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SportKeys to the New York Islanders' 2019 offseason

04:56  13 june  2019
04:56  13 june  2019 Source:   prohockeyrumors.com

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The 2019 –20 New York Islanders season is the 48th season in the franchise's history. It is their fifth season in the Barclays Center in the New York City borough of Brooklyn

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Keys to the New York Islanders' 2019 offseason© Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

With the postseason wrapping up tonight, most squads are now well into their offseason planning. What storylines lie ahead around the league in what is shaping up to be a likely busy NHL offseason? Next up in our Offseason Keys series is a look at the New York Islanders.

Expectations were low for the Islanders after they lost their leading scorer and captain John Tavares to Toronto last summer. However, they were still able to land a quality head coach in Barry Trotz while new GM Lou Lamoriello’s depth additions in free agency wound up paying dividends right away. As a result, not only did the Islanders make the playoffs, they swept Pittsburgh in the opening round before suffering the same fate at the hands of Carolina. New York enters the offseason with considerable cap space, so there should be more changes on the horizon. Here is what will be on Lamoriello’s to-do list this summer.

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Next up in our Offseason Keys series is a look at the New York Islanders . Expectations were low for the Islanders after they lost their leading scorer and Lamoriello now needs to decide if he thinks that these performances were a sign of things to come or a one- off . Lehner’s slated to hit unrestricted free

New York Islanders Tickets. My Islanders Account. Full- Season Memberships. NewYorkIslanders.com is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and NewYorkIslanders.com are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. NHL, the NHL

Goaltending Decisions

Heading into the season, the goaltending tandem of Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss was a huge question mark. Lehner was coming off a rough year in Buffalo while Greiss had the worst numbers of his career in 2017-18. This was looking like it was going to be their Achilles’ heel but instead, the opposite happened. Lehner had a career season, fulfilling (for one season at least) the high expectations that came upon being a player that Buffalo gave up a first-round pick for. (But clearly, unfortunately for the Sabres, it wasn’t with them.) Meanwhile, Greiss bounced back nicely, giving the Islanders a very strong platoon between the pipes.

Lamoriello now needs to decide if he thinks that these performances were a sign of things to come or a one-off. Lehner’s slated to hit unrestricted free agency and will be looking at a sizable raise from the $1.5M he made this past season. He’ll also be in line for a multi-year commitment this time around. While there’s certainly some upside to giving him that contract based on how he performed, it’s not without its risks either. As for Greiss, he will be eligible for a contract extension on July 1. Is he in the plans moving forward?

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New York Islanders . Next up in our Offseason Keys series is a look at the New York Rangers. Back in the 2017-18 season , the Rangers announced that They enter the offseason with the number two pick after securing a victory in the Draft Lottery but there are several other keys to their offseason .

Sep 24, 2019 ; New York , NY , USA; New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (18) skates toward the puck during the third period against the Forward Josh Ho-Sang, the New York Islanders ' 2014 first-round pick, was placed on waivers by the team on Monday. Ho-Sang, 23, will report to the

Complicating matters is top prospect Ilya Sorokin. He won’t be coming to North America this season but his contract in the KHL will be up in 2020. The Islanders are certainly going to want him to make the jump but as one of the top goalies in that league, he’ll undoubtedly receive some big money offers to stay home. He’ll be forced to sign a one-year entry-level deal to start with New York but realistically, he’s going to want a pathway to a big role (and money) to put pen to paper to start with. Committing to Lehner as their long-term starter could have some repercussions when it comes to Sorokin. There were plenty of question marks with their goaltending heading into the season and even after the year they had, there are still a lot of questions that Lamoriello will need to ponder.

New Deal For Lee

New York certainly doesn’t want history to repeat itself when it comes to losing their captain to unrestricted free agency but there is the potential for that to happen as winger Anders Lee is slated to hit the open market next month. There’s mutual interest in a new deal but there appears to be one big issue that needs to be bridged before the two sides make a contract official.

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New York Islanders Tickets. My Islanders Account. Full- Season Memberships. 2019 -20 Regular Season Schedule. NewYorkIslanders.com is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and NewYorkIslanders.com are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. NHL

The New York Islanders have a big summer planned, as they must improve their offense to remain contenders. The New York Islanders are very likely going to re-sign Lehner. It seems the two are perfect for each other. I could even see Lehner being willing to sign for below market value because

Lee is believed to be seeking a near max-term contract which, if he re-signs before the market opens up, can go as long as eight years.  He turns 29 less than a month from now so a deal like that will take him to 37. That’s a big risk, especially for someone whose output has varied over the past few years though he has managed at least 28 goals in each of the last three seasons.

Right now, Lee is a viable front-line player but over time, that will change and they certainly want to avoid another Andrew Ladd situation. That’s why Lamoriello is believed to be pushing for a shorter-term pact, even though doing so will likely come with a higher price tag in terms of AAV. While Lee doesn’t have quite the overall impact that Tavares did, losing a top scorer and captain in two straight seasons to the open market would be tough to take. Can they find the right compromise?

Utilize Their Defensive Depth

While their back end isn’t full of brand name defenders, New York’s group wound up being quite effective and certainly contributed to the success of their goaltending. Thanks to their efforts, the Islanders were the stingiest team in the league in terms of goals allowed.

The NHL Offseason Is Off To A Roaring, Boring Start

The NHL Offseason Is Off To A Roaring, Boring Start This right here is why the National Hockey League doesn’t get it. Erik Karlsson just signed a record-setting eight-year deal worth more than $11 million per year with the San Jose Sharks without any fuss or muss. Deal framed, talked about, signed. Couldn’t be easier. In other words, a golden opportunity missed. The NBA has figured out that nothing amuses the audience quite like the drama of player movement, not even the games. The games are just the vegetable; the new contracts and the trades and the drama and the roasting of cash in pursuit of same are what people are in for.

The good news is that they’re pretty deep already. The better news is that there is more help on the horizon. Top prospect Noah Dobson figures to be in the mix for a spot next season after a dominant showing at the junior level. Sebastian Aho (not the Carolina one) had a big year and is nearly ready for a longer look in the NHL as well. Behind them, Bode Wilde had a big year at the junior level and they’re hopeful that he will make an impact down the road. Add that to a capable group of seven at the NHL level and all of a sudden the Islanders could be in a position to deal a blueliner or two at a time where the UFA market is pretty soft.

Nick Leddy underachieved considerably last season which has led to some speculation that he could be in play. With a $5.5M cap hit for three more years, he carries a hefty price tag, but as someone who has been a capable top-four option in the past, there may be teams thinking that a change of scenery could get him going again. Thomas Hickey was brought back last summer on a four-year deal but wound up playing more of a depth role when he was in the lineup.  He’s someone that could certainly be moved as well. Regardless of who moves, the Islanders are in good shape as one of few teams that could realistically move a defenseman with plenty of teams being on the market for one.

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Roberto Luongo retires after 19 NHL seasons.
He's also one of only three goalies to have played 1,000 games in the NHL. He won a Jennings Trophy and was three-time finalist for the Vezina Trophy (2004, 2007, 2011), a finalist for the Hart Trophy (2007) and was a finalist for the Bill Masterton Trophy (2018). More to come… ———— Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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