Islanders Need a New Plan A to Upgrade Roster

2022 NHL Draft - Round 2-7
2022 NHL Draft - Round 2-7 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Nazem Kadri
Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche - Game Two / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

Nazem Kadri

Kadri is the lone difference maker that is still available via free agency. Elliotte Friedman alluded to the fact that both "New York teams (could be) possibly looking at Kadri." Well, the New York Rangers signed Vincent Troceck to a seven-year contract that carries a $5.625 million AAV. That solidifies Broadway's second-line center need and it's unlikely they'd be pursuing Kadri at this point.

The Islanders are deep at center, in fact, they have four solid NHL centers. However, as many have speculated, Brock Nelson or Mathew Barzal could shift to the wing to make room for a high-profile name like Kadri. Kadri scored 28 goals last season and amassed 87 points. He's the kind of player that if/when you insert on a line with, say, Barzal, he not only knows how to finish, but he doesn't shy away from banging bodies which could open up the ice a lot more for the shifty 25-year-old forward.

The asking price began high, but seeing how he didn't fly off the market as some other names did, it's possible his desired $8 million AAV comes down to a more reasonable price. As the lone free agent difference-maker still available, it's worth Lamoriello's time and attention to try and lock Kadri down as a player who doesn't require anything but dollars in return.