We are in offseason mode, which means there’s going to be lots of debating, a lot of ifs, a lot of what-have-yous. The draft and free agency will come up quick — right around the time we’re normally wrapping up preseason and kicking off with the home opener.
Grab your spreadsheets and brace for the ride.
Arthur Staple had the first of a two-part immediate offseason primer at The Athletic:
The most surprising (or longshot?) idea he shared: “With Ilya Sorokin in the fold, it’s either Varlamov or Greiss going. Varlamov has three years at $5 million AAV left; Greiss is a free agent. The Isles could conceivably try to move Varlamov...” That seems far-fetched but I wouldn’t fight it if it meant cap savings and an asset back.
The most frightening thing he uttered: “If the Islanders want to bring in a top-six scoring winger, one of their current wingers has to go. Eberle has a full no-trade clause with the deal he signed last offseason, so would he waive it to go to, say, Minnesota in a revamped Zach Parise deal?” No way I take Parise (‘s contract) unless a similar long-term risk like Andrew Ladd (and his contract) is going the other way, as was proposed last winter.
- Speaking of Staple, he was the guest for Dan and Mike’s very special season-wrapping episode of Islanders Anxiety.
- Andrew Gross reflects on a historic Isles season. [Newsday]
- Here’s a more Post-length look at the offseason decisions. [Post]
- What can the Islanders do to take the next step? [NBC Sports]
- Noah Dobson’s playoff debut gives hope for the future. [Newsday]
- Matt Martin gets to reunite with his newborn, who is absolutely adorable. [Post]
- Larry Brooks says the Rangers should sign Martin, a UFA, but only if they would actually use him. [Post]
- On (yester)day in Islanders history, Mark Streit was named captain in 2011 and the Isles played a preseason game in Brooklyn. [Isles]
Elsewhere and Everywhere
- Might Steven Stamkos make an appearance in the series? [NHL]
- Anton Khudobin has one of the most unexpected Conn Smythe candidacies in memory. [TSN]
- The NHL announced its final major awards. Draisatl for the Hart, and Lindsay. [NHL] Makar for the Calder. [NHL] Hellebuyck for the Vezina. [NHL] Josi wins the Norris [NHL]
- The NHL is really hoping to have an 82-game 2021-21 season. [NHL | Newsday]
- They’re also hoping to have fans in the areeners if at all possible. [Sportsnet]
- It’s eight straight weeks without a positive test in the bubble. [Sportsnet]
- Analyzing the rosters from a decade of Cup champions. [Athletic]
- The Blues and Alex Pietrangelo, represented by Newport, are probably headed to a UFA divorce. I’m sure he’ll end up in the “how does this affect Toronto?” camp. [Athletic | NHL]
- How will the expansion draft affect Canadian teams? [TSN]
- NHL Draft talk: The Germans are coming! [NHL]