The New York Islanders had a successful season last year. They finished with a 45-27-10 record and 100 points. They scored 232 goals for and allowed 216 goals against. For the first time in 23 years, they won a playoff series in a tough, six game battle with Florida. Unfortunately for them, they lost to Tampa Bay in round two.
Their offseason had both its highs and its lows. First, they saw Kyle Okposo walk and sign with the Sabres. As a top six forward, he’s someone who can produce 60+ points, including 20 to 30 goals. The Isles handled this by signing Andrew Ladd. He is a very good replacement, producing about the same and brings a veteran presence as a former captain and two-time Stanley Cup champion, although the seven year contract is too long in my opinion. Still, with this move, it’s hard to say they lose much from the departure of Okposo.
Another bad loss, however, was Frans Nielsen. The replacement for him is Jason Chimera, but he doesn’t bring the same productivity as Nielsen. They each are 20 goal scorers, but Nielsen has better playmaking abilities, is more effective on the penalty kill, and, of course, is a shootout specialist. It could mean a couple less shootout wins than the 5 they had last season. The Isles aren’t a great face-off team, and their percentage drops losing him.
New York then signed PA Parenteau, which I think was a very solid move. He has been a terrific playmaker throughout his career, racking up 50 assists once in his career in 2012, followed by 25 assists in the 48 game season in 2013. He has stumbled a bit the last two to three seasons, but can still give 20 goals and 20 assists.
I think the Isles made some solid moves this summer and will probably find themselves in the playoffs again.