Lou Lamoriello thinks the Islanders are a “good team.” But the wily government also is aware his club should however establish it’s fantastic plenty of to make the playoffs.
“I have a whole lot of self confidence in this team mainly because they’ve revealed it, they have a whole lot of self confidence in them selves correct now,” the president and standard manager claimed on Thursday in East Meadow as the Islanders resumed working towards next their mixed eight-working day All-Star break and bye 7 days. “But we have to regard the agenda that we have coming up. We have to regard that we’ve been healthful, moderately, up to this stage.
“But we’re a fantastic hockey team correct now,” included Lamoriello, in his very first period with the Islanders soon after winning three Stanley Cups with the Devils and shelling out the previous three seasons as the Maple Leafs standard manager. “I do not want to deny that mainly because we’ve had to generate wherever we’re at and they are worthy of the credit. But we have to maintain it. It gets tougher and tougher and tougher.”
The Metropolitan Division-major Islanders (29-15-5), trying to get their very first playoff berth considering that 2016, face the NHL-major Lightning on Friday evening at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum.
While Lamoriello claimed he does have self confidence in how the Islanders are at the moment constructed, he may well look to make enhancements just before the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 25.
“Right now, we’re however heading by some stages wherever we have to see who we are and we’ll know a minimal greater in the upcoming few of months,” Lamoriello claimed.
By then, the Islanders may possibly also have a greater concept of when defenseman Thomas Hickey, out with an upper-physique damage considering that Dec. 18, and remaining wing Andrew Ladd, sidelined with a reduced-physique damage considering that Nov. 15, will be out there to be activated off injured reserve.
Lamoriello claimed both of those were being skating on their personal and would be capable to be a part of their teammates for optional techniques.
“It’s just a situation of them acquiring into problem so they are completely ready to perform,” Lamoriello claimed. “As considerably as the injuries, they are in the previous. It is just acquiring into hockey condition.”
The future trade deadline may well also be a issue about the Islanders’ impending unrestricted free of charge brokers. That incorporates captain Anders Lee, centre Brock Nelson and correct wing Jordan Eberle — the team’s leading line — as well as goalie Robin Lehner, who went into the break major the NHL with a 2.02 ambitions-from average and tied for very first with a .931 save proportion whilst on a a person-year, $1.5-million offer.
Lee is on an expiring 4-year, $15-million offer, Nelson is actively playing on a a person-year, $4.25-million pact and Eberle is on a 6-year, $36-million agreement. Third-line centre Valtteri Filppula (a person-year, $2.75 million), spare forward Tom Kuhnhackl (a person year, $700,000) and seventh defenseman Luca Sbisa (a person year, $1.5 million) will also be UFAs.
“We’d like to retain them all,” Lamoriello claimed. “Each a person of the free of charge brokers has accomplished an exceptional job for us. I do not look at them as free of charge brokers. I look at them as Islanders’ gamers these days. We’ll offer with that at the proper time.”
But Lamoriello quickly included, “I have no definition of ‘appropriate time.’” And when it was mentioned to him UFAs may possibly be a touchy matter for the Islanders soon after shedding ex-captain John Tavares to the Maple Leafs, Lamoriello replied, “Whatever is in the previous, is in the previous.”
Lamoriello also recurring that no decision has been made nevertheless on irrespective of whether the Islanders would perform postseason games at the Coliseum or Barclays Center.
“I’d like to get in just before I stress about that,” Lamoriello claimed. “That will also arrive at the proper time and the NHL will be included in that.”