Exactly one year ago, after a short summer without hockey, GM Lou Lamoriello unlocked and opened his magical drawer and announced the New York Islanders had signed Anthony Beauvillier, Casey Cizikas, Kyle Palmieri, and Ilya Sorokin to multi-year contracts.
The silence of the last off-season was different than the quiet of this summer. This year things didn't happen because other things didn't happen. The Islanders were unable or unwilling to make the necessary trades that would free salary to sign a top Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA).
A year ago, the pieces on the chess board had moved, and we were just waiting for announcements. The Seattle Kraken had selected Jordan Eberle in the Expansion Draft, Andrew Ladd along with a couple of draft picks were unloaded to Arizona, and Nick Leddy was traded to the Detroit Red Wings for Richard Panik and a second-round pick.
The Islanders had created the necessary cap space to bring back their own unrestricted and restricted free agents. There were little to no rumors surrounding their two UFAs, and there was no thought of their restricted free agents being moved. The only drama was term and AAV.
On the one-year anniversary of the day the drawer opened, let's take back at those contracts and provide a fresh perspective on them heading into the 2022-23 season.