Mar 14, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders forward John Tavares (91) celebrates his game winning overtime goal with his teammates against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Islanders defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Mar 14, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders forward John Tavares (91) celebrates his game winning overtime goal with his teammates against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Islanders defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The Islanders finished the 2016-17 season on a six-game winning streak, which included wins over four teams that did not advance to the Stanley Cup playoffs. In the end, it wasn't enough to continue their modest two-season playoff streak.

An ugly first quarter, marked by questionable defensive coverage, poor transition play, a powerless play and questionable management decisions will have them watching 16 teams compete for the ultimate prize from their living rooms. The fact that their 94 points are just two shy of the NHL record for most while missing the postseason (2014-15 Bruins had 96, 2006-07 Avalanche and 2010-11 Stars had 95) is no consolation, especially to the captain.

"Overall, as a team, it's disappointing, not making the playoffs," John Tavares said. "There are so many games to look back on, the opportunities we let slip away, and that's definitely frustrating. In a sense, it's a step back. What did we have, 94 points? So, three wins off last year. But, it's such a fine line. We need to step back, reflect and prepare to get where we need to be."

As the offseason begins, there are more questions than answers for an organization that still has only one playoff series win in the past 23 years. So, let's dive in and analyze the good, bad and ugly of a season that started all wrong. Later in the week, we'll dive into where we go from here.

The Good

In a 41-win, 94-point season, as bad as you might feel today, there had to be some good, right? You bet there was. It just might take until June to fully see it. I get it. Take your time.

Let's start with Anders Lee, who was unquestionably the team MVP. If you would have told me that after his first 18 games, I would have had you professionally evaluated, as the power forward had a lone tally in that span. He concluded by scoring 33 goals in his next 63 games, finishing with a career-high 34 in addition to 52 points.

To put that in perspective, only Auston Matthews, likely Calder trophy winner, scored more in the same span. He also led the team in power play goals, game-winning goals and shooting percentage. It's the sixth-best single season franchise goal total in the 2000s.



Look beyond meager scoring totals (9-15-24 in 66 games) to appreciate how good a season 19-year old rookie Anthony Beauvillier had. Buried in Jack Capuano's anti-youth movement earlier in the year with sporadic appearances, it wasn't until Doug Weight took over and gave the rookie consistent playing time that he began to shine at both ends of the rink. If the organization sees him as a Frans Nielsen replacement, he's off to a pretty good start.

Joshua Ho-Sang came in and energized the entire offense with his creativity and flair, not to mention offering an alternative to Nick Leddy when it comes to breaking the offensive zone with speed. Some of his passes were sublime. And while he definitely needs to become a more complete, mature player in terms of his decision-making, this could be the gamble that pays off in a huge way. Credit to the player for putting all the distractions behind him and growing up in a hurry to earn his promotion.

Josh Bailey…Just leaving it at that is more than enough to draw out the entire Isles Twitter spectrum as I sit back and watch the world burn. Seriously, though, 43 assists and 56 points thrust him, maybe unfairly, into a first-line role with Tavares. Along with Lee, they became a true #1 line for the team this year and produced in spades, at times almost unstoppable when they started cycling down low. It's taken a long time, but maybe the Josh Bailey we saw this year is the one we see moving forward. In fairness, I can see where there could still be skepticism, however.

The Bad

New York gave up 26 more goals than the year before, and allowed greater than five goals in five of their last 12 losses. Without question, the defense took a step back.

Did Nick Leddy score 11 goals and 46 points, both career highs? Yes, he did, and in addition to wanting to invite him to your next party just to watch him skate around the guests at full speed, his pairing with Travis Hamonic was a main reason for the 6-10-4 start that put the Islanders too far behind a division that was outrageously good this year. They were bad, led mostly by the unforeseen regression by Hamonic, who had a year to forget, whether he was on the ice or not.

The Islanders ended up relying way too much on 35-year-old free agent signing Dennis Seidenberg, who had a fine season, adding 22 points and a + 25 rating, averaging just under 20 minutes a night in 73 games. But that shouldn't have been, and wasn't initially, the plan. Thomas Hickey didn't help things by seemingly breaking down in the season's final 20 games, due to taking a targeted beating by opposing forechecking forwards (he's the team leader, by far, the last four seasons in hits taken).



Unfortunately, the team's most consistent start-to-finish defender was Calvin de Haan, who had his best season as a pro. I say unfortunately because he looks to be No. 1 on the list to be an expansion draft casualty in June, lost to the Vegas Golden Knights. Only Johnny Boychuk and Andrew Ladd waiving no-trade clauses can possibly save that.

The power play (15 percent, 28th) lacked the building blocks of success -- movement and pucks to the net. For a team with some gifted offensive stars, its mind boggling just how bad at crucial times it really was. And goaltending was clearly not as good as it was a season ago, with Thomas Greiss falling from .925 to .913, 2.36 to 2.69 with no support being offered from J.F Berube, regardless of how poorly he was handled by management. We'll deal with the Halak issue next.

They were 27th in 5v5 possession (Corsi), 24th in 5v5 save percentage and 29th in faceoffs.

The Ugly

Three goalies. Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss were a very formidable duo last season and both played huge roles in New York advancing into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

But GM Garth Snow would not waive Berube and expose him to waivers as he had fallen in love with talent I'm still not sure how he evaluated (since he didn't play nearly enough at the NHL level). Everyone, from beat writers to columnists, bloggers to fans, thought the situation would be rectified by training camp. It wasn't. And it proved costly.

Berube's play was substandard even by backup standards to the point the Islanders wore down Greiss in his first go-around as the unquestioned starting goaltender, and cost the team probably four to six points in the standings. Granted, Halak was not good to the point of being sent to Bridgeport right after Christmas. He had only six wins in 21 games and poor peripherals, mirroring the inconsistency of the defense in front of him. But, as a proven veteran, he deserved better than being caught up in Snow's personal vendetta with agent Allan Walsh over a tweet.



By the time Halak was recalled, it was too late, as the Islanders would no longer control their own destiny over making the postseason, seeing their hopes end not with a loss of their own, but a comeback victory by the Maple Leafs over the Penguins. That is fully on Snow and there is no other way to analyze it. He let his personal feelings come before organizational success, probably the biggest no-no of all in this time of judgement that rests squarely on recent successes and failures.

Forget Andrew Ladd, who bounced back nicely after battling a back injury to finish with 23 goals. Or Jason Chimera, who put in a solid 4th line contribution of 20 goals. Or relying on Beauvillier to replace Nielsen. The mismanagement of the goaltending comes down to the defining factor in the entire season. One that sees a team miss by a single point.

Only time will tell if it's enough of an offense to bring about major change to the organizational structure at the top. Because, barring a trade, I fear the roster will not look much different come October. Fans, players, and especially a franchise captain about to enter the final year of his contract deserve better.


New York Islanders owner Charles Wang takes question from the media during a news conference at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Officials on New York's Long Island will ask voters this summer to approve a $400 million plan to build a new hockey arena next to the current home of the New York Islanders. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Islanders owner Charles Wang takes question from the media during a news conference at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Officials on New York's Long Island will ask voters this summer to approve a $400 million plan to build a new hockey arena next to the current home of the New York Islanders. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Former Islanders owner Charles Wang passed away on Sunday at the age of 74, his attorney said in a statement

Wang was the majority owner of the Islanders from 2000 to 2016, when he became a minority co-owner as Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin became the primary owners. 

During his time as majority owner, Wang spearheaded The Lighthouse Project, which would have resulted in a transformation of the Nassau Coliseum and the surrounding 150 acres. The proposal for the project was defeated in 2011. 

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Oct 20, 2018; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Rourke Chartier (60) shoots the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) during the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports (Neville E. Guard)
Oct 20, 2018; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Rourke Chartier (60) shoots the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) during the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports (Neville E. Guard)

The Islanders mustered just one goal in a 3-1 loss to the Sharks on Saturday night in San Jose.  >> Box score

First period:

  • 7:49 SJ Timo Meier; Assists: Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl
  • 19:27 NYI Brock Nelson; Assists: Josh Bailey, Anders Lee

Second period:

Tags: Brock Nelson
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After being blanked by Robin Lehner earlier this month, the San Jose Sharks may not get the chance to earn a win over the New York Islanders? new starting goalie this season.

Coming off their best game of the season, the Sharks wrap up a two-game homestand against the Islanders on Saturday night.

On Oct. 8 -- and in his New York debut -- Lehner posted his ninth career shutout as the Isles won 4-0. The Swedish veteran made 16 of his 35 saves in the final 20 minutes.

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The Islanders exploded with four goals in the third period to power past the Kings in Los Angeles, 7-2.  >> Box score

First period:

  • 4:55 NYI Casey Cizikas; Assists: Scott Mayfield
  • 14:56 LAK Tyler Toffoli; Assists: Drew Doughty, Ilya Kovalchuk

Second period:

  • 3:43 NYI Josh Bailey (PPG); Assists: Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal
  • 12:07 NYI Valtteri Filppula; Assists: Leo Komarov, Andrew Ladd

Third Period:

  • 2:54 LAK Jeff Carter (PPG); Assists: Alex Iafallo, Drew Doughty
  • 3:40 NYI Valtteri Filppula (SHG); Assists: Andrew Ladd
  • 4:40 NYI Matt Martin; Assists: Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck
  • 9:20 NYI Leo Komarov; Assists: Scott Mayfield, Mathew Barzal
Tags: Andrew Ladd, Josh Bailey
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Apr 7, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders center Jordan Eberle (7) gets defended by Detroit Red Wings left wing David Booth (17) during the third period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Apr 7, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders center Jordan Eberle (7) gets defended by Detroit Red Wings left wing David Booth (17) during the third period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

Los Angeles Kings goalkeeper Jonathan Quick could return from a lower-body injury when the New York Islanders visit Staples Center on Thursday night.

Quick, a three-time NHL All Star and 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, sustained the injury during practice on Oct. 7, two days after a 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks in the season opener.

Jack Campbell has played the past five games and went 2-3-0 with a 2.69 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.

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Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) has his shot blocked by Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) has his shot blocked by Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

The Anaheim Ducks are hoping to have center Ryan Getzlaf back in the lineup when they play the New York Islanders at Honda Center on Wednesday.

Getzlaf has missed the past four games with a groin injury, but the team captain skated three days in a row before practicing with the top line on Tuesday.

"(Monday) was a day I pushed it pretty hard from a skating standpoint, and it reacted well," Getzlaf told reporters after practice Tuesday. "I skated with the guys (Tuesday), which was a more of an up-tempo, little more of that push and pull, those kinds of things, reactionary stuff, and so we'll see how it reacts (Wednesday)." >> Read More

 

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General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers (Brad Penner)
General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers (Brad Penner)

Islanders prospect and UConn freshman Ruslan Iskhakov was carted off the ice after getting knocked out by a scary hit during the Huskies' game against Quinnipiac Tuesday night in Connecticut.

Iskhakov, who was drafted by the Islanders in the second round of the 2018 NHL Draft, carried the puck into the offensive zone in the third period when Quinnipiac's Brogan Rafferty left his feet to deliver a crushing blow to the 18-year-old's head.

The 5-foot-7 Russian forward quickly collapsed to the ice, where he remained motionless. After several minutes, Iskhakov was able to move his arms and legs and gave the crowd a thumbs-up as he was taken off on a stretcher en route to a local hospital.

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Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) makes a save on a shot attempt by New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) makes a save on a shot attempt by New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Brock Nelson scored his 100th career goal on Saturday night in the Islanders' 5-2 loss to the Predators.

Nelson's goal came in the third quarter to put his team on the board after falling behind 3-0. The goal was Brock's first of the season after he was forced to wait the entire offseason to reach the 1,000-goal milestone.

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Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) has his shot blocked by Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) has his shot blocked by Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

The Islanders fell into an early 3-0 hole and couldn't recover in a 5-2 loss to the Predators on Saturday night in Nashville. << Box score 

First period

  • 15:25 NV Calle Jarnkrok; Assists: Nick Bonino, Ryan Hartman
  • 16:37 NV Filip Forsberg; Assists: Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson
  • 19:50 NV Viktor Arvidsson; Assists: Ryan Johansen, Dan Hamhuis
Tags: Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson
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Oct 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) against the San Jose Sharks during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Oct 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) against the San Jose Sharks during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

It was just the fourth game in an 82-game regular season, but the Nashville Predators had a little extra incentive for Thursday night's visit from the Winnipeg Jets.

In their first meeting since Winnipeg knocked them out of the Western Conference semifinals last spring with a 5-1 Game 7 decision, Nashville pieced together its best game of the young season, getting Pekka Rinne's 52nd career shutout in a 3-0 decision.

"It's Winnipeg, you know, we just lost against them in the playoffs and you could sense that," Rinne said. "There was a lot of emotion on the ice. I thought the first period was the fastest hockey so far this year." >> Read more

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Jan Kovar (43) Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports (David E. Klutho)
Jan Kovar (43) Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports (David E. Klutho)

The Islanders placed F Jan Kovar on unconditional waivers on Wednesday, the team announced.

The former KHL star, who signed a reported one-year, $2 million deal with the Isles over the summer, failed to make the final cut out of training camp and never showed up to AHL Bridgeport.

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Oct 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner (40) attempts to cover up the puck as San Jose Sharks center Melker Karlsson (68) and New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) battle for the rebound during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Oct 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner (40) attempts to cover up the puck as San Jose Sharks center Melker Karlsson (68) and New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) battle for the rebound during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

NEW YORK (AP) Robin Lehner stopped 35 shots for his ninth career shutout in his New York debut, leading the Islanders to a 4-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday.

Anders LeeScott MayfieldMatt Martin and Casey Cizikas scored to help New York get new coach Barry Trotz his first win at home. The Islanders, who opened the season with an overtime win at Carolina last Thursday, then lost their home opener to Nashville two nights later.

Lehner, who signed with the Islanders in July, played for the first time since last March 29 for Buffalo. He left that game against Detroit because of a panic attack and was subsequently treated for alcohol and drug addiction and also diagnosed with bipolar disorder, ADHD and PTSD...

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Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

NEW YORK -- The season is just two games old, but it has already been a transitional one for the New York Islanders and their new head coach, Barry Trotz.

The adaptation process will continue Monday afternoon, when Robin Lehner makes his first start for the Islanders in a Columbus Day matinee against the San Jose Sharks at Barclays Center.

It will be the third game of the season for both teams. The Islanders dropped their home opener Saturday, when they fell to the Nashville Predators, 4-3.

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Oct 6, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) celebrates his goal against New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 6, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) celebrates his goal against New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Isles fought, but couldn't comeback against the Predators in a 4-3 loss in their home opener at Barclays Center on Saturday night. << Box score 

First period

  • 3:42 NSH Viktor Arvidsson; Assists: Filip Forsberg, P.K. Subban
  • 12:01 NYI Mathew Barzal; Assists: Josh Bailey
  • 16:56 NSH Mattias Ekholm; Assists: P.K. Subban, Colton Sissons
Tags: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey
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Oct 4, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders center Valtteri Filppula (51) is congratulated by his teammates after his second period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Oct 4, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders center Valtteri Filppula (51) is congratulated by his teammates after his second period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

NEW YORK -- The season opener Thursday night marked the official start of a new era for the New York Islanders. But Saturday night will truly reinforce the uncertainty upon which the Islanders have embarked.

The overhauled Islanders will begin their vagabond home existence Saturday night, when New York hosts the Nashville Predators at Barclays Center.

Both teams earned wins in their openers Thursday night, when the visiting Islanders edged the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in overtime, while the Predators beat the host New York Rangers 3-2. >> Read more

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Jan Kovar (43) Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports (David E. Klutho)
Jan Kovar (43) Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports (David E. Klutho)

The Islanders decided to send F Jan Kovar to AHL Bridgeport when making their final roster cuts. Well, Kovar hasn't showed up to the Sound Tigers. 

According to The Athletic's Arthur Staple, Kovar is taking some time to figure out what he wants to do next. 

Kovar played the past five seasons in the KHL, and joined the Islanders on a reported one-year, $2 million deal. However, he didn't impressed the Islanders enough in camp to keep him for the start of the season. 

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Valtteri Filppula (51) Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Valtteri Filppula (51) Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

Josh Bailey scored the game-winning overtime goal against the Hurricanes to start the Islanders' season on the right foot. << Box score 

First period

  • No Goals

Second period

Tags: Josh Bailey
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Anders Lee (27) Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Anders Lee (27) Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

The Carolina Hurricanes have undergone considerable change in the offseason, with the makeover creating heightened expectations going into the season.

That description perhaps relates to perhaps an even larger degree for the New York Islanders.

After all, fresh off coaching the Washington Capitals to a Stanley Cup championship, Barry Trotz is on board directing the Islanders.

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Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

The Islanders announced Thursday that Anders Lee has been named team captain, becoming the 15th captain in franchise history.

Lee replaces John Tavares, who left for the Maple Leafs as a free agent during the offseason.

"It's extremely humbling, quite an honor to be a captain of this organization," Lee said. "It's definitely one of the most special things that's happened in my hockey career."

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Josh Bailey, Danny Abriano
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Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Devon Toews (25) and Philadelphia Flyers center Mikhail Vorobyev (46) battle for the puck during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Devon Toews (25) and Philadelphia Flyers center Mikhail Vorobyev (46) battle for the puck during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

The Islanders have sent D Devon Toews and C Jan Kovar to AHL Bridgeport on Tuesday, per Newsday's Andrew Gross.

President and GM Lou Lamoriello has to submit his 23-man roster by the end of the day, and Toews and Kovar were the moves necessary to reach that number. The Islanders are also waiting to see if F Tom Kuhnhackl cleared waivers, so they could send him to Bridgeport as well. 

"What you do in situations like this is give yourself flexibility, that's what we did," Lamoriello said. "If a player gets claimed, that's part of the game."

 

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Cal Clutterbuck (15) Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Cal Clutterbuck (15) Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

Islanders D Cal Clutterbuck has a new nickname, but he isn't too fond of it.

"Shuttlebuck" came about from an interview with Flyers F Robert Hagg, who expressed his hatred for Clutterbuck during an interview after the Isles preseason opener at the Coliseum. 

"It doesn't matter if you play against Martin or Shuttlebuck, or whatever it is -- I hate that guy," Hagg told The Post's Brett Cygalis. "There's that kind of player on every team."

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin
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Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

The Islanders already missed out on their coveted free agent in C John Tavares this offseason. But that is now officially in the past, and focus turns toward another Isles key cog that will see his contract expire at the end of the year as well. 

Anders Lee is in the final year of his four-year, $15 million deal, after which he becomes an unrestricted free agent. It is too early to tell if Lee will take Tavares' route and hear out potential suitors next offseason, but that isn't even on his mind. 

According to Newsday's Andrew Gross, Lee isn't worried about his contract situation, saying "our cases are different."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares
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New York Islanders right wing Joshua Ho-Sang (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders right wing Joshua Ho-Sang (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)

Josh Ho-Sang's Islanders career hasn't exactly gone to plan.

The Islanders made Ho-Sang the No. 28 overall pick in the 2014 Draft and last season was supposed to be his breakout campaign but he couldn't break out of Bridgeport, spending most of his season in the AHL. He played just 22 games with the Islanders, scoring four goals and adding six assists.

Tags: Josh Ho-Sang
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Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

Islanders' Mathew Barzal turned some heads last season and is being recognized as one of the best players in the league.

According to NHL Network, Barzal is the 49th best player in the NHL. The second-year man is expected to pick up much of the offensive burden left by departing John Tavares.

Last season, Barzal led the team with 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists).

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Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Islanders' return to the Coliseum while their new arena at Belmont Park is built continues to go smoothly thus far.

The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency approved tax breaks for the Isles' renovation plans at the Nassau Coliseum, according to Newsday's Victor Ocasio. The Islanders were looking to get a $400 million to $450 million tax break to purchase new equipment, furniture and fixtures for their renovation project.

The upgrades, which will be worth $9.95 million, would deem the arena worthy to play in for the three years needed before the Belmont Park arena is finished. A $6 million state grant will pay for most of the project, while the Islanders will pick up the rest of the tab at around $3.9 million.

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Nov 11, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) celebrates after scoring a goal against St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen (not pictured) during the first period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports (Billy Hurst)
Nov 11, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) celebrates after scoring a goal against St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen (not pictured) during the first period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports (Billy Hurst)

With Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello in charge of the Islanders, center Casey Cizikas told the Islanders website that he feels like a rookie and is coming in to training camp looking to prove himself "all over again."

Cizikas has played in 413 career games, all with the Islanders, and had 7 goals and 10 assists in 64 games last season.

He said that he is excited to play under Trotz and is looking forward to the opportunity for more minutes and responsibilities with John Tavares now in Toronto.

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Apr 7, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders center Jordan Eberle (7) gets defended by Detroit Red Wings left wing David Booth (17) during the third period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Apr 7, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders center Jordan Eberle (7) gets defended by Detroit Red Wings left wing David Booth (17) during the third period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

Jordan Eberle said on Tuesday that he and the Islanders have not yet discussed a contract extension.

Eberle, 28, is entering the final year of the six-year $36 million contract he originally signed as a member of the Edmonton Oilers.

"To be honest I haven't had any conversations with anybody," Eberle said, per NHL.com. "Going into the summer I was trying to focus on me and being the best I can be, and come into the camp the best I can be. Once that happens you start trying to fill a role and try to make this team as good as it can be."

Tags: Jordan Eberle
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

It's time to test your Islanders' historical knowledge as preseason hockey inches closer.

How many of the 30 players who scored 100 career goals for the Islanders can you name? Try it below!

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Dec 1, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates a goal against the Ottawa Senators by New York Islanders center Anders Lee (not pictured) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 1, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates a goal against the Ottawa Senators by New York Islanders center Anders Lee (not pictured) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

In the history of the franchise, there have been 76 instances of which that an Islanders' player has scored 30+ goals in a season. How many can you name? 

Test your knowledge by playing the quiz below...

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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

The Islanders may have lost C John Tavares, but new head coach Barry Trotz doesn't believe it will kill their offensive output. 

Yes, Tavares accounted for 82 points last season, but Trotz thinks he has the personnel to find offensive success this upcoming season. 

"This team can score, with John Tavares or without John Tavares," Trotz told The Athletic's Arthur Staple in a Q&A session. "The area it's failed in maybe the last year and a half is on the defensive end. Just looking at the trends over the last four years, it's clear that's an area we need to fix. ...With the John Tavares situation, we look forward, we can't look back. Guys are up to the challenge. John's a fantastic player, face of the franchise and it's a hole you can't fill with one guy. It's collectively with the group."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Mathew Barzal
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 (Christopher Katsarov)
(Christopher Katsarov)

Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello has no concerns over the construction of the team's new Belmont Park arena.

The Islanders were dead last in attendence at Barclay's Center last season with 12,000, so the new arena can't come soon enough. Lamoriello is optimstic and thinks people will be pleasantly surprised.

"I think you'll know better in the first of the year of an exact date," Lamoriello said on Sirius XM NHL Network Radio. "But it's not as long as people might think. I think a lot will be surprised and I think that's just great news."

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Barry Trotz Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Barry Trotz Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

It would be natural for Barry Trotz to take a nice, relaxing summer following the NHL playoff grind that saw his Washington Capitals secure the Stanley Cup. But relaxation is the polar opposite of what he has been up to.

Right after finishing the grind to win the Cup, Trotz left the Capitals and joined an Islanders team that needed a lot of work. He teamed up with new president of hockey operations, Lou Lamoriello, and has been constructing his coaching staff and roster since his transition to Long Island. 

But a quick break will be in the works next week when the Cup is in Trotz' hands for the first time since the victory on Aug. 22. He knows it will be short-lived, though. 

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Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

[Editor's Note: Islanders fans, we want to hear from you and share some of your viewpoints. Tweet @ChrisBottaNHL before 11:59 pm on Friday, Aug. 3 to share your prediction -- at this moment -- of where the Islanders will finish in the Eastern Conference standings at the end of 2018-19. We need the number (first? 6th? 12th?) and brief thought summarizing why. Your tweet may be used in a future Point Blank piece.]

You are Lou Lamoriello, Hall of Fame architect. You've taken over a team that has missed the playoffs each of the last two seasons and won one playoff round since 1993. Then, through no fault of your own, you lose your most celebrated player to free agency.

Suddenly, the new job is eerily familiar to your previous one with the Maple Leafs. There, you started with a thin roster and a top coach, Mike Babcock. But in 2016, you had the first pick in the draft and were gifted Auston Matthews.

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Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Do you remember where you were seven years ago today?

On Aug. 1, 2011, I went for a run in the village of Rockville Centre, saw the determined looks on the faces of the residents marching into South Side Middle School, and knew it right away.

The public vote to build a new arena on the Coliseum property for the Islanders was going to be a big, fat, no frickin' way.

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To hear his college coach talk about him, the Islanders may be justified in their faith that Devon Toews will be an impact defenseman this season and for many to come.

"Devon's going to be a Corsi king - a top possession defender," said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold, who took over the program in 1994 and is third among active NCAA Division I men's hockey coaches in victories. "Some people are going to be surprised about him, but not us. We know how good Devon is, and how good he's going to become."

Toews played for the Bobcats for three seasons, from 2013-2016, with an appearance in the Frozen Four in his final season. Pecknold identified Toews as an intriguing prospect and recruited him to attend the university in Connecticut with the guidance of a good connection: Matt Erhart, who played for Pecknold at Quinnipiac in the first four years of this century, was Toews' coach as a teenager with the Surrey (British Columbia) Eagles...

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New York Islanders left wing Brock Nelson (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Brock Nelson (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders re-signed forward Brock Nelson to a one-year deal, the team announced Monday.

Terms of the deal were not announced, although The Athletic's Arthur Staple reports Nelson will earn $4.25 million, which is $750,000 more than he earned last season.

Nelson, 26, totaled 19 goals and 16 assists in his fifth NHL season last year, appearing in all 82 games for New York.

Tags: Brock Nelson
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Nick Leddy (L) Johnny Boychuk (55) Josh Bailey (12) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Nick Leddy (L) Johnny Boychuk (55) Josh Bailey (12) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Islanders Josh Bailey and Johnny Boychuk are sick of hearing the team doesn't have any hope next season. And more importantly, those who believe the team will lack leadership with the exit of captain John Tavares, must think again. 

These two Islanders veterans find themselves in position to take the torch, if you will, from Tavares and lead the pack. These past five seasons have been Tavares' team, but now, it is up to the collective group to work together. 

Tavares may be gone, but that doesn't mean the Islanders should be deemed out of the running already. 

Tags: John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Scott Thompson
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Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

If the Islanders' arena project on the Belmont Park property faces obstacles in approvals and construction, team management has wisely negotiated a cushion.

Point Blank has learned that the Islanders' agreement with the operators of the Nassau Coliseum is not just for the next three NHL seasons, but also includes two option years for the club. Two people with knowledge of the agreement shared the information, requesting anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the issue.

This means that if the Islanders' arena in Belmont is not completed for the start of the 2021-22 season, the team has the option to continue playing at the Coliseum for at least that season and the following one...

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The Islanders' defense will improve in 2018-19 for a simple reason beyond the fact that the team is now coached by the infinitely more accomplished tactician Barry Trotz. It will be better because it could not possibly be worse than it was under Doug Weight and his band of assistants last season, when it was historically very, very bad:

Most goals allowed (293) by an NHL team since 2006-07

Allowed five or more goals in regulation and conceded at least 40 shots on goal 20 times

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Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Islanders announced Wednesday that John Gruden has been named an assistant head coach under Barry Trotz.

Gruden, 48, was the head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League for the past two seasons, finishing with an overall record of 76-45-8-7.

Prior to joining the Bulldogs, Gruden worked with USA Hockey, where he was an assistant coach for Team USA of the 2016 U18 World Championships. He also worked as an assistant in other roles for USA Hockey from 2011 to 2015.

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The Front of the Barclays center is shown Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
The Front of the Barclays center is shown Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

We don't know if there are pictures of 10-year-old Anders Lee of Edina, Minn. in the pajamas of the first-year Wild back in the year 2000, but the Islanders might not want to take any chances.

As the Islanders embark on this uncertain three (or more)-year path to Belmont, they must learn from the John Tavares heartache. They need to control what they can control, and make their organization as attractive - or at least as less unattractive - as possible. They need to eliminate the excuses for someone else to walk out the door.

Beginning with the 2019-20 season, all of their home games must be played at the barn in Nassau County. And the plan to move all of the games to Nassau should be announced weeks before the trade deadline in February 2019.

Tags: Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, Chris Botta
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Ryan Pulock (6) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Ryan Pulock (6) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

Islanders D Ryan Pulock has agreed to a two-year contract, the team announced on Tuesday. 

Pulock played in 68 games with New York last season, where he totaled career highs in goals (10) and assists (22). Overall, the 23-year-old has 36 points over 84 career games.

The 15th overall pick by the Islanders back in 2013, Pulock has spent most of his career with the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He has totaled 100 points (39 goals, 61 assists) during his time there. 

Tags: Ryan Pulock
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 (Christopher Katsarov)
(Christopher Katsarov)

The Islanders have announced that they have resigned defenseman Kyle Burroughs and Devon Toews. Both were restricted free agents and spent time with AHL affiliate, Bridgeport Sound Tigers. 

Burroughs was a seventh round pick for the Islanders back in 2013. He has now spent three seasons in Bridgeport, posting a career high 25 points and a plus-minus of +16. 

Toews has spent the past two season in Bridgeport but missed the second half of the season after having a shoulder injury in January. Toews, 24, played for Quinnipiac University for three years before heading to Bridgeport. The former fourth round pick had five goals and forty assists in his first season in the AHL. 

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Now that "John Tavares" has "written" his farewell to the Islanders for The Players Tribune, here are some final Point Blank thoughts on the whole ordeal:

Tavares' piece was what you'd expect: an attempt to explain himself and thank Islander fans. The timing of its publishing was flawed; the piece posted just as the pain and anger in Islanders Country had subsided. Getting his message across by July 2 would have been more effective and heartfelt. But hey, I know how tough it is to write on deadline.

Still, it's clear from reading the piece that Tavares was very aware of the reaction of his departure, and cares what people think about him. There's nothing bad about that.

Tags: John Tavares, Chris Botta
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New York Islanders center John Tavares skates against the New Jersey Devils during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 31, 2018, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares skates against the New Jersey Devils during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 31, 2018, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

John Tavares thanked Islanders fans and reflected on his time with the team via a Players' Tribune letter published on Wednesday.

The former Islanders' team captain described a breakdown-like situation he endured when he was forced to choose whether to sign with the Maple Leafs or remain with the Islanders -- a decision he said he "just literally, physically could not" make.

Tavares, who turned down an eight-year deal with the Islanders in favor of a contract with the Maple Leafs, said he wrote the letter because of his "real, honest, still-there love for the New York Islanders hockey franchise."

Tags: John Tavares
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Toronto Maple Leafs NHL hockey general manager Lou Lamoriello speaks to reporters in Toronto, Friday, April 27, 2018. The Boston Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press via AP) (COLE BURSTON/AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs NHL hockey general manager Lou Lamoriello speaks to reporters in Toronto, Friday, April 27, 2018. The Boston Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press via AP) (COLE BURSTON/AP)

Face it: if Garth Snow had made all of the player personnel moves that Lou Lamoriello has so far as Islanders GM, there would be a march on Eisenhower Park.

In the excitement over the removal of the embarrassing regime of Snow and installation of Lamoriello as leader of hockey operations, somewhere along the line it seems people believe the legendary ex-Devils architect is untouchable.

Since the painful exit of John Tavares, there has been a lot of puffed-out chests and declarations of Hey, Screw Tavares -- We've Got Lou and We Can't Go Wrong...

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Feb 23, 2018; Gangneung, South Korea; Czech Republic forward Jan Kovar (43) goes for the puck against Olympic Athlete from Russia goaltender Vasili Koshechkin (83) in the men's ice hockey semifinals during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre. Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports (David E. Klutho)
Feb 23, 2018; Gangneung, South Korea; Czech Republic forward Jan Kovar (43) goes for the puck against Olympic Athlete from Russia goaltender Vasili Koshechkin (83) in the men's ice hockey semifinals during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre. Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports (David E. Klutho)

The Islanders are continuing to bolster their roster for the upcoming season with C Jan Kovar inking a one-year, $2 million deal. 

The 28-year-old played for the KHL's Magnitogorsk Metallurg since 2013, where he has totaled 286 points (97 goals, 189 assists) over 285 games. Last season, he notched seven goals and 28 assists over 54 games. 

Kovar has also represented the Czech Republic in five World Championship, including the 2017 Winter Olympics. Overall, he has six goals and 13 assists in 42 international games. 

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Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

After winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's top rookie, 21-year-old Islanders forward Mathew Barzal can be the new face of the franchise with John Tavares out of the picture.

"He's a driven, driven guy to be the best player he can be," Russ Farwell, the VP of hockey operation for Barzal's junior hockey team, the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL, told Newsday's Andrew Gross. "He's totally focused on his game. He's a very confident guy, too. He was a really highly touted minor player, so being the show or being the guy wasn't foreign to him. His whole life, everybody has pointed to him."

Tags: John Tavares, Mathew Barzal
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Jan 22, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello and New Yor Yankees general manager Brian Cashman watch the Toronto Raptors play against the Phoenix Suns at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Jan 22, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello and New Yor Yankees general manager Brian Cashman watch the Toronto Raptors play against the Phoenix Suns at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello has nothing but respect for John Tavares after the former team captain opted to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"In my dealings with John, he proved himself to be a sincere, honest young man," Lamoriello told NHL.com. "He earned the right to test free agency, and that's what he did.

Tavares totaled 621 points in 669 games with the Islanders since he was drafted in 2009. 

Tags: John Tavares
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