Islanders: Internal and UFA options for Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s line
The offseason continues for the New York Islanders and the blue and orange faithful are waiting on Lou Lamoriello’s next move. A big question to be answered is who will be Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s linemates.
The New York Islanders main goal entering this offseason to get their salary cap situation under control and improve the team. Right now it’s a wait and see but future moves will dictate who will play with J.G Pageau.
You have to figure the Isles top two forward lines are set. It also appears Matt Martin is going to come back and keep that fourth line intact. That leaves two open spots on Pageau’s line.
The Islanders would very much like to see 2018 first-round pick
man the right side on Pageau’s line. Wahlstrom has a ton of skills including being able to light the lamp. He is playing well in Sweden where he is on loan. Wahlstrom’s shot could also help the Isles power play.
Another youngster to keep in mind is
. His star is currently not as bright as Wahlstrom but the 2016 first-round pick is just 22 years old. Bellows did give the Isles a glimpse of his promise last season. He would slide on to Pageau’s left side.
The other names currently on the Islander roster will not excite the fan base. Michael Dal Colle, Ross Johnston, Leo Komarov, and Andrew Ladd give the Isles depth but Lou Lamoriello will want to do better regarding the team’s third line.
Still in Free Agency
Most Islander fans want Mike Hoffman. He is roughly a 30-goal scorer who excels on the power play. The problem is the veteran winger has never played defense in his life and that does not sound like a Barry Trotz player.
Other names still available in free agency that could be a good fit are Conor Sheary, Mikael Granlund, Alex Galchenyuk, and Andreas Athanasiou.
Sheary is coming off an injury-plagued season but he is a two-way winger with an emphasis on defense, an excellent penalty killer, and a former Stanley Cup champion with the Penguins. Granlund who is coming off a down year is someone who could provide strong secondary scoring and be responsible defensively.
Galchenyuk and Athanasiou are coming off terrible seasons and both are looking for one-year deals to get their careers back on track. Both guys are just 26 and both have had strong productive seasons in the NHL (both have had 30 goal seasons in the NHL). Also, both could help the Isles power play.
While signing Galchenyuk or Athanasiou would be a gamble keep in mind Lamoriello did a similar move a couple of years ago with Robin Lehner and that turned out well for the Isles.
Re-signing Derick Brassard is also an option for the Isles, as he does have experience playing with Pageau.
There are still a number of good options out there for the Islanders on who is going to play with Pageau.