Stuck in situation where it's becoming clearer and clearer that the Playoffs aren't likely to happen, the Islanders have started to move players for picks tonight by dealing F Pierre-Marc Bouchard, F Peter Regin and half od their remaining Salaries to the Cap strapped Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a 2014 4th round pick, and for that measly return for 2 players, I'm actually happy about it.
Bouchard and Regin never fit with the Islanders since they were signed last July. Both had "lt's see what happens" deals where if they didn't work out they could easily be moved, as was the case. Regin was signed to anchor the 3rd line with Michael Grabner and then newly acquired Cal Clutterbuck, it never happened. The line never clicked, Regin wasn't very good at winning face offs (winning 41.5% of face-offs taken), and he didn't provide anything to the special teams (not even warranting a look despite the Islanders league worst Penalty Kill). The Danish Forward transitioned to the W saw some time with Frans Neilsen and the 4th line periodically, and produced very little in these situations as well, meant to be a piece of secondary scoring Regin provided 7 points, 2G and 5A in 44 games with the Islanders. His $750K was moveable, and with most of it paid off, th Blackhawks get a guy who at one time was productive, but needs the right formula (few minutes, playing W and never asked to take a Face off) to preform...if he gives them anything, the half a low 4th round pick will be a worthy investment.
On now to Bouchard, the Quebec native signed his $2M to much fanfare and delight to the Isles fan base, he was a classic "low-risk high reward" signing that fans had come to expect, and he is related to former fan favorite Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau. Bouchard has been plagued by concussions and injuries throughout his career previously with the Minnesota Wild. In the three full seasons preceding the '12-'13 lockout he played a grand total of 97 games (out of 246, minimum) due to various injuries. The forward was signed with the intention of playing RW with John Tavares and Matt Moulson. However, Bouchard and Tavares couldn't find the connection that Parenteau once had with the Isles captain and was removed from the top line around the time of the Moulson trade, since then there've been little complaints of the play of Tavares and Kyle Okposo. Removed from the line he was signed to play, Bouchard then failed to significantly produce with Frans Neilsen and Josh Bailey or Peter Regin and Cal Clutterbuck. When the Islanders decided to call up Ryan Strome, Bouchard was placed on Waivers, and loaned to Bridgeport. Bouchard's Islanders career will read 28 games, 9 points, a -9 and (the only positive) a 60% Face-off percentage. Again, most of his contract has been paid, and the Hawks only have to pay half his remaining salary, to continue to play for AHL Rockford. Post-demotion, Bouchard played 20 games with Bridgeport providing 17 points and a better -2 rating.
This move allows the Isles to collect a 3rd 4th round pick (they got their second in the Mark Streit trade) and remove pieces that no longer fit. While not the most anticipated move, it is a signal that the Islanders are ready to move on from this season and start over at adding complimentary players. Also, they're looking to attain assets in return for players they do not expect to keep with UFA. With the recent news of Thomas Vanek's contract rejection and today's rumor of Andrew MacDonald rejecting a 4 year, 16M dollar deal, expect further moves in the near future with regards to the Islanders. This isn't a glamorous trade, but it's a start.