Lou Lamoriello has entered the offseason with a mandate. He fired popular head coach Barry Trotts. He led the Islanders to two consecutive conference finals before his disappointing 2021-22 season.
Islanders president and general manager Lamoriello spoke of making a "hockey trade" to improve the blue line and strengthen the forward group. His objective was clear: to get the Islanders out of the quagmire they slipped into last season.
It is now mid-August and most of his NHL duties prior to his training camp have ended. The last big name on the market, Nazem Kadori signed with the Flames on Thursday morning. The Islanders made his one addition we know: Lamoriello dealt his first round pick in his floor six weeks before he was drafted. , an immature but promising defenseman, Alexander Romanov.
Was linked to The Islanders by SportsNet's Elliotte Friedman and fans hoping that Lamoriello's unusual silence meant he was trying to clear cap space Losing to Kadori is a recent disappointment. That disappointment stems from Islander's omata about the deal, which led some of the fanbase to believe the deal was made with the former Avalanche Center when credible reports didn't prove it to be true.
Barring a completely unexpected trade — a trade with Lamoriello can never be ruled out — the 2022-23 Islanders' Top 6 is... last season's Top 6. would look exactly the same. They ranked 22nd in the league in scoring.
The season may turn around with the roster intact, unhindered by the lengthy road trip that affected Islanders early last season and his COVID-19 outbreak. Perhaps Anthony Beauvillier or Oliver Wallstrom will take the next step. Perhaps new head coach Lane Lambert will unleash something the Trots haven't been able to do with this team.
These are a lot of possibilities for a team that considers Stanley his Cup contenders.
At this point, the most promising free agent the Islanders can add is Massapequa's Sonny Milano. He played alongside Trevor his Zeglas last season and scored his 34 points at Anaheim. Milan is probably now on his third line on the Islander's depth chart. There are no obvious trade candidates Lamoriello is eyeing, at least for now. In most cases, the islanders will bring what they currently have to the training camp.
of his approach to free agency, Lamoriello said during the draft. "Whatever we have to do, we'll do it to make ourselves better. But remember, it takes two to make a transaction."
Six weeks later, the roster is essentially Pretty much the same, and a team that struggled to fill a brand new arena for much of last season will need to find a way to explain to fans how this works.
Lamoriello may not care what others think, but there is no team in the league where an early start will be more important when games begin in mid-October. If the Islanders play the way they did last season during his 37-35-10 disaster, it won't take long for hope to fade.
Matthew Barzal's pending post-season restricted free agency hinges on all of this.
If the Islanders actually prove that last season was an anomaly, as they believe, then it all ceases to matter. there is.
If not? you'll have to give something and so on.