How the NY Islanders Can Re-Open Their Winning Window

This era of New York Islanders hockey will be remembered fondly, but after last night, it appears to be the end of the line for this group of players. What are the next steps for the organization?
While he brought new credibility to the entire NY Islanders organization, Lou Lamoriello has also saddled the franchise with long-term contracts that will make change difficult.
While he brought new credibility to the entire NY Islanders organization, Lou Lamoriello has also saddled the franchise with long-term contracts that will make change difficult. / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Lou Lamoriello
It might be time for Lou Lamoriello to relinquish day-to-day control of hockey operations for the NY Islanders. / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The window for the post-John Tavares era 2018-2024 New York Islanders has closed. But the Islanders are left with a strong core and winning culture, and with some strong offseason work, they can retool and maintain the success from the last six years. A big question will be whether Lou Lamoriello is the right person to maintain day-to-day control of operations.

Lamoriello's record with the Islanders is positive, and he will be remembered for bringing much-needed credibility to the organization when it needed it the most. Additionally, his teams had the most successful run of any Islanders teams since the dynasty years, with two runs to the Eastern Conference Finals.

But he has also saddled the organization with some questionable contracts, including those of Scott Mayfield and Pierre Engvall. Those contracts make it hard to change the roster, so whether it is Lou or someone else making the decisions, they will need to think creatively to make moves. It would not be a shock to see Lou retire into some advisory role to let someone else take over the day-to-day moves, and if that does occur, it will be interesting to see if the Islanders go outside the organization to find the next GM.

Regardless of who is making the moves, the Islanders made clear this week that changes to the core are necessary. They are old, capped out, have a poor farm system, and are not Cup contenders. They need to correct that course and get their talented core back on track to accomplish the ultimate goal and complete the Drive for Five.