the Toranto Maple Leafs have waived John-Michael Liles this afternoon, and I think the Islanders should add him if he falls to them in the waiver wire. "But they don't need a Defenseman," well, maybe, but here me out. Yes, Liles is owed 4.25M this year and next and is signed through 2016, but he'd be a great "right now" add.
I say this because our second power play unit is lets face it, not good. Liles can help the second unit, which would probably be for the best as his numbers have slumped in the last two seasons. Liles would make the second PP unit better overall, as it stands right now Hamonic is the QB of that Unit amd maybe Donovan, if he makes the roster. I think that Hamonic should run the second point on the Top PP as a RH option on the blueline with Viz as the main guy. The second line could use a veteran option on the blueline. Enter Liles.
I listened to the game at Barclays Arena and the Play by play guys gave a pretty telling stat, while the Islanders had a top-10 PP last year, the overwhelming majority of the goals scored came from Tavares (9), Moulson (8) and Streit (3), the rest of the roster had about one each...Streit's production I expect replaced by Viz or Hamonic, however, no member of the second unit producing more than a goal is an issue. Yes, the second unit tends to get way less ice time, but it would benefit all if they could produce more this year. Liles has 37 career PPG and 126 apples on the PP...solid production and more than can be said of Matt Donovan. Liles had 4 PPG as recently as 2 years ago. He doesn't have to come in and be an all-star at 33, he just needs to play steady third pair minutes (to hide his overall not so great defensive game, been a minus player on horrifyingly bad teams for years) and move to the second PP unit.
I want Donovan on the team and to succeed, but when a veteran Defenseman falls in your laps who can help improve the team on the PP, you add him. Is Donovan the better player; well, maybe, but he's played a handful of games to Liles' 621.
The Islanders are in a win-now mode and adding a guy like Liles will help the team improve upon their PP, without killing them in 5 on 5 (Lile's was a -1 on an actually decent playoff team that made it in a lockout shortened season), you tak the shot. If he doesn't improve the team, you can waive him and bury him at Bridgeport, or someone else takes him off their hands and install Donovan onto the second power play and onto the 3rd pair. I see adding Liles as a no-risk move. It could also be a high reward move if Liles produces.