So I guess this is a moot point and they don't need a defenseman.
Look you can make it a Ranger/Islander thing which I'm not trying to do. The fact is, lots of free agent top4 defenders have been signed by many clubs while Snow and Wang have sat on the sidelines outside of their one failed attempt. Did he have no backup plans? Did they all fall through? For the past several years, although their cap hit has been at the cap MINIMUM, their actual salary has been below, due to buyouts. It's been obvious this team has been interested in spending as little as possible and that has nothing to do with the Rangers, Devils or any other hockey club it's got to do with Isles Ownership.
Streit has been a great UFA signing and a lucky bargain, no one else thought he was going to turn out the way he has. Outside of that, even his decision on his GM, a rookie, has been nothing but bargain basement pricing.
If you want to bring up the Rangers fine. While making the playoffs regularly since the lockout hockey's future has them with an organizational ranking of #7, while not making the playoffs the Islanders are #6. You can build through the draft and win at the same time.
The Islanders have a young core and solid assets, would you rather breakup that core and move assets to acquire a player or spend a bit of cash to fill the need? OR keep on losing while hovering around the cap floor in an eternal youth movement? Philly, Pittsburgh, Devils, and Rangers are all spending UFA money and all have solid playoff teams this year.
What you miss is that the rangers are in manhattan making money to burn, they have made many mistakes but it has little consequence to the rangers because they just spend more, since their revenues by comparison are endless
Wang on the otherhand has lost upwards of 100 million since he bought the franchise. due to the SMG lease that the county negotiated and Wang was stuck with hes been making nothing from his arena and parking
its easy to find fault when one team is figuratively burning $1000 bills to light cigars, while the Guy next door is pinching pennies to pay his rent.