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New York Islanders Fans Grow Impatient and Slanderous

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 16: Anders Lee #27 and Robin Lehner #40 of the New York Islanders celebrates Lee's goal at 17:44 of the third period against the Edmonton Oilers at the Barclays Center on February 16, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Oilers 5-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 16: Anders Lee #27 and Robin Lehner #40 of the New York Islanders celebrates Lee's goal at 17:44 of the third period against the Edmonton Oilers at the Barclays Center on February 16, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Oilers 5-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The deadline for the New York Islanders UFAs signing with the Isles is less than a week away, and once again fans from all contingencies are growing rabid again.  This is the dirty underside of the sports world that it seems few ever talk about.

The talking period has begun for Robin Lehner and Anders Lee to speak with other teams.  On July 1 they will be able to sign with teams other than the New York Islanders.  Fans of opposing teams have already begun adding Lee and Lehner to their hypothetical rosters and Islander fans have already started writing them off the way that they were forced to write off Tavares.

This situation seems entirely different than the Tavares dilemma, however.  Both Lee and Lehner actually want to come back to the Island. The issue is in pay, as Eyes on Isles writer Matt O’Leary outlined Sunday afternoon.

The New York Islanders are concerned that they will be burdened by a 35 and 36-year-old Lee, who plays a rough and tumble style of hockey, which is likely to make his body deteriorate at an earlier age than some.

Lehner, on the other hand, has one great season under his belt, is coming off a nomination for the Vezina, and is possibly up for a big payday from one team or another.

The Islanders do not have enough cap space to pay max contracts to either of these players and still look to improve in other areas.  Lou Lamoriello is well aware of this.  The Islanders can’t give up too much, but both of these players are deserving of a payday.  It is not completely unreasonable if either guy takes it.

Lee and Lehner want to be Islanders

But all hope is not lost. Both want to be Islanders. Lee’s repeatedly said that he wants to be an Islander.  Lehner, with all of the issues that he’s been through most likely, would appreciate staying in an environment where he has made progress both on and off the ice.

Next. What's Going On With Anders Lee?

Beyond the initial hope, however, Islanders fans need to buck up.  They are getting soft, making demands like these contractual dilemmas are not difficult on the players and the teams involved.  That is just unfair.  Let’s not slander the ones we love.  It doesn’t actually help in the long run, folks.

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