It's been exactly 67 days since we heard from NY Islanders General Manager, Lou Lamoriello. On Tuesday, he finally broke his silence. The extended period of radio silence led many to believe something may have been going on behind the scenes. However, Tuesday's press conference revealed what another party's worst nightmare. The Islanders are heading into the summer apparently status quo.
Over and over from the beginning of his tenure, we've heard the same line from Lamoriello regarding the Islanders. He believes in the core of players. Those players involve Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, Bo Horvat, Adam Pelech, Ryan Pulock, Ilya Sorokin, and certainly a few more.
Tuesday's press conference reiterated that very sentiment.
"I believe in this core group," Lamoriello repeated to the media, again, on Tuesday. "The goal is to be where these two teams (Vegas and Florida) are. We have to get better. I have to get better. Our coaching staff has to get better. Our players have to get better"
Following a first round exit and a plethora movement of managment and coaching personell around the NHL, there was speculation as to whether Lamoriello was returning next season and if Lane Lambert was going to be head coach. Both of those questions were also answered.
Lou and Lane are both under contract for next season and will continue to be moving forward according to the Islanders GM. As for the rest of the coaching staff, Lamoriello claimed he believed they did a good job this season, yet wouldn't divulge whether or not the supporting cast would be returning.
For now, keep a question mark next to Doug Houda and John McLean's names.
One thing we did sort of receive clarity on was the future of the current longest-tenured Islander. Josh Bailey had an awful season last year. So bad, he found himself as a healthy scratch for the short, but entire playoffs. The 33-year-old forward finished the 2022-23 season with eight goals and 25 points in 64 games. According to Lamoriello, it sounds like the Islanders are working on a plan to move forward without him.
"Loyalty will never get in the way of impeding progress," Lamoriello explained regarding Bailey. "Josh and I have, I think, a man-to-man relationship as far as honesty. We will work with him to help him. My priority is doing what's best for the team"
We also got some clarity on Lamoriello's intentions with Zach Parise. Parise claimed at exit meetings that his future was with the Islanders or nowhere. So, he's not going to sign to play anywhere else. However, the question remains if he is going to play at all. According to the 38-year-old, he's unsure of his playing future.
As for Lamoriello, he want's the veteran forward to return:
""We certainly want him back. We've told him that.""- Lou Lamoriello
As for Scott Mayfield, it was no different than what was said of Parise:
""We certainly would like Scott back.""- Lou Lamoriello
The 30-year-old defenseman is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. He's likely looking for his first and possibly last big pay day. The question remains if the Islanders can afford to keep him in their plans. We now at least know they want to.
Ilya Sorokin isn't a pending free agent until the summer of 2024, but Lamoriello did clarify that he'd like to get that contract hammered out sooner rather than later.
Both Oliver Wahlstrom's and Alexander Romanov's injuries were addressed by Lamoriello. Wahlstrom missed the whole second half of the season after he was injured in December, while Romanov missed far less time, sitting out of a few contests at the end of the regular season and two games in the playoffs due to injury.
According to Lamoriello, both players will be recovered and ready to go for training camp September.
If you were looking for something new to nibble on, sorry to disappoint your hunger. With Lamoriello remaining in charge and Lambert staying behind the bench, it looks like it'll be same ol' Isles minus Bailey.
There remains the possibility Lamoriello surprises us in the offseason, but for now, it's all status quo.