Isles add C Alexi Yashin and D Adrian Aucoin
The New York Islanders grabbed headlines this morning as they pulled the trigger on a trade involving the #2 overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
The Islanders have parted ways with gritty, but oft injured winger, Bill Muckalt and towering defenseman Zdeno Chara. They were packaged along with the pick in a deal for former Captain of the Ottowa Senators, Alexi Yashin.
Yashin provides the Islanders with the true #1 center they have been desperately seeking for some time. Yashin has scored 40 goals twice in his career. The two-time All-Star was also runner up for the Hart Trophy, as league MVP in the 1998-99 season.
In acquiring Yashin, the Islanders also retained the rights to several of their key assets, most notably Brad Isbister and Tim Connolly. Yashin is still slated to become a restricted free agent on July 1, but it is likely the Islanders will have him signed to a sizable contract in the very near future.
This was not the only move the Islanders made this weekend. Defensive prospect Mattieu Biron and next year's second round pick were traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for two-way defenseman Adrian Aucoin and right wing Alexander Kharitonov.
Aucoin is expected to help the Islanders bolster their powerplay. In 1998-99 season, Aucoin put up 23 goals. While it is unlikely he will be able to repeat that performance, the steady defenseman definately gives the Islanders powerplay another weapon from the blueline to complement Roman Hamrlik.
These moves bring the Islanders defensive depth and an offensive punch leading into the 2001-02 season. The Islanders will still be seeking a goalie to split time with Rick DiPietro. The Isles may still look to bring in another defenseman and the Free Agent Market provides many opportunities for other moves this summer.
One thing is for sure. After these trades, the Islanders are going to be a much tougher team to deal with next year. Stay tuned for more updates on any further Islanders transactions.
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