The Islanders went from being one game away from the Stanley Cup Finals in 2021 to mi sing the playoffs this season, without any real big changes in personnel.
What the heck happened?
Well, it's never fun starting the season off with a 13-game road trip. The Islanders were forced to play all away games to begin the season as their new UBS Arena was getting finished. New York went 5-6-2 during that span, immediately putting Danny Salazar Jersey them behind the eight ball.
The offense was about the same as it was last year, actually improving from a 2.71 goals per game to a 2.79. However, when you're scoring that little, you have to be elite defensively, like the team was last year when it allowed an average of 2.23 goals per game. In the 2021-22 campaign, that number inflated to 2.74.
That's still a very strong number. In fact, it was good enough to finish in the top 10 in the league. However, when you score as little as the Islanders do, that's not a recipe for succe s. The team only had two players score over 20 goals this season in Anders Lee and Brock Nelson.
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It leaves some uncertainties heading into the summer. Does GM Lou Lamoriello trust this core to bounce back next season, or are major changes needed on Long Island?
Here's a look at how the Islanders enter this offseason.
All salaries are from .Islanders upcoming free agents
Lamoriello re-upped Cal Clutterbuck and Zach Parise at the deadline so they won't hit free agency. However, two veteran blue liners will in Zdeno Chara and Andy Greene.
Noah Dobson's entry-level contract is up and he took great leaps in development this season, showing some serious upside as the next No. 1 defenseman for this team.Unrestricted free agentsRestricted free agentsZdeno CharaNoah DobsonAndy GreeneKiefer BellowsSebastian AhoOtto KoivulaIslanders future salaries, roster
Lamoriello secured a Bob Feller Jersey lot of the core group after the playoff run in 2021. Both Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock received new contracts ahead of this past season.
It's likely that New York tries to trade away one of the bigger contracts on the team this offseason, like Josh Bailey or Semyon Varlamov, who both make $5 million a year.Player2022-232023-242024-25Anders Lee$7 million$7 million$7 millionMathew Barzal$7 millionRFA-Ryan Pulock$6.15 million$6.15 million$6.15 millionBrock Nelson$6 million$6 million$6 millionAdam Pelech$5.75 million$5.75 million$5.75 millionJosh Bailey$5 million$5 millionUFAJean-Gabriel Pageau$5 million$5 million$5 millionKyle Palmieri$5 million$5 million$5 millionSemyon Varlamov$5 millionUFA-Anthony Corey Kluber Jersey Beauvillier$4.15 million$4.15 millionUFAIlya Sorokin$4 million$4 millionUFACasey Cizikas$2.5 million$2.5 million$2.5 millionCal Clutterbuck$1.75 million$1.75 millionUFAMatt Martin$1.5 million$1.5 millionUFAScott Mayfield$1.45 millionUFA-Ro s Johnston$1. Hanley Ramirez Jersey 1 million$1.1 million$1.1 millionOliver Wahlstrom$894,167RFA-Zach Parise$750,000UFA-
MORE:Islanders 2022 NHL Draft picks
As of now, New York has just five picks to use in the 2022 NHL Draft.
The team will pick in the middle of the first round given their finish in the standings. After that, it will have a second-round pick, a third, a fifth and a sixth.
If New York only makes five selection in the draft, it will be the third time in the last four years the team has drafted five players.
MORE:One burning question
How much turnover will we see on the Islanders roster?
Lamoriello is stuck with a difficult decision to make. On one hand, the team drastically underperformed this season and is in desperate need of some more offensive playmakers.On the other, this group got the team deep into the playoffs the previous two seasons.
He elected to not make any moves at the trade deadline, which shows that he still believes in this group. But something has to give this summer.
I mentioned that Bailey Ricky Vaughn Jersey or Varlamov could be on the move, but Anthony Beauvillier is another player that also could be on the trade block. His play has been too inconsistent and a fresh start somewhere else might benefit both sides.