Lou Lamoriello’s to-do list with the Islanders
On May 22, 2018, the New York Islanders decided it was time for a changing of the guard. After missing the playoffs for consecutive years and an outpour of fans demanding for change of their current General Manager, Garth Snow, they signed Lou Lamoriello to be the president hockey operations. With Lou now in charge, and given full control of the front office, what are his top tasks to get this team out of the basement and into the dynasty they once were?
The Islanders are not one or two moves away from being a real Stanley Cup contender. With that being said, a few moves can be made to sling shot them into the right direction. In order to be a Stanley Cup contender, they need a star, a leader, and that man is John Tavares. He has been the only bright spot for the franchise since he was drafted. He’s done so much for the organization and is absolutely idolized by the fan base. He is a free agent, and to let him walk cleanly to another team with no compensation would be the worst choice for the Islanders. Resigning John Tavares is the top priority on this list.
Another task Lou needs to accomplish is to acquire a solid goaltender. While Jaro Halak had his moments this year, he was not as consistent as the Islanders hoped. Other pieces like Chris Gibson and Thomas Griess haven’t been producing the talent they showed they have in the 2017-2018 season, so the Islanders will need to bring over their top prospect: Illya Sorokin. Sorokin is labeled the top goalie in the KHL, and the isles will need a consistent goalie like him to lift them through the season.
Lou’s next priority will be to fill up the defense. After having a record breaking terrible season, the defense needs a tremendous upgrade. While they did have some bright spots such as Nick Leddy, Thomas Hickey, and Ryan Pulock, guys like Johnny Boychuck and Dennis Seidenberg were a liability and need to be replaced. Lou’s best move would be to resign Calvin da Hann, and call up guys like Sebastian Aho, Frederic St. Denis, and Jonathan Towes to give them the NHL experience to grow and blossom like Pulock did.
The Isles have also seen their fair share of bad coaches. Its time for a new, experienced, and accomplished coach, like the Islanders did to get Lou. The Islanders have had their share of bad coaching from not knowing the basics of the game, to insulting the diehard blue and orange fans. A guy like Dan Bylsma could do as he has Stanley Cup rings and can coach star players like John Tavares and Mat Barzal as he did with Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Bylsma is the former head coach of the Buffalo Sabres and former head coach of the United States Men’s National Ice Hockey team, and has the experience to lead to Islanders to a Stanley cup. If the Islanders want to see any success under Lou Lamoriello, these steps need to be acted on.
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