The New York Islanders have cap space, movable assets, and a hall of fame GM. What are the chances that they land their ideal lineup?
If you’re on social media or subscribe to The Athletic there’s a good chance that you saw Arthur Staple’s “ideal”, “hoo boy”, and “realistic” lineups for the New York Islanders. Today I want to focus on the “ideal” lineup.
The idea behind doing this is fantastic, so I highly recommend reading it and I’m sure eventually I’ll get out my predictions sometime in June before the draft, but Art did a great job with this one. In order to see the full lineup you’re going to have to go here, but I just want to talk about the four forwards that were added.
Artemi Panarin, Kasperi Kapanen, Brandon Saad, and Brian Boyle were added to the mix in some capacity. How realistic is it that the Islanders are walking away with a lineup looking like this? Probably not likely.
Panarin is the number one free agent available. With the Islanders past history, I would put him coming to the Island at very slim, even if they throw a pile of money at him. Kasperi Kapanen is an interesting one.
I don’t think Lou Lamoriello is going to do an offer sheet but I could potentially see him being gotten in a trade. It’s no secret, the Maple Leafs need defense and are strapped for cash, being able to acquire Kapanen in a trade isn’t a wild thought.
Brandon Saad is also probably an obtainable asset to a certain extent. He has two more years at $6 million and he would be an upgrade to the Islanders top six. The Blackhawks need defense help badly, moving Saad seems like something they could do in order to get talent on the blue line.
The most obvious one to me is Brian Boyle. I’d almost be surprised if Lou Lamoriello doesn’t get him. With Valtteri Filppula’s deal expiring, Boyle would be a solid replacement on a short-term deal.
Plus, Lou already traded for him once and almost did it with the Islanders this past year. This lineup isn’t likely to happen, but it’s easy to see why Staple categorizes it as “ideal”. If you want to dream about Stanley Cup contention that’s the lineup you’re looking at.
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