Time’s Up: New York Islanders

The NYI finally played their last game in the bubble. Another OT defeat lead to a Stanley Cup final birth in 2020. The team that survived the pay in round almost made it one more game.

The Isles have a lot to show for. They have a core that is cemented over the course of the coming years. A coaching staff that clearly has the ear of the players, this includes the goalie tandem too.

Most of their offensive group is going to return Nelson, Lee, Bailey and Eberle, with all players being under team control for the next two seasons. Matt Martin, Tom Kuhnhackl and Derrick Brassard are all UFA’s so the bottom six will get a big refresh. The shift this off season is going to RFA Matt Barzal and how will the term and dollars of that deal look. They will have roughly 9 million to spare but others are needing new deals as well, this begins the cap crunch for GM Lou Lamoriello.

On the back end the only ones needing deals will be RFA Toews and Pulock, both should get decent raises after their playoff run. The lone UFA is 37 year old Andy Greene, curious to see if he returns after playing solid for the blue and orange. Leddy and Boychuk are both league vets with a bit higher ticket for their current on ice production they too could be players on the move.

Goaltending should not be an issue. Griess is a UFA with a few years of bouncing around. They have a young Ilya Sorokin waiting in the wings and under the guidance of Mitch Korn he will most likely not disappoint.

Lou Lamoriello has his work cut out for him this off season. Many front office staff is the same boat however. Lou is never scared to make changes to his roster, this year that may work to his advantage. With Barry Trotz behind the bench though I do not expect anything to be an issue. He has a track record of success and two straight years he has gotten the most out of a team that few predict to go far. Sweeping both the Capitals and the Penguins and a trip to the conference finals within his time is setting up a strong third year.


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