With the news of Brendan Witt going on the IR this afternoon, it means that for now the Islanders do not have to make any roster changes at this time. However, make no mistake, the Islanders will be making moves. That right, more than one player will be leaving the Islanders before the trade deadline. But when Witt does return from the IR, who will go? To be honest it doesn't matter. What matters is what the Islanders get in return.
With Rick DiPietro now playing as backup and Roloson starting until he is beaten out of the number one position, the obvious player to be traded is Martin Biron. I have written about it in the past, and from what I've been reading from different blogs, papers etc, is that his value is worth a third round draft pick, but that doesn't mean it has to be a pick, it could also be a player who has third round value as well. Here is my reasoning.
The Islanders currently sit tenth in the Eastern Conference, two points out of playoff contention and they're getting better. They do not have a few games in hand, but the teams ahead of them have there own problems so if there is a continuation of bad luck for teams like Philly, Ottawa, the Rangers and Montreal, the Islanders could squeak in there without making any moves at all. However, if any of these teams go on a legitimate run, say a 4 game winning streak, then in my opinion, the Islanders would not have enough talent to be able to keep up, hence making a trade for a "third round" player may be enough to keep pace till the end of the season. Or is it?
Trading Biron for a defenceman would be nice for most Islanders fans and I'm sure that would lead to one or possibly two being moved, so fans should expect that to happen. If Biron is traded for another forward with a little more size would also be a welcoming sight, but that also means possibly waiving or moving another player in the same or different deal. Either way, it is clear that one or more will be going.
Finally, say the Islanders don't have a chance at the playoffs. Let the fire sale of the veterans begin. For now, this is my hypothetical rumor mill if the Islanders are out of contention by trade deadline day. I hear Pittsburgh is having trouble with their powerplay, anyone want Doug Weight? I'm sure Bill Geurin would make a nice pitch for is old buddy. How about the Devils? They usually go after some depth when they believe they could go deep in the playoffs. How about reuniting Richard Park to his old Minnesota Wild coach Lemaire. Maybe. Even Jon Sim has a Stanley Cup ring and experience (with no contract for next year....bigger plus) that might entice somebody.
Here is my final say on the possible moves the Islanders could make. For now, it is a good thing to have an abundance of players on your team because when injuries occur, there is someone ready to play and fill in. If the Islanders do or don't continue to make a push for the playoffs, the bottom line is this: by the time the deadline is over, the Islanders will be improved. The Islanders may be improved immediately or for the future, either way you look at it, multiple players could be gone, some will arrive and the Islanders will be a better team for it.