Information is power, right? That’s also true in the NHL. Which is why it seems like the New York Islanders haven’t done anything since the 2021 Entry Draft.
Earlier today, The Athletic’s Arthur Staple (subscription required) quoted sources from around the league that believed Lou Lamoriello is being so cagey with his signings so as to not tip off the league on where he’s at in terms of the salary cap.
Which is both shrewd and not necessarily new.
New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello knows what he’s doing
Remember, that this isn’t the first time Lou has pulled this move. At least with the Islanders. Last year, when everyone was told the Islanders should fear a Mathew Barzal offer sheet, Lou Lamoriello kept everyone in the dark until the deal was done.
How can a team possibly come up with a credible offer sheet if they don’t know how much cap space the Isles have (or don’t have)? That’s what makes this so brilliant (and maddening for us on the sidelines wanting to know what the 21-22 team is going to look like).
Just because it seems that Lou hasn’t done anything doesn’t mean he hasn’t. Just because deals aren’t filed doesn’t mean they aren’t signed. Like Staple points out in his piece, the Isles likely have contracts in place with four of their UFAs.
By not filing the paperwork, Lou is simultaneously giving himself some flexibility while not having to worry about the other 31 vultures out there looking to pull his team apart for their own betterment.
Of course, this doesn’t help with the FOMO we’re all feeling right now. Or help lower the worry seeing some of the UFA LHD options that would have been perfect for the Isles get scooped up. But Lou knows what he’s doing and the fact he hasn’t “done anything yet” is misleading. Lou is keeping his cards close to his chest. On purpose.