It’s been 466 days since Lou Lamoriello made his last trade as New York Islanders General Manager. It’s time for another one.
I wanted to preface this article by saying that I’m happy with the stability that Lou Lamoriello has brought to the New York Islanders. Since he’s been the General Manager, they landed arguably the best coach in the league, a new arena, and a new radio station.
He’s done a lot of things right, and I’m happy that he’s the General Manager of the Islanders. With that being said, he shouldn’t be spared from critique.
After John Tavares left on July 1, 2018, the New York Islanders had a gaping hole in their top six. Since that day, Lou Lamoriello has traded for one forward, Matt Martin, just two days after JT bolted for Toronto. For the last 466 days, the Islanders have stood pat.
As the trade deadline approached last year the Isles were in first place but they had an obvious hole on their team, offense. They were great in net and defensively, but had the second-fewest goals in the Eastern Conference at this point. They needed offense.
No move was made, the Isles finished in second place with 103 points and even won a playoff series sweeping the Pittsburgh Penguins. Surprisingly, the offense that featured Tom Kuhnhackl on the second line, went cold in their next series.
The Isles lost to a much more skilled Carolina Hurricanes team in four games. After the season, Barry Trotz said that the Islanders need more “pop up front.” He was correct.
Well, the Islanders took a massive swing at Artemi Panarin offering him a $12.5 million AAV contract but he decided to sign with the Rangers. Their plan b? Good question, there wasn’t one.
Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle both re-signed but that was already the plan, they wanted to bring back both and add Panarin on top of that. The only free agent forward the Isles added after that was Derrick Brassard.
It’s just a tad bit frustrating when you see the number of forwards who were traded since Lou Lamoriello took over as GM of the Islanders.
If Garth Snow was still the Islanders GM he would be getting obliterated by the fans and media for not addressing the Islanders’ biggest need, but since it’s Lou Lamoriello some are afraid to question the all-mighty Lou.
No, this isn’t overreacting to four games in the 2019-2020 season. This is a reaction to the 82 last year, the eight playoff games, and the four this year, a 94 game sample size of the Islanders lacking offensively with nearly the same roster.
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I don’t want Lou Lamoriello fired, I just don’t think it’s fair that he gets a pass because of his name. He deserves the criticism for the Islanders’ forward situation. Any GM who fields a team with Tom Kuhnhackl in their top-six deserves it.