Training camp for the NY Islanders is just a few weeks away, and the team's roster seems to be set for the 2023-24 season. There has been minimal roster turnover this season, as the only players Lou Lamoriello added are Julien Gauthier, Karson Kuhlman, and Brian Pinho. The Isles' big splashes in free agency came via re-signing their own players, awarding 7-year contracts to Scott Mayfield and Pierre Engvall - while extending goaltenders Semyon Varlamov to a 4-year deal and Ilya Sorokin a year before he hit the market, with a max term of eight years.
As the roster currently stands, according to CapFriendly, the Isles are $486,625 over the cap, making a move necessary for them to be cap-compliant by the start of the season. While any additions seem unlikely at this point with Lamoriello at the helm, it's difficult to tell what may be on the horizon. Here are three additions the Isles could make before opening night:
The Islanders faithful have been waiting on this one for quite some time, as Zach Parise was one of the team's top performers last year and one of the best bang-for-your-buck players in the entire league. At 38 years old, Parise notched 21 goals and 13 assists without missing a game. He was significant on the penalty kill and power play and would be a noteworthy loss for the Isles if he were to retire. A decision will need to be made soon, but the longer this goes, the less likely it seems he'll be back.
I know it's not the name everyone wanted to hear, but it could benefit both parties. Josh Bailey is still unsigned, and his name hasn't popped up in any rumor mills since being bought out by the Chicago Blackhawks. Bailey has been a staple on Long Island since joining the organization as an 18-year-old, and it's clear what his role on the team would be if he were to rejoin the roster. He would be an extra forward with limited playing time, but he'd remain with his family at home on Long Island and give the Islanders some depth at forward.
This is a name I, nor many Islanders fans, have likely thought of until Stefan Rosner of The Hockey News mentioned his name yesterday. A 32-year-old, 48-point scorer last season and still without a contract? In years past, if a player went months into free agency (Nazem Kadri) without being signed, they were immediately linked with the Islanders, as Lamoriello has typically kept his business under wraps. It's not too far-fetched to think the 80-year-old may bring in Tomas Tatar as secondary scoring to play on the third line alongside JG Pageau. Moves would need to be made to make this possible, as Tatar will command more than the league minimum, likely waiving Ross Johnston and Kuhlman.