How Much Time Does Roy Have to Turn the NY Islanders Around?

2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - New York Rangers v New York Islanders
2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - New York Rangers v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Every coach in any sport needs time to implement their philosophies, and systems and build relationships with the players. Entering a situation like the one in Elmont is difficult as this team is coming up on time frames that greatly affect the organization’s path. The NY Islanders are during a playoff race and Patrick Roy was brought in to solidify the playoff berth.

This team is a group of veterans who know what it takes to make the playoffs and make a long run toward the Stanley Cup. Roy’s energy and attention to detail was what Lou Lamoriello believed was the missing piece to this group returning to the top of the league.

Unfortunately, bad habits take time to break and are even harder when these veterans are slowing down rapidly.

In Roy’s case, his up-tempo style may further wane the stamina of some of the veterans on the roster. The character in the locker room is strong and Roy shouldn’t have to worry about players not buying into the philosophy, but the real question will be how long it will take to sink in.

Time, in general, is not on the side of the organization for this season. Lamoriello is in his 27th season at age 81 and does not have much time before he closes out his Hall of Fame career. Many players are in the later parts of their careers as well.

Before we know it, spring will be here and only a month will be left in the regular season. The more dire date is the trade deadline on March 8th. The direction of this team, both near and far future, will need to be determined before that date.

If Roy can keep this team within striking distance of the playoffs in the next two weeks, this team will likely not sell off assets. If the team is trending upward with a grasp of Roy’s style, that could lead to Lamoriello looking to add assets. The salary cap will hamper much creativity if that is the path taken.

Ultimately, if the goal each season is to win the Stanley Cup, this group has shown it cannot get over the top. In that case, the team should start to sell off assets no matter what position they are in the standings.