3 playoff contenders that will lament standing idle at the NHL trade deadline

It’s been almost a full week after the NHL trade deadline, and a few playoff contenders are already lamenting about doing nothing on March 8th.

Detroit Red Wings v Vegas Golden Knights
Detroit Red Wings v Vegas Golden Knights / Candice Ward/GettyImages
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New York Islanders

Since 2024 began, the New York Islanders have gone from being a team sitting just outside the wild card race to snagging the second wild card spot thanks to their recent winning streak and the Red Wings losing streak. It began on February 26th, over a week before the trade deadline, but general manager Lou Lamoriello did nothing to improve his team. 

The Islanders were in a desperate cap situation, but Lamoriello should have done more to address team needs while they were hot to help them maximize their efforts to snag a wild card or even a top-three spot for the postseason. 

Sure, New York could get cold again, but when you’re on a seven-game streak that not only helped put your team reach a playoff spot if the season ended today but a few points behind the Philadelphia Flyers, you can’t sit idle as other contenders make moves. 

Overall, it was an ill-fated effort from Lamoriello. And for a team that hasn’t been consistent in all three zones this season, it was clear they needed some help. The lack of moves didn’t hurt the Islanders, but it’s still curious why Lamoriello did nothing when his team could realistically finish inside the top-three of the Metro Division. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)