Shero’s termination came out of the Prudential Center three weeks later. Shero was welcomed to Jersey due to his work as Penguins general manager, but his moves with the Devils did not work out as well. The timing of this move is questionable, leaving Tom Fitzgerald to man the deadline without Hall. The Devils should not have allowed Shero to trade Hall, as his offseason moves from this past summer have not worked out as planned. The move makes sense, but the timing does not.

The Rangers called up top goalie prospect Igor Shesterkin from the minor leagues over the break, and he has been fantastic. The 24-year-old Russian has played in two games thus far, posting a 3.03 goals against average and a .926 save percentage. However, this has created a logjam between the posts, as Alexander Georgiev has been sensational in his NHL career, and Henrik Lundqvist would be very difficult to trade with his hefty contract. The easiest answer is to trade Georgiev at the deadline for a significant haul. Toronto and Nashville are two teams that seem like a good fit for Georgiev, as he could step in and make those teams even more dangerous than they are. Only time will tell, but it certainly seems that Georgiev’s time as a Ranger has ended.

Now on to Long Island. The Islanders are still in a playoff spot for now at 28-14-4. With 60 points, they are in third in the Metropolitan division, fifth in the NHL and only four points clear of the playoff floor. The main issue with the Islanders, once again, is the lack of goal scoring. The bottom five wingers of Michael Dal Colle, Tom Kuhnackle, Ross Johnston, Matt Martin and Leo Komarov are easily replaceable by players in Bridgeport such as Keiffer Bellows, Oliver Whalstrom or Otto Koivula, or trade pieces like J.G Pageau and Tyler Toffoli. I will say again what I said last year: the 12 forwards currently constituting the Islanders forward core will not win a Stanley Cup. The next six weeks will be key for the 2019-20 Islanders.