The New York Islanders have announced that they have completed a trade with the Anaheim Ducks, adding gritty Chris Wagner for veteran Jason Chimera. The two teams swap impending free agent bottom-six forwards, as the Ducks continue to collect experienced depth, while the Isles strengthen their checking line.
Both New York and Anaheim are fighting for their playoff lives in tight races. The Ducks remain alive in a tight Pacific Division – they currently sit in third, but the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames trail with games in hand – as well as in the Western wild card chase. The Islanders face an uphill battle for one of the Eastern Conference wild card berths and have watched the Columbus Blue Jackets ahead of them add Ian Cole and Mark Letestu. However, they are certainly not out of it with more than a month left in the campaign.
This is the second addition for each team at the deadline. Chimera is neither the offensive nor defensive player he once was, but they add experience and leadership with this acquisition, much like they did with the recent signing of Chris Kelly. Meanwhile, Wagner will look to continue a career year with the Islanders as he has taken on more than just a grinder role in Anaheim and will provide a more well-rounded game when he arrives in New York. Similarly, defenseman Brandon Davidson’s play picked up when he returned to the Edmonton Oilers earlier this season, resulting in a trade to the Islanders for a third-round pick. New York GM Garth Snow continues to focus on safe gambles to add depth and upside to his squad, while Anaheim GM Bob Murray looks to preparing his team for the postseason by adding intelligence and experience.