If you had to bring one player out of retirement to play right now on the New York Islanders who would it be and why?
This past week in New York sports, we saw the Jets bring in Ryan Kalil, who retired at the end of last year. So what I wanted to do was go through recently retired players in the NHL and see if there’s anyone out there who can help the New York Islanders.
Let me explain this exercise, this isn’t like taking Mike Bossy in his prime and putting him on the Barzal line (as fun as the would be). We’re talking recently retired NHL players and if the Islanders could get one to come out of retirement to help this team right now.
The first name that came to mind was Rick Nash. Nash last played in 2017-2018 and he netted 21 goals that year for the Rangers and Boston. While he didn’t play at all last year, he didn’t announce his retirement until January of this year.
At 35 years old, would Nash be able to pop in 20 goals again? You’d have to think it’s a high possibility, right? He can score 20 goals in his sleep, the only time he didn’t score 20 or more goals in his NHL career was his first year in the league and then 2015-2016 when he had 15 in 60 games played.
In fact, this article goes in-depth on Nash still being effective in 2017-2018 as someone who puts himself in good scoring positions. Plus, Nash was a good two-way player down the stretch of his career, something Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello love.
Out of any of the recently retired players, he’s the most likely to get you 20 goals and to plug in on the second line as a winger. Your other options aren’t really too pretty.
Here’s a list of players who retired in 2019: Rick Nash, Josh Gorges, Brandon Bollig, Antoine Vermette, Peter Budaj, Derek MacKenzie, Michael Bournival, Brooks Orpik, Matt Hendricks, Roberto Luongo, Chris Butler, Matt Cullen, Chris Kunitz, Wade Megan, and Stephen Gionta.
None of those guys really jump off the page at you. Unfortunately, I don’t think Lou Lamoriello will have the same luck as Joe Douglas with Ryan Kalil.
None of these options are all that great but if I had to choose one it would be Rick Nash. Who would you choose off this list?