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Islanders: When it comes to free agent forwards, don’t grasp at straws

EAST MEADOW, NEW YORK - JANUARY 04: General Manager Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders attends practice during training camp at Northwell Health Ice Center at Eisenhower Park on January 04, 2021 in East Meadow, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
EAST MEADOW, NEW YORK - JANUARY 04: General Manager Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders attends practice during training camp at Northwell Health Ice Center at Eisenhower Park on January 04, 2021 in East Meadow, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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It’s August 23, soon to be August 24 by the time this is published and we still don’t actually know most of the New York Islanders roster for 2021-22. That lack of knowing is causing the fanbase to fill the gap.

It’s natural. We all do it. Whether it’s with our favorite hockey team or not. Humans just like to know, so when we don’t know we grasp at straws to fill the void. But look, don’t try too hard to figure out what free agent forwards the Islanders might be bringing in, we basically already know that.

New York Islanders forward core “set”

It’s all but guaranteed that Casey Cizikas is locked up, as is Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac for that fact. Add Michael Dal Colle to that list but on a two-way contract. They’re all seemingly coming back.

Remember, the Islanders already have eleven forwards under contract for the 2021-22 season. That doesn’t include anyone I just named and it doesn’t include RFA Anthony Beauvillier either.

In terms of new additions, Zach Parise is seemingly also signed to a contract. That’s five UFA’s signed to deals. Put Beau in that group of “unsinged-but-actually-signed” and the Islanders forward core swells to 17. That’s at least three more players than they need to start the season.

And we’ve known this for a while now.

I know the list of free-agent forwards has some interesting names on it. Alex Galchenyuk, Valtteri Filppula, and Derick Brassard are all available but linking any of them, or anyone else, on that list that hasn’t already been named would be grasping at straws in my opinion.

It’s not as if any of the players who remain unsigned are any better than the group of guys the Isles have already seemingly locked up. So, as I said, the Isles will seemingly have more forwards than they need. At least three of the forwards currently signed to NHL deals will have to be sent to the AHL.

Now, free-agent left-handed defensemen, that’s another story.

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