Hours prior to the season opener against the Carolina Hurricanes, head coach Barry Trotz had some special news for Anders Lee. In the middle of a team meeting, Trotz told Lee, and the rest of the team, that he would serve as the 15th captain in franchise history. The team’s previous captain, who shall remain nameless, is no longer with the team, after deciding to go elsewhere in free agency. Although many, including myself, thought the Islanders wouldn’t name a captain this year, this is definitely the right choice, and it appears the rest of the team is happy with the decision as well.
Anders Lee is a class act, and although there were other great candidates on this team, Lee deserves this. He does great work with his charity, Jam Kancer In The Kan, and was an inspiration to Fenov Pierre-Louis, who recently passed. Coming off a 40-goal season, Lee’s talent in undeniable, slowly entering the conversation as one of the best scorers in the NHL.
The one uncertainty with affect the status of Lee’s contract. He is set to become a UFA on July 1st, 2019, and we all know what it’s like to have your captain hit free agency, so let’s not go there. What this decision tells me is that the Isles and Anders Lee are far along in extension talks, and Lou Lamoriello feels confident enough that Lee will be back next season. I highly doubt that they would make this decision with no regard to his contract status.
Josh Bailey, Cal Clutterbuck, and Andrew Ladd will serve as the alternate captains.