It's nearing time for the NY Islanders to move on from the old guard

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders - Game Six
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders - Game Six / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

It is never easy saying goodbye in life, but the obvious decision is staring Lou Lamoriello and the New York Islanders right in the face. This core has been together for a long time, in sports years, and has experienced great success, especially in this organization's recent past. Two visits to the Eastern Conference Finals are a big deal to the fan base, but the ultimate goal is winning the Stanley Cup.

Lamoriello has seen and continues to see the potential in this group despite some obvious signs to the contrary. Not only has Lamoriello believed in this team, but he has doubled down with large extensions to role players, clogging up spots for new additions or even younger players.

Under Barry Trotz, these character players fell into a role clearly defined by a Hall of Fame coach. Now these players are depth pieces on skill-contending teams battling for the cup. The NHL is a business, and it's the front office's job to act business-like. Loyalty to a fault is a real thing in this scenario.

Barry Trotz
Vancouver Canucks v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

It will not be easy for some of these players to play in another jersey, but for the future's sake, it needs to be done sooner rather than later. At the apex of this team's potential, it is sadly not raising the Stanley Cup. This team can compete and even make the playoffs. In the big picture what does another first-round playoff exit do for this organization and its fans?

The team does have a young enough core to build on and not completely blow this thing up, but time is running out. Key pieces like Bo Horvat, Anders Lee, and even Ilya Sorokin are not getting any younger. Salary cap space is needed to adjust the surrounding players and build a different dynamic to their style of play.

Mathew Barzal, Bo Horvat, Noah Dobson
New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Thankfully for the Islanders, these fringe players do have trade value, some minimal. The spots created by moves will be extremely valuable now, especially in the summer. At this point, Lamoriello should be taking calls on players like Brock Nelson. His value is at his highest and could bring back a haul of picks.

A re-construction of this team will not be like the late 90's, so it should not be done in fear. The core of this team is talented and spread out with Sorokin, Noah Dobson, Mathew Barzal, and Bo Horvat.