For what seems like the longest time, the New York Islanders have been an awful franchise.
They have not made the playoffs much, have made questionable coaching and management choices, completed several ridiculous trades, and overall, were a team that was not going anywhere.
While this has made Isles’ fans nuts and maybe even driven them to switch allegiances, they should stick around because this franchise is about to get back on the right track to success. Yes, losing franchise player and team captain John Tavares hurts, but it is certainly not the end of the world for this hockey club.
Since Lou Lamoriello joined this franchise, they have suddenly started making right moves on the hockey side, something that former team general manager Garth Snow could not do. In fact, it could be said that the Isles have not been able to make the right moves since Bill Torrey (RIP) was at the helm.
The hiring of Barry Trotz to be their head coach is absolutely huge for this franchise. This is a guy who just won a Cup with the Washington Capitals, knows how to win, can get his players to buy into his system, and is someone that is extremely well respected around the league by both his peers and players alike.
Trotz’s tenure with the Capitals is a perfect example of this. It may have taken him and the team four seasons to accomplish the ultimate goal, but his players stuck by him, believed in him, and ultimately delivered for him by winning hockey’s Holy Grail.
Not only does the club now have the right executives and coaching staff in place, but they have a young and talented core that should help this team immensely. Guys like Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, and the three steals they got at the draft (Noah Dobson, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Bode Wilde) are going to move this team in the right direction.
The club also has a solid goaltender in Robin Lehner. Lehner, 27, has yet to reach his potential, but he has put up respectable numbers in this league and has a chance to right the goaltending position on Long Island.
This franchise now means business folks. While they still need to fix some holes, things are exciting and appear to be moving in a positive direction for the Isles.
Photo: Yahoo Sports