New York Islanders Have a Big Offseason Ahead
The New York Islanders were eliminated from the postseason after losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 with 6:42 remaining in overtime on a goal scored by Anthony Cirelli. It was assisted by Barclay Goodrow and Alex Killorn. 13:18 time elapsed in the first overtime session and now a big offseason awaits for the New York Islanders.
It isn’t going to be a very long offseason, but it is rather going to be a very interesting one for them though. This was the first time since the 1993 season that New York reached the Eastern Conference Finals.
They lost that series to the eventual defending champions the Montreal Canadiens in five games as well.
The Islanders have been overachieving in Barry Trotz’s first two seasons as head coach of this hockey club. He will be around for another three seasons.
The last time they won a Stanley Cup Finals Title was in 1982-1983 against the Edmonton Oilers in four games. That was part of a four-peat from 1979-1983 though.
New York won 19 consecutive postseason series, but it came to an end during the 1983-1984 Stanley Cup Finals against the Edmonton Oilers in a clean sweep. Edmonton really fastened their seatbelts in that series. This was the last time the New York Islanders made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Ilya Sorokin will be coming over from Russia next season to potentially take the starting job from Semyon Varlamov.
They need to sign a couple of free agents and one of the names that have come up is winger Mike Hoffman from the Florida Panthers.
There is a lot of work to be done and the New York Islanders are in win-now mode.
There is a slim possibility they could sign Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin next summer because his contract expires.
Ovechkin won a Stanley Cup with Trotz in Washington during the 2018 season in five games against the Vegas Golden Knights in Vegas’s inaugural season.
Next season, the New York Islanders won’t be playing any home games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. They will be playing all of their games at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale. New York.
At the start of the 2021-2022 season, they will be playing in their new home at the UBS Arena in Belmont, New York.
General Manager Lou Lamoriello will have a ton of business decisions to make in the offseason.
The New York Islanders won three playoff series in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. New York defeated the Florida Panthers in four games in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, the Washington Capitals in five games, and the one-seeded Philadelphia Flyers.
The Islanders played at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, before transferring to Edmonton, Alberta, at the Rogers Centre for the Eastern Conference Finals.
Mathew Barzal is the heart and soul of this hockey team. Barzal is one of the best skaters and passers in the NHL.
Will he swing a trade or just sign some free agents or use the system? Keifer Bellows and Oliver Wahlstrom are two of the key players in the New York Islanders farm system that can make an immediate impact next season though.
New York has one of the better prospect pools all of the NHL. It is going to be tough for them to compete in the Metropolitan Division next season because they have the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals, the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Rangers, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Carolina Hurricanes, and the New Jersey Devils.
The Devils and the Blue Jackets may not be as good next season. The Rangers may not be fully prepared to make a run for the postseason yet.
The Hurricanes, the Penguins, the Capitals, and the Flyers are in win-now mode along with the Islanders though.
New York needs to push the right buttons in the offseason and they have had more success ever since John Tavares bolted to the Toronto Maple Leafs in free agency two offseasons ago.
They need to get some goal scoring this offseason though and they are pretty structured on defense.
What do you think the New York Islanders need to do this offseason? Leave a comment below.
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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.