The New York Islanders made big news the other day when they resigned Brock Nelson. The dominos that fell as a result of the Nelson signing are the Isles are now out of the Matt Duchene derby.
Many of the blue and orange fan base have been clamoring for the Isles to make a big offer to Matt Duchene come July 1st. That’s by the boards now.
Nelson in – Duchene Out
Lamoriello did not sign Nelson to a six-year deal to have him be the third-line center or to play him on the wing. A huge part of Nelson’s value and hence why he got a really good contract lies in the fact he is a top-two center on a contending team.
More from Editorials
- Islanders key to success: Load management with goalies
- Islanders Zdeno Chara trending in the right direction
- Islanders: Semyon Varlamov Deserves Benefit of the Doubt
- Islanders Ilya Sorokin becoming number one goalie
- Islanders Zach Parise Was Quiet in Return to Minnesota
Nelson showed this past season that he is a two-way pivot (25 Goals, 53 Points, +20) for a team that has high aspirations. Let’s not also lose sight of the fact that Nelson fit really well in Barry Trotz’s system. Trotz was probably the right coach to get the most out of Nelson, who in years past was maddingly inconsistent.
It’s already a given that Mathew Barzal will be the Isles top center for years to come. Keep in mind his entry-level contract ends after next season. Expect Barzal to be signed to a lucrative long-term deal at that point.
When you add all of this up and the fact that Duchene will get a monster contract this summer the net result is he doesn’t fit the Islanders.
Isles Need Goal Scorers on the Wing
The Isles are pretty much set at center with Barzal, Nelson, Casey Cizikas, and either resigning Valtteri Filppula or signing someone like Brian Boyle. Youngster Otto Koivula needs a little more seasoning in Bridgeport before he makes a jump to the NHL.
The Isles need wingers who can put the puck in the net. Finding a goal scorer who can skate with Barzal is critical.
The Isles will be adding a couple of big players this off-season on top of resigning their own critical guys. Duchene will not be one of those new additions.