Would a different GM make the NY Islanders better in the short term?

Apr 30, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) celebrates
Apr 30, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) celebrates / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

There are differences of opinion as to whether the New York Islanders should move on from GM and President of Hockey Operations Lou Lamoriello after six seasons on Long Island. There's also a variety of views on what that would mean for the immediate future of the franchise.

There are some who feel that Lamoriello hasn't shown the creativity and willingness to part with core pieces to make the big and bold trades that can reshape this roster and make them better. Does that mean a buyout of captain Anders Lee to create cap space? Aggressively shopping Jean-Gabriel Pageau with two years remaining on his contract?

As has been well-documented, he's traded each of his last four-round picks, and as of now, the Isles still have their own, No. 18 overall. There's no reason to think that pick couldn't be a play in the right deal. Even if those types of aggressive, calculated moves were pursued, It's hard to see how Lamoriello or any GM would turn them into a perceived Stanley Cup contender in 2024-25.

Bo Horvat, Casey Cizikas
New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Five / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

A lot went wrong for the team this season, but they still ended up with 94 points and finished 3rd in the Metropolitan Division. Could they be better next season with some more depth scoring, a better Ilya Sorokin, and a healthy defense most of the season?

Absolutely. You don't necessarily need a new GM for that to happen.

Rather, if ownership came to the conclusion that it was time to move on from Lamoriello, it would be indicative of a course correction and a recognition that this group has gone as far as it could. The expectation is that a retool, no matter how well it's executed, would mean a step back for a period of time with the hope that it would not be a prolonged stretch without the postseason.

Fans in this area often point to the New York Rangers decision to trade some of their best players in 2018 to accelerate their reshaping of the roster. Even with having defenseman Adam Fox negotiate his way to New York and Artemi Panarin signing after the 2018-19 season, the Blueshirts still went four seasons without being in playoff position at the end of the regular season.

A lot of the fanbase may be ready for that after three straight years of not being able to recapture the playoff success of 2020 and 2021. If the Isles are unable to contend for a Stanley Cup, there's a compelling argument that the retooling process should start now. If they want to go that route, Lamoriello probably isn't the man for the job, but if they want to better next season, he can be.