Lots and lots of thoughts and reflections came from the New York Islanders clean-out day, when players — but not coaches nor management — were made available to media. Unless major changes are afoot, presumably Lou Lamoriello and Lane Lambert will be made available this week after everyone aligns on messaging.
But from yesterday, in a nutshell: Hudson Fasching has found a fit and already agreed to a two-year extension, fellow UFAs Semyon Varlamov and Scott Mayfield want to stay, Josh Bailey (one year left, but a playoff scratch) wants to stay but not in a pressbox role, Zach Parise isn’t sure but if he keeps playing he can only imagine it being with the Isles.
Also, Matt Maggio’s ELC — he’d already joined Bridgeport on an ATO at the end of the season — was officially announced, too.
Oh, and: In the only playoff game last night, the Smurfs and their Tarasenko-Kane-all-in-CUP-OR-BUST squad were shutout in Game 7. They’re done. But you knew that and should’ve expected that.
Hudson Fasching Re-signed, Two Years
The Islanders just “fit [his] style of game.” [Newsday] Great story for the forward who signed last offseason, got a callup, and never looked back. He proved valuable when Identity Line guys were out and continued to fill in with versatility.
He’ll probably be an Identity Line guy when one or both of those wingers retire or miss more games due to injury, then he’ll get a five-year loyalty contract from Lou on his next deal.
“It just fits my style of game."— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) May 1, 2023
Hudson Fasching finally found a full-time NHL role this season with #Isles. So he didn't wait to see what he could earn as a free agent, agreeing to a two-year deal with Isles todayhttps://t.co/wVIsanfeqA
Hudson Fasching #Islanders— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) May 1, 2023
2 year / 1-way extension
The deal buys NY two UFA years.https://t.co/awxZqIRftx
Zach Parise: If it’s anywhere, it’s here
Parise had an outstanding season and continues to exhibit a tireless motor that’s the envy of all of us who’ve passed through his age. But his family remains in Minnesota. That creates the unique pro-athlete challenge of “Do I keep doing this and miss more moments with the fam, or is it time?” It’s a shame that he can’t go back with the Wild (not that they’d do that even if they could).
“Nothing’s decided...[but] I think it would be here or nowhere.” [AM NY | Newsday | NHL]
Josh Bailey: WTF was that season now?
The Islanders’ longest-serving player was scratched just before his 1,000th game, scratched more down the stretch and scratched for all playoff games. He has one year left on his deal. He always saw himself as an Islander for life and intends to fulfill his contract/keep playing, but he doesn’t want a pressbox role. It may not be in his control. You have to think that if Lane Lambert is staying, the Isles would find an exit or buyout for Bailey. Of course, they likely would’ve dealt him last offseason if they could find a taker.
On his relationship with Lambert: “It’s been fine. Always had a mutual respect for one another. I think looking back on it now, it’s rather telling getting scratched (five games) into the year before my thousandth game to where we end up at the end of the season. It makes a lot more sense now.” [Athletic | Post | Newsday | THN]
Pierre Engvall: Anybody’s guess
Also from that Athletic piece: Pierre Engvall. This is a tricky one. His speed and zone entries made a difference, but they can’t overpay for more middle-lineup guys. But they need more speed like his.
“I haven’t (done) much thinking about next season to be honest. … But what I can say is that I really liked it, and I had a really good time here.”
Semyon Varlamov: Adjusting to backup role
Semyon Varlamov said that not playing down the stretch doesn’t affect his desire to return next year— Ethan Sears (@ethan_sears) May 1, 2023
Scott Mayfield: Is there room?
The guy who took a very team-friendly deal last time would probably do so again...but can they find the right balance? (And exactly how much would the Isles have to pay for a suitable replacement?) He loves it on the Island but the team just might let him walk.
“You look at comps, you look at what you bring to different teams, you can look at places to live based off of that, you can look at just money. There’s so many factors that go into the decision to bring a guy in, and for a player to choose where to go.” [Athletic]
Alex Romanov: May need surgery
Alex Romanov acknowledged he played through a ton of pain in first-round series. May require surgery but he hasn't decided yet. Said he'll go back to Russia this summer to work with his father and grandfather, both former hockey players.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) May 1, 2023
Oliver Wahlstrom is alive!
One of Lou’s rules is that injured players, like assistant coaches, essentially don’t exist, in terms of interacting with media and public. So nice to see Oliver Wahlstrom expects to be ready for training camp.
Oliver Wahlstrom, speaking for first time since December injury, said he expects to be ready for training camp. Says he'll resume skating within a couple of weeks.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) May 1, 2023
- An Islanders season finale mailbag. [THN]
- Ideas for what Lou can do with what little cap space he has. [THN]
The second round gets underway tonight with the Panthers in Toronto and the Kraken in Dallas.
But last night, in the final game of Round 1, the Devils embarrassed the Rangers, 4-0 in Game 7, to advance to a series with the Hurricanes. The Rangers called themselves “pathetic.” (They’re so, so right.) The winning goal was a shorthander where Norris Trophy winner [sic] Adam Fox and Chris Kreider were on a Sunday walk. It’s delicious.
- For the Rangers, who had so many amazing no-shows, there will be consequences. (Teehee.) [Post] Gerard Gallant, when asked if it’s particularly disappointing given the talent they had amassed: “Talent doesn’t mean a thing. It’s great to have talent, but you’ve got to play together and work together. Obviously, the four games that we lost, we had two goals. That’s the bottom line.”
- The Flames fired Darryl Sutter. [NHL] Don Maloney talked to 25 players, which made it clear that was the move they needed. [Sun] Amazing, how Darryl Sutter’s stock has risen and crashed, risen and crashed, throughout his coaching career?
- Jonathan Huberdeau affirms he and Sutter were not a good fit, and the players didn’t like Sutter’s sarcastic responses about Jakob Pelletier’s NHL debut. [Score]
- People in Winnipeg are getting impatient with Kevin Cheveldayoff, who seems to have an excuse for every flaw and misstep. [Athletic | Sportsnet]
- The Bruins were at a loss for words after their historic disappointment. [NHL]
Poor Gerard Gallant — who once was an Islanders assistant back when Islanders assistant coaches were allowed to speak — has the highest points percentage in Smurfs coaching history. He is always a beloved hire, getting his teams to overachieve (last season, if not this one), before teams are distracted by something shinier.
To further Darren’s point: The Quenneville chatter around the Rangers this series was deafening. As was, in the end, the chatter that Gallant could have coached his last NYR game on Monday. https://t.co/9dJbUhlX2m— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) May 2, 2023
Lindy Ruff has now won a playoff series in four different decades.— Mark Scheig (@mark_scheig) May 2, 2023
The 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and now the 2020s.