Breaking News; The New York Islanders have re-signed Captain Anders Lee
After a rough beginning to free agency for the Islanders, they finally saved a bit of face by re-signing their captain Anders Lee to a seven year, $7M AAV contract. While the term is most certainly two years too long, Lee was an integral part of the locker room and has been a perennial 30 goal scorer for the past few seasons.
Anders Lee signs for 7 x 7 with the Isles.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2019
While morale has been low for Islander fans after losing out on Artemi Panarin, the Captain announced his return with a nice callback to one of the most outrageous scenes from an already outrageous movie;
— Anders Lee (@leeberr09) July 1, 2019
Lou Lamoriello now turns to improve an Islanders squad that is most certainly losing their Vezina-finalist goaltender in Robin Lehner. Lehner previously rejected a two year, $5M AAV contract from the Islanders and it’s almost a foregone conclusion that he won’t be on the Island next season.
There are still a few intriguing names out there, including Brian Boyle and Ryan Dzingel. Although the Islanders have only been linked to Boyle, Lamoriello runs a notoriously quiet ship so his boat is pretty much leak proof. Don’t be surprised to see them make a run at a top six forward after whiffing on some of the big ones.
Also in play for Lamoriello is an offer sheet to Mitch Marner. The Montreal Canadiens actually pulled the trigger and tendered an offer sheet to Sebastian Aho of the Carolina Hurricanes. The ‘Canes will match, but they may play with Montreal for a bit to prevent them from going after other free agents. If Lou can pull off the Marner deal, that would be a huge upgrade for the Isles.
Another intriguing option is somehow packaging a trade with Nick Leddy as the centerpiece to a team in need of a puck moving defenseman. No one’s sure what that will fetch, but it can’t hurt asking around the league. Overall the Islanders still need to improve if they want to take the next step, but it’s not a bad start to free agency.
Overall, it’s a good deal for both sides. Lee got that seventh year that the Islanders were wary of giving at first, and the Islanders get a 30 goal scorer for less per year than most were going for. That Kevin Hayes deal with Philly is looking more and more suspect.
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