The New York Islanders finally found the right person to steer the blue and orange and his name is Lou Lamoriello. Lamoriello has a lot of work to do in a short period of time but he has the assets and cap space to get it done.
It’s been a state of euphoria for the New York Islanders organization and their fans. The Garth Snow situation aside, Lou Lamoriello is one of the top executives in all of sports. Now his job is to take this talented team and make the necessary moves to make them into a true contender.
Doug Weight’s future is very much up in the air. We are going to focus on player personnel moves.
Lou’s To Do List
Lou has three big items to do between now and early July. He needs to add a top-notch goalie, a proven top-four defenseman with an emphasis on defense, and resign John Tavares.
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Lamoriello’s meeting with Tavares reportedly went very well. Word is the captain is very happy Lamoriello is on board.
Having said that to get Tavares signed to a new contract, Lou will most likely have to execute first on landing that goaltender and blue liner.
Lamoriello has plenty of cap space to resign Tavares to a big number, add a first-class goalie, a strong defenseman, and have money left over for another move or two if he so chooses.
The Isles currently have 13 players under contract for next season that totals $46.7 million against the cap. The Islanders top restricted free agents are Brock Nelson, Ryan Pulock, and Brandon Davidson.
Keep in mind the cap ceiling for next season is expected to rise from $75 to around $80 million.
Lou has a lot of assets to deal with from the main roster to the prospect pipeline to the premium picks the Isles have in next months NHL Draft.
This doesn’t mean Lamoriello will wheel and deal like a drunken sailor. Conversely, Lou is not married to any of the players in the Islander organization, as he had nothing to do with acquiring them.
But again Lou will know which guys should be part of this franchise’s future core.
In the right deal, a lot of the Islander players are expendable. Don’t believe players such as Anthony Beauvillier, Pulock, or top prospect Kieffer Bellows will be moved. However, if someone like Jacob Trouba becomes available things can change very quickly.
In a perfect world, Lamoriello will be able to make the moves that he needs to make by using Nelson, Adam Pelech, Scott Mayfield, the prospects other than Bellows, and the draft picks the Isles have in the first two rounds in next months Draft (Isles have the 11th, 12th, 41st & 43rd overall picks).
Expect Lamoriello to be very active.