New York Islanders


New York Islanders


Logo New York Islanders.svg


Things could get pretty ugly in New York this season: a twisted knife in an already very deep wound for many fans.
With the departure of captain John Tavares to the Toronto Maple Leafs on a seven-year, $77-million contract, New York finds themselves now in the middle of a rebuild they likely had no foresight they’d be entering. The team made signings in the offseason of Leo Komarov, Robin Lehner, and Tom Kuhnhackl, hardly a group that replaces a former Hart Trophy candidate.
But while their roster is a stripped-down version of a dark horse Stanley Cup contender a few seasons ago, Calder winner Mat Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier and veteran forward Jordan Eberle give the Isles a few solid pieces up front.
The team actually scored the 8th best rate in the league last year, but the loss of Tavares dashes a massive blow to their offensive capabilities. Much like Sidney Crosby, Tavares has a knack for making everyone around him better. Question marks will be on Anders Lee and Josh Bailey, who totalled 62 and 71 points last year. Good players in their own right, their numbers ballooned with Tavares, just like we’ve seen with PA Parenteau, Matt Moulson, and Kyle Okposo, to name a few.
Goaltending was a major issue in the lineup last year. Jaroslav Halak, who’s moved on, put up a save percentage of just .908, but that paled in comparison to Thomas Greiss’ .892 over 27 games.The team doesn’t really have anything great on defence, although Nick Leddy did register a very respectable 42 points last year.
Bounce back years could swing things around for the team’s defensive unit, but this was a team that allowed the most goals in the league. Even a drastic swing in percentage still doesn’t account for their inability to defend the blueline, and they’ll need at least two or three more quality defencemen to really see their unit even become an average one.
There is the weird caveat that the Islanders have two home arenas, simply because they never committed to getting their own place, but now essentially want to move back in with mom and dad after a few years away at school. They’ll split games this season between Nassau Coliseum and Barclays Center, a move that makes little sense and while providing for nostalgia, now gives them two rinks that are both subpar conditions to host an NHL game.
They’ve got nearly $11 million in cap space, space which was no doubt left in order to over Tavares the opportunity to re-sign, which ultimately came back to bite them.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Barry Trotz joined the island after winning the Stanley Cup in Washington, and you know he’s not going to sit down lightly. New GM Lou Lamoriello may not have been able to keep Tavares, but his management style may benefit a team that’s in need of a rebuild. The Islanders likely won’t be good again this year, but at least they’re heading into a new era.

Total Cap HitBonus CushionLTIR ReplacementCap SpaceAvg Age
$69,090,833$612,500$0$11,021,66728

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