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Islanders’ disappointing summer leaves uncertainty for season ahead

September 10, 2022, 8:04 PM ET [114 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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The NHL regular season begins in a month and despite the New York Islanders being linked to some big targets this offseason, the team seems set to enter the season without many notable upgrades.

They didn’t manage to add J.T. Miller, who has since re-signed with the Vancouver Canucks and then proceeded to miss out on Nazem Kadri as well, who ended up with the Calgary Flames. Not signing Kadri also came as a bit of a surprise, as many reports pointed to a likely deal between the Islanders and Kadri. It’s debatable whether either was going to be an ideal fit with the Islanders, but the team also still didn’t manage to seek out help elsewhere.

It’s possible the Islanders could get back to the playoffs with their current roster but management also really hasn't done much to ensure they will. The goal of being a playoff team, let alone a contender, is just based on a hope the team will find its way as is, rather than management actually making major upgrades to improve.

For a team that finished tied for 22nd overall in goals last season who are looking to compete, it isn’t a great look to be entering the year with essentially the exact same forward group. Plus, getting out of the Metropolitan Division won't be easy as is, with a lot of other good teams also in win-now mode, like the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, and even the Columbus Blue Jackets and New Jersey Devils likely to be more competitive.

To be fair, many key forwards on the team had a down year in 2021-22 and will need to bounce back to help the Islanders’ scoring issues. That said, the current group isn’t good enough as is and it’s no secret that external help is needed. The team’s only big move of the summer was adding Alexander Romanov and while there's a lot to like about that addition, the team has remained quiet when it comes to addressing their biggest area of need, being offense.

Obviously, there’s still time before the season begins but this is far from a new issue for the Islanders. They’ve been lacking scoring for many years and to be this close to the start of another season with the same forward group – coming off a year in which they missed the playoffs – creates a lot of uncertainty as to how the season will play out.

If the Islanders fail to make any major upgrades before the season begins, it’s fair to classify the offseason as a major disappointment.

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