"So we felt that we needed a little bit more depth in this final push here moving forward, and so far that's what we've added".
But they caused a stir on trade deadline day, dealing away beloved centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau and forwards Vladislav Namestnikov and Tyler Ennis for a haul of draft picks.
Pageau was the big one.
Namestnikov had 13 goals and 12 assists with the Senators and Rangers this season.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, the Islanders' trade deadline prize, immediately dropped the gloves and fought Trouba.
Pageau signed a six year, $30 million extension with the Islanders only hours after the deal was completed.
That first-round pick for 2020 is top-three protected, such that if the Isles were to fall into that slot, the pick would revert to a first-round pick for Ottawa in 2021. There are no conditions on the second-round pick.
The Carolina Hurricanes, now in the second wild card spot in the east, have made a move to strengthen their stretch drive.
"I thought we were winning that challenge for sure", Islanders coach Barry Trotz said.
Rutherford made a couple other savvy, contender-esque moves on Monday.
"This was obviously the whole staff getting together - pro scouts, management and coaches - analyzing our team, analyzing where we are", Vigneault said.
Grant was playing fourth-line center for the Ducks, his sixth National Hockey League team, and was one of their best penalty killers. Veterans Ryan Dzingel and Matt Duchene also were shipped out previous year, while former captain Erik Karlsson was dealt prior to training camp in 2018.
"I think the whole game, we played pretty smart", Zibanejad said. "But today was a hard call to make". "It was an emotional day for a lot of people".
Ottawa gets a 2020 conditional first-round pick, a 2020 second-round pick and a conditional 2022 third-round pick.
"Mentally, just thinking about so many different things that could happen to me". Pageau is now under contract through the 2025-26 season.
Firstly, a game for the ages by the Gatineau, Que., native against the Montreal Canadiens on May 5, 2013.
Chants of "Pa-geau! Pageau-Pageau-Pa-geau!", to the tune of the "Ole" chants of the Bell Centre, rang out in Scotiabank Place.
Trouba delivered a crushing hit on Michael Dal Colle early in the third period, knocking the Islanders winger out for the rest of the game. The Rangers trail the Columbus Blue Jackets by four points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
Of course, Pageau did more than rise to the occasion.
Pageau will be missed dearly, by the community and the team.
"He's been here, he's played great for the organization, given his heart and soul, but it's also a business".
"He's going to be a big piece for us", Nelson said.
A right-handed power-play specialist with a boatload of postseason minutes under his belt who still has some game left - That's exactly what the Oilers get in acquiring blueliner Mike Green from the Red Wings.
Sinking toward the bottom of the standings should be a cinch now with Pageau gone and a blueline corps that has been decimated by injury and transactions. The Senators have already traded defenseman Dylan DeMelo this month.
The Senators sent forward Aaron Luchuk and a seventh-round 2020 draft pick to Montreal, in exchange for forward Matthew Peca. Ottawa was expected to start the game short two forwards.
"Today was probably the toughest call I've ever made as a general manager", said Dorion.
The Senators will now have three first round picks in the 2020 draft - the Sens own pick, San Jose's first round pick, and the Islanders pick.