After coming close to reaching the Stanley Cup Final over the last two years, the New York Islanders are poised to miss the 2022 playoffs. That could prompt general manager Lou Lamoriello to make some off-season changes to get his club back on track for 2022-23.
Cap Friendly indicates the Islanders have $70.2 million invested in 18 players for next season. All of their core players are under contract while defenseman Noah Dobson is the most notable free agent.
Limited scoring punch contributed to the Islanders' difficulties this season, sitting 23rd with a 2.76 goals-per-game average. There could also be a need for experienced left-side blueline depth if aging free agents Zdeno Chara and Andy Greene don't return.
NYI Hockey Now's Stefen Rosner suggested the Islanders will need to move out a couple of contracts in order to add some high-end talent. He proposed shopping winger Josh Bailey or goaltender Semyon Varlamov, though it appears the Isles prefer to retain the latter.
Varlamov, 32, has a year left on this contract. He garnered some interest before last month's trade deadline from clubs seeking goaltender depth. However, his 16-team no-trade list made him difficult to move. Meanwhile, the 32-year-old Bailey lack no-trade protection but he's signed through 2023-24 and has experienced a notable decline in production since last season.
Anthony Beauvillier could also become a trade candidate. Rosner pointed out his offensive inconsistency, suggesting the 24-year-old winger could be packaged in a trade or shipped out in a cost-cutting deal.
The always-secretive Lamoriello isn't about to tip his hand regarding his off-season plans. Nevertheless, Varlamov, Bailey or Beauvillier could be changing teams this summer if the Isles GM decides a roster shake-up is necessary.