With the New York Islanders now losing 13 of their last 15 games, this seems like a losing season for the once hopeful Stanley Cup team. There were many factors responsible for this tough start and your off-season decision-making is slowly starting to look like one of them. In particular, the draft expansion choices, as well as some of the major free agent signings, have not done well. These decisions look really bad so far given the significant problems the team is facing.
Draft resolutions for enlargement: Matt Martin
One of the biggest talking points of the draft expansion was the unveiling of the Islanders Josh Bailey and Jordan Eberle. There has been a lot of criticism of Lou Lamiorello’s protection Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin about these two. And this criticism has aged particularly well so far. Especially regarding Matt Martin, who didn’t look good at the beginning of the year. It’s slower, sloppier, and didn’t have the same intensity that usually makes it great on the fourth line. Besides, the team Ross Johnston who plays the same game as Martin but has this speed and intensity. Overall, the decision to protect Martin from the draft expansion is looking worse every moment. Especially when you consider what that decision cost the Islanders.
Draft decision on expansion: Jordan Eberle / Josh Bailey
The exposure of Matt Martin would have enabled the islanders to protect Jordan Eberle. Note that Josh Bailey’s name was not mentioned. Eberle has a Kraken team with 12 goals and 18 total points, good for second place on the team. Bailey has only one goal and eight assists in 19 games. It’s clear who the better player is and who the Islanders would benefit more from right now. Bailey’s lack of offensive aggressiveness and routine bad decisions with the puck didn’t help this team. Eberle can still collect a lot of points and has rightly improved in puck handling and defensive awareness. Keeping Eberle would have added half a million more, but it would have been worth it. These poor decisions in the draft extension are just one of many decisions that poorly reflect the team.
Free agent signing: Zdeno Chara
If you like players who love to fight, then Chara ticked this box for the Islanders. Other than that, Chara didn’t tick many other positive boxes for the team. Offensive he offers next to nothing, which is not the worst for a defender, but also not ideal. The problem is, he didn’t pretty much deliver on the defensive side of the puck, either. Once a team has the puck in their zone, it’s almost impossible for the Islanders to get it out of the ice with them. This results in many high chances of danger for the opponent, which often lead to goals. The biggest flaw in his game is that he is just too slow to be a reliable defender for the team. He cannot keep up with a fast game and it hinders an already battered defense further.
Free agent signing: Kyle Palmieri
Kyle Palmieri at the Islanders was a two-player story prior to this past off-season. There was the regular seasonal version of Palmieri, which lacked any significant production. Then there was the playoff version of Palmieri, who was one of the team leaders in goals and points. Unfortunately for the Islanders, they are currently sticking to the earlier version of Kyle Palmieri. After signing a 4-year $ 20 million deal to stay with the Islanders, Palmieri has just one goal and six assists with the Islanders in 24 games. He looks just as miserable as Josh Bailey so far, he doesn’t add anything to this team. His -11 +/- is a pretty good indication of how little Palmieri has given this team. He turns into very quickly Andrew Ladd Version 2.0. He was a great player but it is obvious that his best days are behind him. The Islanders appear to be stuck with another big contract tied to a player that has little impact.
Selected image courtesy of Getty Images
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