New York Islanders forward and Team Austria representative Michael Grabner is leading the Olympics in scoring with five goals and one assist. Grabner has really flourished on the larger ice surface and is showing how effective he can be when he is able to use his speed. Is this strong performance going to play a factor come Mar. 5, and will teams be more interested in Grabner as a result?
NHL GMs around the league will evaluate Grabner based on his performance with the Islanders, not in Sochi. The NHL ice surface is not as wide open as the Olympic ice which has proven to help Grabner put the puck in the net. NHL executives know this and will not mistake this current hot streak as something that is going to happen in NHL league play. That being said, Grabner does have trade value, and he could be a nice piece for a team to look into. I could see a team offering a second round pick or a solid prospect for Grabner.
Islanders GM Garth Snow will listen to offers for Grabner, because the team has no chance of making the postseason. I would be upset to see Grabner leave, but is he really a part of the Islanders’ future? I have to think the Islanders would want to keep Grabner because of the lack of the depth they have at wing. Grabner has also proven to be a solid penalty killer in his career which is a commodity that is sometimes overlooked. Grabner is still relatively young and could be a nice player to have when the Islanders move to Brooklyn in 2015. If a GM does offer the Islanders a first-round pick or a top level prospect, I would understand if Snow moves him before Mar. 5. This is highly unlikely, however, since Grabner has only scored nine goals so far this season.