It’s starting to look like defenseman James Wisniewski might join ex-NHLer Mike Sillinger and former NBA player Chris Gatling in a wary club of athletes who brought some skills to the table yet constantly found themselves changing team uniforms.
The New York Islanders decided to part ways with the talented but somewhat frequently suspended defenseman today, trading him to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a compensatory 2012 second draft pick as well as a conditional 2012 fifth rounder. Perhaps Wisniewski shouldn’t take this latest trade too hard because the Islanders are doomed to a lottery pick finish (barring a miraculous turn around) while the Canadiens are in playoff contention.
Wisniewski scored three goals and 18 assists for 21 points in 32 games with the Islanders this season, missing two contests due to a suspension he received after making an obscene gesture toward Rangers pest Sean Avery.
As I mentioned before, it’s been a bumpy road for Wisniewski the last few seasons. He played part of the 2008-09 season with the Chicago Blackhawks (the team that drafted him) but was then traded to the Anaheim Ducks. After playing the 2009-10 season with Anaheim, he was traded to the Islanders on July 30th. Now he finds himself playing for his fifth team in three seasons, despite putting up solid offensive numbers along the way.
Is it a sign that he has attitude problems, just enough holes in his game that he becomes expendable or is he just a victim of bad luck? Or perhaps it’s a murky combination of those factors?
Either way, the Canadiens got some blue line help while the Islanders can add to their growing stockpile of prospects. It seems like everyone won here … maybe even Wisniewski.