There’s an issue brewing for the New York Islanders third line. There are way too many players for the number of spots.
With the recent news that New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (and Cal Clutterbuck) is back skating with the team, there’s a problem brewing for the Islanders third line. They just have way too many players for the number of available slots.
All of Tom Kuhnhackl, Leo Komarov, Michael Dal Colle, Tanner Fritz, Josh Ho-Sang, and technically Ross Johnston are already the obvious choices up for a third-line spot. That’s six players – five if you don’t count Ross Johnston – without even counting Andrew Ladd.
But then you go guys like Bobo Carpenter and Otto Koivula that are known wingers. Mason Jobst while a center could also likely do a job on the wing. That’s a ton of competition for two spots.
Here’s how I have my 2019-20 New York Islanders forward lines for opening night.
Your lineup probably looks similar to mine, maybe flip a name or two between lines one and two. The fourth line is near untouchable. The third line is where things get interesting.
If Andrew Ladd is fit enough to play he’s probably on the opening day roster. For no better reason than he has a massive contract. That’s something most Islanders fans don’t want to hear, with 38 goals and 71 points in 177 games with the Islanders, Ladd hasn’t exactly worked out.
The same goes for Leo Komarov, who Lou signed just last year. It’s hard to see Lou benching a guy who he was willing to give a modified no-trade clause.
But then does Lou Lamoriello send Michael Dal Colle or Josh Ho-Sang through waivers and possibly have them picked up by other teams or does he scratch them just so he can play two guys in Ladd and Komarov who are objectively worse? He just might.
If he does it’s going to create a number of headaches for Isles fans.
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I’ve said it before, training camp is going to be interesting but it’s getting more interesting by the day. There are so many battles for positions on this roster let alone this one, where at least six players are vying for two spots. Wild.