Going into the 2018-19 season the New York Islanders need a starting goalie and a top-four defender. Free agency might hold one or more of the players they are looking for.
The New York Islanders need help defensively and between the pipes. They need a top-four defender to compliment the core of guys they already have, and they need a reliable NHL caliber starting goalie.
The tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss was a disaster last season. Both post goals-against averages above three, and save percentage just above or below 900. That’s just not good enough when the league average is somewhere around 2.78 GAA and .912SV%.
The New York Islanders defensive core was the worst in the league, letting up some 296 goals against. Or 3.6 goals against per game. Even in a higher scoring season like 2017-18, almost four goals against per game isn’t going to win hockey games.
Going into 2018-19 the Islanders don’t have the support to fill those positions comfortably. Jaroslav Halak is likely gone in free agency, and Linus Soderstrom is an unproven player in North America. Making Thomas Greiss the starter is a bad idea, meaning there’s a void to fill.
Same on defense. With few good unrestricted free agency defenseman, Calvin de Haan might tempt his fate in the open market. Leaving a gap in the Isles top four.
In order to fill the void, the New York Islanders might have to try their hand at free agency. Something we’re all apprehensive about because the last time they went shopping in free agency they picked up Andrew Ladd at $5.5 million over the next seven (now five) years.
In order to help them, here are three names that they should consider.