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New York Islanders Big Move This Summer Could Be Signing Anders Lee

By Christopher Lizza
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 01: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders and Cody Ceci #5 of the Ottawa Senators battle for the puck during the second period at the Barclays Center on December 1, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 01: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders and Cody Ceci #5 of the Ottawa Senators battle for the puck during the second period at the Barclays Center on December 1, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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I’m starting to think the New York Islanders will not be pulling off a major trade this summer. The franchise’s big move this off-season could be signing Anders Lee to a long-term extension.

Since John Tavares left the New York Islanders, the blue and orange have been in countless trade rumors. But as the summer marches on a major deal seems less likely.

Fit for Lou & Isles

While there are still a number of teams looking to make moves this off-season, where does Lou Lamoriello stand on pulling off a substantial trade?

Keep in mind Lou and Barry Trotz want to evaluate the young Islanders with their own eyes before making any major decisions.

The result of that is unless a substantial player is available that Lou loves and fits a major team need, a trade seems unlikely. If Minnesota calls regarding Mathew Dumba or Ottawa does so regarding Matt Duchene that could get Lou very involved.

The bottom line on trades is, is there a fit out there for the Isles in terms of the big picture?

Anders

When asked about comparing where the Isles are currently versus when he took over the Leafs, Lamoriello stated: “There’s a couple of exceptional hockey players here in my opinion as far as their talent.” Lou didn’t mention names but it’s not hard to figure out he was talking about Mathew Barzal and Anders Lee.

Lee (turned 28 on July 3rd) is a 6’3, 231 lbs, elite power forward in the NHL today. Only five players have scored more goals than him the last two years. Lee has lit the lamp 75 times the last two seasons, including 40 goals (career-high) last year.

Lee is on the last year of his four-year, $15 million dollar deal. He is currently scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent come July 1st next year.

New Contract

Lou either has to sign the Notre Dame alum to a long-term deal or trade him by next years trade deadline. The Tavares situation is proof-positive that is a path that cannot be repeated.

Lee is probably looking at a long-term deal with between $50 – $60 million. That’s of course, assuming Lou wants to go down that road.

Keep in mind if Lou would rather trade Lee the time to do so is now. Once the season starts in almost every instance big players on their walk-year are moved for top draft picks and prospects, not established players.

However, given his age, recent production, the kind of player he is, the Isles 6th round pick of the 2009 NHL Draft (152nd overall) will be a big part of the plan moving forward.

Next: Isles May Not Be a Fit for Pacioretty

Do not be surprised to see the Isles lock-up Anders before training camp to a long-term extension. It would be a smart move for both the player and the organization.

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