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Few Off-Season Options Left To Bolster The Islanders' Offense

The New York Islanders were linked to Johnny Gaudreau and Nazem Kadri in this summer's free-agent market. Now GM Lou Lamoriello faces limited options to improve his club's offense for the coming season.
Brock Nelson

The New York Islanders were linked to Johnny Gaudreau and Nazem Kadri in this summer's free-agent market. With Gaudreau joining the Columbus Blue Jackets last month and Kadri signing last week with the Calgary Flames, general manager Lou Lamoriello faces limited options to improve his club's offense for the coming season. 

Ethan Sears of the New York Post pointed out that former Anaheim Ducks winger Sonny Milano remains available but felt the 26-year-old would likely end up on the Islanders' third line. The Athletic Kevin Kurz believed Milano wouldn't affect their lineup as Kadri.

Cap Friendly shows Phil Kessel and Evan Rodrigues as the top remaining UFA wingers. Now 34, Kessel isn't the star he once was and his style of play might not fit within the Isles system. The 28-year-old Rodrigues enjoyed a career-best 43-point performance last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins but was a streaky scorer.

NYI Hockey Now's Stefen Rosner wondered if Lamoriello might revisit his attempt to acquire J.T. Miller from the Vancouver Canucks during the draft last month. The versatile 29-year-old forward carries an affordable $5.25-million cap hit. His UFA eligibility next summer has made him a prime target for media trade gossip since last season.

The Canucks asking price, however, would be hefty given Miller's value to their franchise. While the Islanders have $11 million in cap space, they also have restricted free agents Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov to re-sign. Lamoriello would be faced with shedding some salary to make room for Miller.

Lamoriello could be forced to stand pat and wait for better trade options to become available as the season unfolds. 

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