Could change be inevitable for the New York Islanders?

Could change be inevitable for the New York Islanders? (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Could change be inevitable for the New York Islanders? (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New York Islanders are having a better season than last season, but that is not saying much.

The turmoil from a long road trip to Covid breakouts to injuries and opening a new arena was too much for this veteran group. Lou Lamoriello felt this group of players deserve another chance to show that last season was just a fluke.

This New York Islanders team has a very special group of players on the roster.

Mostly, this team is the same group that went through that tough season. And the majority of these veterans battled together in two Eastern Conference Finals appearances. It is certainly a special group of players, both on and off the ice.

But all good things must come to an end. It is more intelligent to cut your losses before it is too late, and the Islanders are straddling that line right now. This team will battle, and they could make a run at the playoffs for sure.

Hell, if this team got into the playoffs, their style of play would cause fits to some top teams in the conference. But the end result will be the same, and this group will be another year older.

Ilya Sorokin is a star and is still young enough to survive a re-load and not burn too many of his prime seasons.

Indeed, some of these veterans will not have a lot of value on the open market, but clearing space for the youth is important to the organization. I, for one, would like to give these veterans a chance to make a run at the Stanley Cup one more time.

The re-loading, not re-building, should have started at last year’s trade deadline, but the time is now to create cap space and playing time.

The time for creativity through trades and the importance of “hockey trades” are very high, and whether it is Lamoriello or someone else, it needs to be done soon.

One benefit that no one would admit is also the fact that playing more youth will probably drop the Islanders in the standings, which will then result in a better draft pick.

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Again, this is not something you plan for but is one positive in playing the younger players at this point. It would not surprise me if Lamoriello ends up acquiring a veteran forward, but time is definitely running out on this regime.