Through the first nine games of the Islanders season, it’s been a bumpy ride trying to figure out who is going to score goals on this team. In a perfect world, they would’ve added someone in the offseason, but this is far from a perfect world in 2021.
The Isles were strapped for cash, so much so that they had to trade Devon Toews in order to get cap compliant. Lou Lamoriello’s return was better than most’s (see Nate Schmidt trade) but it was an offseason of jumping through hoops.
Most teams were in the same boat, which is why the offseason moved so slowly. One of those free agents who took some time before signing was Tyler Toffoli. Toffoli, in his age 27 season was coming off a 24 goal 44 point season.
Paced out over a full year he was on pace for 29 goals and 53 points. Yet there wasn’t much of a market for him. Montreal ended up signing him to a four-year $17 million ($4.25 million AAV) deal.
I don’t know about you but that’s great value for a player like Toffoli. Well, in 10 games with Montreal, the versatile winger has nine goals. For a team like the Islanders that is 30th in the league in goals, it’s kind of frustrating to see a player who sat on the market for so long have this kind of success at a cheap cost.
Matt Martin, Cory Schneider, and Andy Greene combine for a $2.9 million cap hit which were really the only UFA’s they took care of. The Islanders couldn’t spend in free agency because of the number of poor contracts on this team.
The Islanders are missing one more scorer
Take one of Andrew Ladd, Leo Komarov, Cal Clutterbuck off this roster and you have enough to get Toffoli. Imagine if Lou didn’t bid against himself and only gave Leo two years instead of four? In an alternate universe, we might be able to have
Beauvillier – Barzal – Toffoli
Lee – Nelson – Eberle
Bailey – Pageau – Wahlstrom
Dal Colle – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
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Alas, we can’t have things like that because the Isles are locked into Leo Komarov, Ross Johnston, Matt Martin, Cal Clutterbuck, Andy Greene, Thomas Hickey, and Andrew Ladd for multiple years. God help us all.