It’s no secret that the New York Islanders are in need of a future goalie. With a two-time Vezina winner in Sergei Bobrovsky available through free agency, the Islanders will have to make concessions to land him.
It’s obvious that the New York Islanders need to invest in a starting goalie for the immediate future. While both Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss have looked OK in 2018-19 neither are a long-term option.
To be the true contender they want to be, the New York Islanders will need a bonafide NHL starting goalie. At the moment they don’t have that.
But on July 1st, 2019, Columbus Blue Jackets two-time Vezina winning goalie
will become an unrestricted free agent. And
, Lou is going to be pushing for Bobrovsky. Hard.
Let’s say that the Islanders are going to pursue Sergei Bobrovsky, again, I don’t think they should, the wooing process won’t be easy. This is a two-time Vezina winning goalie leaving a team that has made the playoffs in back-to-back years. Why would he jump to a team who’s been out of the post-season for just as long?
Say what you will about the appeal of Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz, but until they start winning the desirability of this franchise will remain low. Trying to convince Bobrovsky is going to take some concessions.
By that, I mean concessions during contract negotiations. Either paying him above market value, or giving him a long-term deal, or giving him trade protection. Or a little bit of it all.
That’s what the New York Islanders did with Andrew Ladd in 2016. They gave him big money ($5.5 million AAV), longer term (seven-year deal), and incredible trade protection in order to sway him.
If they truly want Bobrovsky they’ll have to do the same. Come July 1st the Islanders won’t be the only team on the market for his services. So to stand out they’ll have to offer more.
Is It Worth It?
Is it worth it for the New York Islanders to give Sergei Bobrovsky a big money deal (think Carey Price type money), a long-term deal (six to seven-year deal), and that trade protection?
Statistically speaking Bobrovsky is one of the top five goalies in the league. His two Vezina trophies and a top-three finish for the Hart trophy in 2017 are a testament to his abilities between the pipes. If any goalie is worth big money he’s one of them.
But dedicating $10.5 million of your cap for a goalie that could very well be in decline is a risky money. And with the trade protection that would typically be involved in such a deal, getting out of that contract if and when it all goes south would be almost impossible.
Unless the Islanders feel that Sergei Bobrovsky can be like Henrik Lundqvist. Who at 36-years-old going on 37, is showing no signs of slowing down. So far in 2018-19 Henrik Lundqvist has a 2-3-1 record with a 2.31GAA and 0.930SV%.
That’s one heck of an “if” though. If Bobrovsky can be like Henrik Lundqvist it makes sense. But who says Bobrovsky can be like Lundqvist? We’ve already seen Bobrovsky be inconsistent. Just three years ago he held a 2.75GAA and a 0.908SV%. So far this season he’s at a 4.04GAA and 0.87SV%.
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For what the New York Islanders are going to have to do in order to convince Sergei Bobrovsky they might as well invest that effort into luring Ilya Sorokin from Russia.