Islanders: Three takeaways from Lou Lamoriello media availability

Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello spoke to the media on New Year’s Eve. Here are the key takeaways from what the isles GM had to say.

With the 2020 calendar year coming to a close New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello had an end-of-year press conference to address the media. In typical Lou fashion, it was quick, to the point, and answered very few questions.

Going through his press conference, here are the biggest takeaways from the Hall of Fame GM’s final press conference of 2020.

Mathew Barzal

The first thing we heard from Lou’s presser was that Mathew Barzal was not signed to a contract extension. Which we already knew going into the presser. It would have been odd for Lou to announce that a deal was done at a press conference to be quite frank.

With training camp just days away, should Islanders fans panic that their star player may not be under contract come January 3rd? No.

Pierre-Luc Dubois was rumored to be holding out for a trade earlier on Thursday and then hours later was signed to a two-year $10 million deal. Barzal could very well be signed by the opening of training camp. At least we know he’s already in New York waiting for that deal to get done.

Training Camp Roster

Lou didn’t reveal the entirety of the training camp roster but he did state that the Isles will be taking 21 forwards, 12 defensemen, and four goalies. Among those 37 players will be Matt Martin, Andy Greene, and Cory Schneider.

The three UFAs have been signed according to Lou. Those deals haven’t been submitted to the NHL yet nor have the terms made official, but they are going to be with Isles in 2021.

Not included in the 37 player training camp group is Josh Ho-Sang. Lou indicated that when he went through the Isles depth chart Ho-Sang didn’t have the “best chance of making that [group of] four to six” on the taxi squad.

Earlier today I spoke with Ho-Sang’s agent who stated that the decision by the Islanders surprised both he and his client.

We know that Barry Trotz doesn’t like to have large camps so it’s shouldn’t be surprising that the Isles are brining 37 players versus say 42 like the Los Angeles Kings. So we’ll have to see who else didn’t make the training camp cut on January 3.

Noah Dobson

Lou had nothing but positive things to say about Noah Dobson. The Isles first-round pick (12th overall) in 2018, is expected to take a big step forward in 2021. With Devon Toews gone and Johnny Boychuk retired, the Isles will need Dobson to pick up some of the slack on the blue line.

The Isles GM believes that with the ice time Dobson will receive this year – he averaged 13:17 of ice time per game in 19-20 – he could help fill the void left by Toews.

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Lou didn’t have much more to offer during his end-of-year presser. Maybe the best news to come from his media availability is that both Casey Cizikas and Adam Pelech are 100% healthy and will be there for day one of training camp.

The New York Islanders were essentially rudderless without their number one defensive defenseman and fourth-line center. With both out in 2020, the Isles plummeted in the standings. But when both were on the team in 2019 the Isles were one of the top five teams in the NHL. Having them back and healthy gives the Isles the best possible chance for a strong 2021 campaign.