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New York Islanders Lou Lamoriello Reveals Part of Plan at Deadline

17th April 1934: Football referee S F Evans describing the off-side rule with the aid of a blackboard to public schoolmasters at Mill Hill School, London. (Photo by E. Dean/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
17th April 1934: Football referee S F Evans describing the off-side rule with the aid of a blackboard to public schoolmasters at Mill Hill School, London. (Photo by E. Dean/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
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The New York Islanders didn’t add at the NHL trade deadline. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, GM Lou Lamoriello just didn’t want to wreck the plan he had in place. What plan?

New York Islanders fans had hoped GM Lou Lamoriello would take the NHL trade deadline to capitalize on his team currently sitting first in the Metropolitan Division. Maybe bring in a Mark Stone or a Matt Duchene to prop up his top six and make a run in the playoffs.

And it seems that Lou was willing to do that, at least to a certain extent. But he wasn’t willing to alter his plan because his team was ahead of schedule in year one.

So what is the plan exactly? It’s not to say that the Islanders shouldn’t have a plan. It’s actually a refreshing change of pace to know they have one, but what does the Islanders deadline day activity tell us about this plan?

Winners Now and Forever

After the deadline was all said and done, Lou spoke to the media. Something Islanders fans are still getting accustomed to. Under Snow, we typically got the signal from Arthur Staple over Twitter that the Isles were done for the day, not the GM coming to tell us to our “face”.

Speaking to the media, Lou had the following to say about the Islanders not bringing anyone in:

"“We weren’t going to sacrifice our plan here,” Lamoriello said. “You don’t do something just for the sake of doing it. We’re pleased with where we are … We’re in a foundation situation in trying to get ourselves in a winning situation over a number of years.”"

I highlighted in bold the important part of that quote. The plan is to get in a winning position for a number of years. That doesn’t mean that Lou Lamoriello went into the deadline with his arms crossed. He was working the phones, he just didn’t find a deal he was comfortable with.

According to Arthur Staple (subscription required), Lou was in on all three big-name players at the deadline; Artemi Panarin, Mark Stone, and Matt Duchene. Staple reveals that the Islanders offer for Duchene featured their 2019 first-round pick and Anthony Beauvillier.

Lou was willing to sell off a portion of the Islanders future, but he wasn’t about to sell off some of his more prized assets. Like Noah Dobson or Oliver Wahlstrom.

While it’s true that the New York Islanders are finally good so trying to leverage that success to accelerate the plan isn’t a terrible strategy. But it’s clearly not the plan that Lou Lamoriello has.

Lou wants to build a franchise that wins for years to come. Not just this year. Keeping his prized teenage players should, in theory, gives him the best opportunity to do so. Selling those prized assets off for players that might not stay past July 1 doesn’t.

Now, that of course, won’t help today. The Islanders still have a top six that featured both Tom Kuhnhackl and Leo Komarov the other day. That won’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of opponents whether the Isles are at the top of the Metro division or not.

The Islanders are still weak up top. While the Isles do get Andrew Ladd back from injury soon, that won’t give the team nearly the same ‘bump’ that adding Mark Stone or Matt Duchene would have. But for now, Lou Lamoriello’s plan is still in place. And so far that plan has put the team in first place.

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Staying pat at the deadline was certainly a possibility, though a rather disappointing one in the end. But it’s not all bad, at least we now know what Lou’s plan is and its still intact and progressing well.

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