New York Islanders: Five Things They Need to Fix Next Season
It might feel tough to point the finger at a single player in a team sport, but who personified whatever was plaguing the Islanders last season better than Ryan Strome?
Consider this. Ryan Strome has the sharpest decline in point production for the team with a -22 decline. John Tavares comes in with a -16. But, show of hands on who’s ready to put any blame on Tavares? …That’s what I thought.
Figuring out what’s eating Ryan Strome is going to be priority number one for the Islanders. From comments Garth Snow has made over the summer Strome is going to be slotted at center this season. Likely taking over for the departed Frans Nielsen.
Having a minimum of two functional lines is a necessity for any NHL team to be successful. Three would be fantastic, but two is a bare minimum.
He still hasn’t signed a new deal with the team so who knows what his status is come opening day of the season. Based on the active roster the Isles cap space is around $4 million, depending on which resource you use for cap space. Which should be more than enough for at least a bridge deal based on last season’s performance.
But let’s assume a deal is done and Strome is back in the lineup by the season opener at MSG. The priority is to get him back to 2014-15 levels. Because the season will be defined by what he can do. Unfortunately.
Next: Shooting Rate & Differential