The Islanders have been in the top of many news headings this summer as there have already been many changes to the organization. Lou Lamoriello has set up a team that may look destined to be unsuccessful this season, but you have to wonder how the team will play with a Stanley Cup winning coach, a new GM, and a much different looking team.
For me personally, I do not have high expectations. There are too many question marks about too many players for this team to be taken as a true playoff team. The team could surprise us all, however, by making a run in the Playoffs. Mathew Barzal will now get the opportunity to be the face of the franchise, and by the looks of it, he is ready. The question will be, will he have any support from the rest of the team?
From the looks of the roster currently, there is going to be a high amount of competition for bottom of the roster spots amongst forwards and defenseman. It will interesting to see what Barry Trotz decides to do about the opening night roster, and who does not make the lineup.
It will also be interesting to see who does not make the NHL roster at all. With players like Devon Toews, Joshua Ho-Sang, and Kieffer Bellows all looking for opportunities this season, the chances for them may be slim yet again. If it were me, I would allow all the kids with chances to play and get better during the entire course of the year. The bottom six forwards that the Islanders signed this offseason do not have any chance at getting better. However, young players like Ho-Sang, Bellows, and Toews all have the ability to become even better hockey players at the NHL level.
In conclusion, I believe that the Islanders roster will be in much better hands for the upcoming season. Hopefully, Barry Trotz will be able to improve the team just based on the systems he implements, and the strategy he uses on and off the ice. Lou does want this team to be successful, so I do have confidence that he will do all in his power to get the team to the level it needs to be in order to win a Stanley Cup. Unfortunately though, it still may be a while.