Roloson Dealt To Tampa

With Wiseniewski already having been dealt to the Montreal Canadiens for draft picks, it only seemed as a matter of time until the Islanders would ship out Dwayne Roloson, their 41-year old netminder that has done absolutely nothing but give his bottom feeding team a fighting chance to win almost every hockey game that he started.

Roloson was seen in the top-10 of goalie statistics for a handful of times throughout this season, despite the team being at either one of the bottom two spots in the NHL standings. Think about that for a second; this is a goaltender who is quite possibly on the brink of retirement and is out playing his goaltending opponent at the other end of the ice on a nightly basis. The only reason why he didn't have the wins is because this team has had trouble scoring in front of him all year long.

With the Islanders on a roll, going 6-3-1 in their last ten, Garth Snow has opted to trade Dwayne Roloson to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Ty Wishart, a former first round pick by the San Jose Sharks in the 2006 Entry Draft. Wishart is 22-years old, clocking in at 6'4 and 222 pounds. He's been playing with the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL and has four goals and 14 assists in 31 games played so far in the minors. He has five games of NHL experience and will be reporting to Bridgeport while the Islanders are on their west coast road trip.

Thoughts on the trade: Roloson is a better goalie than his record indicates and the Tampa Bay Lightning know that. He will be getting possibly his last and final chance to win a Stanley Cup with a team that sits at the top of their division. So you would think that Rolo's 2.64 GAA and .916 save percentage would at least garnish a little bit more than a defenseman that has yet to crack a permanent spot in an NHL line-up, right? Wrong. Roloson is 41-years old; find me a General Manager who will be willing to part with a young member of his core or major player of his future for a goalie that may be retiring at the end of the season. You won't.

It's a good move for both teams. Will Wishart turn out to be a top-4 defenseman? Everyone will have to wait and see. But Garth Snow has been all about making moves that will help his team in the long run. On paper, this move should do just that. Wisniewski and Roloson are two players that playoff teams want to have but at a reasonable price. They are not comparable to the Marian Hossa/Ryan Smyth types where teams risked financing their future away for a rental.

Here's hoping this deal works out well for both sides.

Although I hate to admit, if Rick DiPietro's injury history jumps up and bites him in the ass, this team is going to be in some serious trouble, and no one will think about Ty Wishart's future. They will worry about their number one goaltender who is signed here for the next decade.

-Rob McGowan

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11 Comments

Derrick Newman's picture

Does this mean Nathan lawson becomes the full time backup for the Isles?
if so that's awesome as I grew up playing with him in Calgary.

Rob McGowan's picture

That's very interesting to know, Newman! Actually, I believe that is the plan although I haven't read any official word on that front just yet.

George Prax's picture

It must be a little disheartening for isles fans to see their best players traded when they're actually doing well but its also good to see that Snow isn't losing sight of the bigger picture. You have to wonder whether Wis and Roloson would have gotten more for the isles closer to the deadline but hey, Snow is getting things done and isn't letting deadlines and things like that dictate how he does his job and I actually admire that. I'm a little afraid of the Bolts now though lol.

Adam Reid's picture

Amazing pickup by the Lightning. Rolie the goalie is actually a great tender, its just he never really had the team around him. If the Chicago Blackhawks can build a great team, and have an anti niemi in net, imagen what the highpowered lightning team can do with Roloson in net!
Really surprised when I noticed his age, I cannot believe he is 41-year old, I thought he was actually in the 32-36 year old range!
As for Wishard, hopefully things will work out for the Islanders, with him turning into a great defencemen.
Hopefully DiPietro will not get injured, or as you said they will be in serious trouble!

nowhere's picture

Nice addition by Stevie Y. Fill a need before the trade deadline at a lower price than if he would've waited.

Stacy Podelski's picture

all I have to say to this is oy vey.

scatcho's picture

Rob, you ask what General Manager would give up a meaningful piece for a 41 year old goaltender in this article. I agree that a General Manager especially in early January would and should not give up a piece of the future for a player like Roloson. But a desperate General Manager would be more inclined to make a deal including a solid piece of his future. And there is no better time for desperate General Managers then trade deadline day or week. I think this is pretty good value for Roloson, but I think it would have been worth waiting to get a couple of desperate teams out bidding each other for his services. I think Tampa Bay would even have upped the anti if they were in a race in February, because right now they are still in first place with Ellis & Smith in net. And with another team being involved that may be even more desperate to win now than Tampa, it could have been a good situation for Snow. Washingon is the obvious choice, but I am sure other teams would be interested especially if a starting goalie for a contending team gets injured in the next 2 months.

George Prax's picture

I want to agree with you scatcho, but at the same time there are some things to consider. First of all Roloson is 41 and I know we all sound like broken records repeating it but it really is the most important factor here. He stands much more of a chance at getting injured than a lot of other goalies and it's probably safer to trade him now, especially considering he's playing well. Plus, yes teams get desperate around the deadline, but there will also be more goaltenders on the market. Not to mention that a team may need more time to get used to a new starting goaltender as he's a more important cog than trading for a forward or a defenseman. Plus the southwest is ridiculously competitive this year with the emergence of the Thrashers and Bolts, and the Hurricanes and Panthers not being easy point teams anymore, so I can understand that Yzerman wanted to get a head start on the competition.

Yzerman and Snow are smart GMs, I can understand why they made this deal so early. Remember when Huet got traded out of Montreal and only got a second round pick for the Habs? Maybe a first rounder and a pick for an aging goalie isn't so bad.

scatcho's picture

George, I agree with all of your points made. And I think that the Islanders got some good value back for Roloson. It was nice to see a player come back in an Islanders trade actually. I think in the case that a team needs to get used to a new goalie, it would be more for a puck moving goalie. I think it would take teams and specifically team's defenseman a lot of time to get the communication down with a goalie like DP. But Roloson is more of an easy transition. His age is a big factor on the injury note, but with the Islanders trying to get DP some starts, Roloson would probably not have been too abused. I think the fact that the Southeast division being so highly competitive this year would increase a value for a goalie of Roloson's caliber. Not to mention that one of Tampa's main competition for that division title is the Capitals, who could be looking to acquire Roloson's service. May cause a bidding war between the two. But all fair points made. Did Tampa throw in a pick with Wishart? Your last sentence gave me the impression they did, but I wasn't aware. If they did, that makes the trade much more in favor of the Islanders.

Rob McGowan's picture

And of course the Islanders asked for trouble. Rick went down with an injury last night. It's been estimated that it's not serious, as it's an adductor strain, but I believe I saw Katie Strang tweet last night that Rick was walking around after the game. Never the less, rookie Kevin Poulin has been called up. It will be up to Lawson to man the ship until Rick comes back. Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.

The problem is that this injury may be not much to worry about; something minor that can only last a few days. But given Rick's history, everyone will always assume the worst every time he is not on the ice. Can't blame anyone, but I advise everyone to wait for the injury news before people start jumping on the band wagon here.

Stacy Podelski's picture

And to make matters worse-Rolo post a shutout in his first game with Tampa Bay. Ahh got to love how smart GM's are some nights-lol.