Mid Summer Report: New York Islanders

download (28)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the New York Islanders

Last Season’s Finish:  45-27-10, 100 pts, 4th in the Metropolitan Division, lost in the second round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Andrew Ladd (UFA)
  • F Jason Chimera (UFA)
  • F P-A Parenteau (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Frans Nielsen (Detroit)
  • F Kyle Okposo (Buffalo)
  • F Matt Martin (Toronto)
  • D Brian Strait (Winnipeg)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Shane Prince
  • F Alan Quine
  • D Ryan Pulock
  • D Adam Pelech
  • D Scott Mayfield

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/15)

  • F Ryan Strome

Current Cap Situation as of 8/15/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $70,576,475
  • Current salary cap space: $2,423,525

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Andrew Ladd, John Tavares, Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolay Kulemin, Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Josh Bailey, Cal Clutterbuck, Brock Nelson, Jason Chimera, P-A Parenteau, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Alan Quine, Eric Boulton
Defensemen
Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Travis Hamonic, Thomas Hickey, Calvin de Haan, Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, Scott Mayfield
Goalies
Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Greiss, J-F Berube

 

Outlook:
The Islanders had one of the best seasons that they have had in a long time.  First, they hit the 100 point total in the regular season for the second year in a row, and for the second time since 1984.  Then, in the playoffs, they made it into the second round for the first time since 1993.  Unfortunately, that is as far as they went.  However, the Islanders had to make some tough choices this summer due to being right up against the salary cap ceiling.  They had to sit and watch their #2 and #3 point leaders from last season, Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen sign with other teams, leaving two big holes in the top 6 up front.  They were able to add Andrew Ladd to plug one of the holes, but that leaves another hole in the top 6.  They are hoping one of their younger players can step up and fill the role.  Ryan Strome looks ready to take that next step in his development.  If the Islanders find a way to replace the 116 combined points that Okposo and Nielsen represent, they should continue to be a strong team in the east.  If they don’t, they will likely take a step back in the standings.