Lou Lamoriello held his end-of-the-year press conference today. Think of it as a state of the union for the New York Islanders delivered by their President and GM.
Lou discussed a number of topics including how Pageau had hand surgery today, how he isn’t sure how he’ll deal with Andrew Ladd who has two years left on his contract but played a single AHL game this season, and that he was proud of what he team achieved this season. But neither of them were the bigger topics discussed today.
Here are the biggest takeaways from Lou’s presser today:
Takeaways from New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello’s presser
Pre-Games in Bridgeport no more Coliseum
We always knew this was the end of the line for the Coliseum but with UBS not being ready until November there was a potential that the Coliseum might see a game or two. Even if that was simply in the pre-season. Lamoriello put that thought to bed today.
The Islanders President and GM said that all pre-season games would be played at the Webster Bank Arena; home of the Bridgeport Islanders.
He also stated that the Islanders would begin the 21-22 season on the road. Fortunately for the Isles most of the teams in the Metropolitan Division are close.
Discussions with Palmieri
On Sunday, Kyle Palmieri indicated in his exit interview that he was interested in staying with the Islanders in 2021-11 and beyond. And the Islanders have reciprocated that interest according to Lou Lamoriello.
Now, can they make it happen? Probably not. But that could easily change with the expansion draft if the Kraken takes one of the Isles bigger contracts.
If the Lamoriello can manage to keep Palmieri, it would be an instant upgrade on the roster. The former Devils forward has been a consistent 20-25 goal score at the NHL level. Even if he continues to play on the third line.
Cizikas and Keeping the Band Together
On the subject of free agents, Lamoriello confirmed that it is his intent to basically keep the entire team together. On Casey Cizikas, Lou was very clear that he wanted to keep the fourth line center and that he would do everything to re-sign him:
Cizikas is the beating heart of the Islanders squad. The center leads the Isles Identity Line and is key to how the Isles play. But with little cap space, it’s hard to find the space for him. Thought he could take a team-friendly deal as fellow-linemate Matt Martin did.
Martin took a $1 million hit on his AAV on his last deal. Maybe Cizikas does the same? Lou is clearly going to try.
As Andrew Gross indicates, there’s no plan to make another Devon Toews-like trade in the 2021 offseason.
Now, Lou might not be able to control that. If there isn’t a market to offload one of his bloated contracts he might just have to make another Devon Toews-like trade.