Believe it or not, the New York Islanders training camp for the 2019-20 season is just a little over a month away. The blue and orange faithful is waiting for Lamoriello’s big summer move.
The New York Islanders entered this off-season with a lot of uncertainty. They had four key unrestricted free agents at the start of their off-season. Out of that key foursome, only Robin Lehner moved on. The Isles and Lou Lamoriello choose to go with Semyon Varlamov.
But since re-signing Anders Lee on July 1st, the Islanders faithful has been waiting for that key move to improve the hockey club. As of early August, it still hasn’t happened.
Under Lamoriello and Barry Trotz the Islanders DNA is a team that stresses both sides of the puck. The Isles also rely on their goaltending since they are far from being an offensive force.
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The Islanders were one of the better teams in the East last year, as well as being one of the more consistent squads. The Isles as a team, gave up the fewest amount of goals last season. It was a remarkable turnaround which saw them go from worst to first in just one year.
Where the Isles struggled at times was putting the puck in the net. They finished 22nd in the league with goals per game average of 2.72. In addition, their power play was third from the bottom (29th) with a 14.5 percent efficiency.
We know when the Isles score at least three goals in a game they are almost unbeatable. Last year they went 37-2-2 in the regular season and 4-0 in the playoffs when this happened. But the Isles scored one goal or fewer in 25% of their regular-season games and scored less than three in each of their playoff games versus Carolina.
Summer Move for Lou
Lamoriello did not lose any of his top-six UFA forwards this off-season. However, he has yet to add any additional scoring to the roster.
Also, keep in mind the Isles finished last season with seven NHL defensemen. Obviously, only six can play on a given night. With all indications being the Isles top prospect Noah Dobson being ready to start his NHL career, the Isles will now have two defensemen without a musical chair.
It’s clear what Lamoriello needs to do between now and training camp and that is to add an offensive player who can fit well into Trotz’s system. Lamoriello has the assets to make such a deal a reality.
Yes, the Isles could look to youngsters Oliver Wahlstrom or Kieffer Bellows but keep in mind they are rookies. Asking these kids to step in as a top-six forward is not how you develop young talent. Also, both Wahlstrom and Bellows most likely need at least a half a season of development in the AHL.
The time is now for Lamoriello to make his big summer move.