We've been talking about the New York Islanders being a destination for a while now. Mainly because they have a new arena, a new practice facility, a Hall of Fame GM, a (future) Hall of Fame head coach, and owners that are spending. All of those are things that attract players.
But that was all conjecture. No one actually knew they were a destination. But now we've got a bit more context and it looks good.
New York Islanders area destination (confirmed)
The Athletic (subscription required) recently asked a number of agents what teams in the NHL they would advise their clients to sign with (assuming money is equal). And the New York Islanders ranked very favorably. Like top four favorable.
Remember, this poll was designed to weed out any financial bias; like favorable tax codes and teams that have a ton of money to toss at players. Again, the Islanders finished in the top portion of the league. They were tied with the Rangers at fourth per NHL agents.
Only the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Philadelphia Flyers (in that order) faired better than the New York Islanders.
The Islanders are a destination in the NHL. Sure they still have some financial constraints (NY state taxes and the size of the Long Island market), but being one of the four places agents would advise their clients to go is, well, a good thing.
Like a really good thing. The Isles are starring down a free agency market loaded with talent, with $13.75 million in free cap space next year, and with no one of note waiting for a major payday. Sure, Noah Dobson will be an RFA, but he isn't about to get a massive payday, it's going to be a two-year ~$6 million deal. No one else is waiting for a big payday.
That's a good position to be in for the New York Islanders who are, in fact, a destination.