The New York Islanders entered this season considered a legitimate Stanley Cup contender after reaching the Eastern Conference final in 2020 and the semifinal last season. Instead, they're near the bottom of the standings following an 11-game winless skid.
With the Isles' playoff hopes already in jeopardy, TSN's Darren Dreger believes general manager Lou Lamoriello won't watch the season “go down in flames.” Appearing on TSN Ottawa 1200, Dreger said he wasn't counting out Lamoriello doing something to try to help his club.
Dreger didn't know what Lamoriello would have in mind but pointed out he's “a pretty active GM.” He's also the stealthiest general manager in the business. If he's shopping around, no one in the media will know about it until after the deal goes down.
There's no denying the Islanders need help at both ends of the rink. Their 2.05 goals-per-game average is the league's second-worst while their 32.3 shot-against per game is among the highest.
Finding suitable options this early in the season, however, could prove difficult. An Eastern Conference club is rumored to be interested in the San Jose Sharks' troublesome winger Evander Kane but he's not the type of hard-working team player favored by Lamoriello. Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk has requested a trade but the Isles GM would probably want a more consistent scorer.
The Athletic's Arthur Staple suggested the Montreal Canadiens' Ben Chiarot or the Chicago Blackhawks' Calvin de Haan as blueline trade targets. The asking price for Chiarot, however, could be a first-round pick, which Lamoriello could prefer hanging onto after trading away his last two first-rounders. A former Islander, de Haan would be more affordable but the improving Blackhawks could be reluctant to part with him.