The Islanders aquired defeseman Andy Greene from the Devils to...

The Islanders aquired defeseman Andy Greene from the Devils to help replace Adam Pelech, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury earlier this year. Credit: Jim McIsaac

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Islanders’ need for veteran defense help since Adam Pelech suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury on Jan. 2 has been glaring.

Prized prospect Noah Dobson filled in as best he could, with some noticeable on-the-job rookie mistakes, particularly in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Golden Knights in Las Vegas.

On Sunday, Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello acquired defenseman Andy Greene from the Devils for minor-league defenseman David Quenneville and a second-round pick in 2021.

Greene, 37, the Devils’ captain since 2015, flew to Arizona late Sunday and is expected to be available for Monday afternoon’s game against the Coyotes at Gila River Arena.

“I don’t know whether it’s increased urgency,” Lamoriello said on a conference call with his team in third place in the Metropolitan Division (they are tied with the Blue Jackets in points and are one point ahead of the Flyers). “We wanted to see exactly what effect it would have on the defense with the injury. Certainly, [Pelech] is one of our better defensemen. I think we asked a lot of young Noah Dobson. It’s not his fault. It puts a lot of pressure on the other defensemen.”

The Islanders have been shut out in the first two games of this four-game trip, including Thursday’s 5-0 loss to the Predators in Nashville. Another deal to acquire scoring help before the Feb. 24 trade deadline would seem to be on Lamoriello’s to-do list.

“I don’t think there’s any question we’d be willing to make [other moves],” he said. “It certainly has to be the right situation, the right player and the right fit and we cannot lose sight of tomorrow. Wherever we can get help, we’re going to do that. I stayed back from this trip specifically for this reason, to see how things play out.”

Greene, in the final season of a five-year, $25 million deal, had been with the Devils for all 14 of his NHL seasons. Former Devils president and general manager Lamoriello signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Miami University (Ohio) in 2006.

The left-shooting Greene, who has 49 goals and 197 assists in 923 career regular-season games, including two goals and nine assists in 53 games this season, waived his no-trade clause to come to the Islanders.

“I wasn’t just going to waive the no-trade to go anywhere,” Greene said. “It had to be the right situation, the right fit. I took some time the last couple of weeks to try and talk it out with my family.”

With the Devils languishing in last place in the division, Greene described himself as “excited” and “re-energized” to be back in the playoff race. He said not having to uproot from the New York/New Jersey area, his relationship with Lamoriello and his familiarity with how the Islanders play eased his decision.

Lamoriello said he began speaking with the Devils almost immediately after Pelech was injured during off-ice pregame warmups before a 2-1 loss to the Devils at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum. Greene was a solid plus-1 with three blocked shots in 20:28 in that game.

His acquisition will allow coach Barry Trotz to use his preferred three righty-lefty pairs. The righthanded Dobson was playing on his off-side.

The Islanders reassigned defenseman Sebastian Aho, 23, a healthy scratch the previous 18 games, to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport to open a roster spot for Greene.

More Islanders


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months