NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Islanders have addressed one of their glaring needs, more than a week before the NHL trade deadline.
New York’s usually staunch defense had not been the same since Adam Pelech, arguably the team’s best defenseman, suffered a season-ending Achilles injury on Jan. 2. General manager Lou Lamoriello filled that void on Sunday, acquiring veteran Andy Greene from the Devils for defense prospect David Quenneville and a 2021 second-round draft pick.
“We feel very good about it and very fortunate,” Lamoriello told the Islanders’ official website. “Having the opportunity to acquire Andy brings a solid veteran into the lineup, one who has played on a number one pair in New Jersey for a number of years, plays in all situations and I know him well. I know how he will fit in the locker room without question.”
Greene waived his full no-trade clause to go to the Islanders.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 16, 2020
Greene, 37, who will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, figures to log top-four minutes the rest of the way as the Islanders (33-18-6, 72 points) attempt to qualify for the playoffs for the second straight season. Heading into Sunday’s games, the Isles sat in third place in the highly competitive Metropolitan Division, but just three points ahead of ninth-place Carolina in the Eastern Conference.
“It’s very exciting. You get re-energized right away,” Greene said. “You’re coming into the last six weeks here, you’re in the middle of the playoff race and playing meaningful games down the stretch and just being part of that with the team. I’m looking forward to meeting up with the guys and being a piece of the puzzle here.”
Prior to the trade, Greene had played his entire 14-year NHL career with the Devils, serving as team captain for the last five seasons. In 923 games, he has 49 goals and 197 assists for 246 points. Greene played in all 24 games during New Jersey’s run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012.
Greene is expected to play when the Islanders take on Arizona on Monday.
The move could be the first of a handful by Lamoriello before the Feb 24 deadline. The Islanders are currently 23rd in the NHL in goals scored and are coming off consecutive shutout losses to open their four-game road trip. New York is also missing veteran bottom-six forwards Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas due to injuries.
“I don’t think there’s any question that we’d be willing to make one, but it certainly has to be the right situation, the right player and the right fit,” Lamoriello said of possibly pulling off another deal. “We also can’t lose sight of tomorrow. Wherever we can get help, we’re going to do that… We’ll see how things play out.”
A lot was expected of the Devils (21-26-10, 52 points) heading into this season, but an extremely slow start doomed any chance they had of making the playoffs for just the second time in the last eight seasons. Head coach John Hynes was fired on Dec. 3 and general manager Ray Shero was let go on Jan. 12. In between, New Jersey traded its best player, former Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall, to Arizona.
“Lou is trying to help his team win right now,” said Devils interim GM Tom Fitzgerald, who has known Lamoriello since their days at Providence. “Andy is a guy that he obviously knows very well and feels very comfortable with him. We’re in this situation where playoffs aren’t in the picture for us.”
Later Sunday, New Jersey later traded forward Blake Coleman to Tampa Bay for 19-year-old left wing Nolan Foote and a 2020 first-round draft pick the Devils previously acquired from Vancouver. The deals give the Devils eight selections in this year’s NHL draft, including three in the first round.
Fitzgerald said he will listen to offers for his players. Forward Wayne Simmonds and defenseman Sami Vatanen will be unrestricted free agents after this season.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)