4 Islanders players who shouldn’t return next season

Since the New York Islanders have underperformed this season, it’s time to jettison a few players and turn the page on what has been a trying year.

Winnipeg Jets v New York Islanders
Winnipeg Jets v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The New York Islanders need to do something to shift their current identity, which hasn't been the best way to go for what will be three seasons. In 2021-22, they missed the playoffs, only to sneak in last season before losing in the First Round. This year, their playoff hopes are all but over unless they basically win out, and their competition loses out. 

It wasn’t for the lack of trying, as we saw head coach Lane Lambert receive his walking papers while Patrick Roy took over. But Roy has hardly made the team better, as they are just 0.500 points-wise prior to their March 28th matchup vs. the Florida Panthers since he took over with an 11-11-4 record. 

Overall, if this season has shown us anything, it’s that the Islanders can’t keep everyone around, go into next season, and keep trying to play the same way. It’s not working, and they badly need to start shifting their identity into something that involves more high-octane play.

Islanders must start cutting ties with a few players as changes are needed

While the Islanders must start changing, they are also in a bind cap-wise, and many of their pending unrestricted free agents won’t give them much cash leeway heading into the offseason. Luckily for the Isles, they are in a position where a full rebuild isn’t needed as their top players can stick around for the greater part of, if not the entire decade. 

Retooling or restructuring the lineup would be the much better method here unless general manager Lou Lamoriello wanted to move his top talents elsewhere. But if they can still produce or if they are in their respective primes, what would be the point? 

Instead, get rid of some older players and those who aren’t contributing and slowly restructure this team. Doing so could at least keep them interesting to watch while simultaneously getting younger in a process that should start this coming offseason. 

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