What is Islanders offseason priority: Offense or Defense?

New York Islanders Training Camp
New York Islanders Training Camp / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

We know the New York Islanders need both offense and defense. They need top-line talent to upgrade the forwards they currently have and they need top-four to improve the quality guys on the blueline.

But not everything works out as you want it to. The Islanders just might not be able to get both an offensive and defensive player. I know. I know. I want both as well, but again, we might not be able to get both. So if they can't land both, what's the top priority?

New York Islanders: What is the priority offense or defense?

We know the Islanders don't score enough goals. That's been the case since Barry Trotz took over. So you'd think the easy answer is they need offense. The Islanders need more goals. That should be their number one priority, right?

Makes sense, no?

Except the Islanders have two big gaps in their defense. They have one player down the left side of the defense going into 2022-23. Adam Pelech. That's it. Robin Salo could be a bottom-pair guy next year, but that still leaves a gap in the top four.

Without that top-four guy, the Islanders are in a bad spot. At the moment they've got 12 forwards who can play. Yes, they can be upgraded. But they can still perform at the NHL level. Do you know who can't perform at the NHL level? A ghost. That's who's on the Islanders second pair at the moment.

That's why a defender is the number one priority for the Islanders this offseason.

And, look, that doesn't mean the Islanders only need a defender, but if the choice comes down to a defender or a forward the choice has to be defense.

And the Islanders can't just get any guy for their top-four. They need a real top-four defender. Not someone who used to be a top-four guy years ago. Yes, that's a reference to Zdeno Chara. I still like the pickup. I think it was a good move by the Islanders to bring him in. But he should have been a depth guy, not an everyday top-four guy.