The New York Islanders enter 2021-22 with huge goals and expectations. From top to bottom everyone is all in for the quest of becoming this year’s Stanley Cup champions.
The Islanders have come so close the last two years. None closer than last year’s 1-0 loss in Game 7 versus the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals. It sets up huge expectations for this season.
When was the last time the Islanders entered a season where if they didn’t win the Stanley Cup the year would be a disappointment? The answer is it’s been a long time.
Lou & Trotz
Lou Lamoriello has attacked this off-season with the goal of making this team a Stanley Cup winner. He gave Casey Cizikas a 6-year deal to maximize cap space and brought in veterans Zach Parise and Zdeno Chara.
Lamoriello’s all-in mindset will continue during the course of this season. Come the trade deadline if he can make the Islanders significantly better he won’t hesitate in trading his first-round pick for the third year in a row. Youngsters such as Kieffer Bellows, Otto Koivula, and Bode Wilde might be chips moved as well to upgrade the Islanders roster during the course of the season.
Barry Trotz has experience entering a new season with Stanley Cup aspirations. His time in Washington was all about that. He will know how to guide the Isles during the season which has the loftiest of goals.
The Islander players are ready to roll and they are hungry. Of the current Islanders roster, 16 players have been a part of the last two seasons where the team fell short in the final four. Another three players were part of last year’s squad. Anders Lee had to watch last year’s Stanley Cup run from the stands. This team is hungry.
Veterans Parise and Chara came on board because the Isles have built an organization where players now want to go to and the blue and orange have a real good chance to become champions this season. Parise at 37 has made it to the Stanley Cup Finals but hasn’t hoisted the cup. While the 44-year old Chara has lifted the Cup he knows his career is coming to a close very soon and wants to lift that trophy one more time.
This adds up to a very hungry squad. Expect the same level of dedication, sacrifice, and team hockey this season as Trotz and Lou have preached since walking in the door three-plus years ago.
Make no mistake about it, the Islanders are all in.