Now that the New York Islanders have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, GM Lou Lamoriello is right back to work thinking about the off-season and the Seattle Kraken expansion draft.
Emily Kaplan of ESPN reports the most attractive player left unprotected for the Seattle Kraken might be defenseman Nick Leddy, who had a strong postseason to boost his value.
Kaplan went on to say the Islanders would love for Seattle to take Andrew Ladd — and that’s a possibility if Lou Lamoriello is willing to make another side deal. It’s more likely for New York to just lose a player. Two strong candidates: 2016 first-round pick Kieffer Bellows, who has to break through to the regular lineup, and veteran Matt Martin, a vital member of the identity fourth line.
The Islanders are tight against the salary cap and it will be unlikely Lamoriello will be able to bring the same team back. The Isles are likely to lose the following free agents – Andy Greene (acquired at 2020 trade deadline), Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac (acquired at 2021 trade deadline) and Casey Cizikas.
There might be some tweaks to the Islander lineup, but with limited cap space, the salary cap not going up, Lamoriello will not be able to bring in any top line talent, but that will not stop them from being a Stanley Cup contender next year.