Lou Lamoriello lastly had transactions to announce on Monday. And he didn’t have a lot endurance for the concept that the Islanders have faltered of their failure to make any additions because the draft.
“There’s no disappointment [with] where we’re at because we feel very good about where we are, or we would have made drastic changes last year if we didn’t feel good about the group we have or what we’re capable of doing,” the Islanders basic supervisor mentioned. “I say that with comfortability. I say that with confidence.
“I’m looking forward to getting back at it and maybe proving everybody wrong.”
The event for Lamoriello making his first public feedback since early July was not the Islanders including an unrestricted free agent however the workforce locking up its three restricted free brokers. Defensemen Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov each signed three-year offers at $4 million and $2.5 million common annual worth, respectively, business sources informed The Post. Forward Kieffer Bellows signed a one-year deal for $1.2 million, per the web site CapFriendly.
That leaves the Islanders, who whiffed on big-name free brokers Johnny Gaudreau and Nazem Kadri, with roughly $2.68 million in cap space going into coaching camp, which opens on Sept. 21.
Lamoriello, who orchestrated the stunning firing of Barry Trotz after the workforce’s disappointing 37-35-10 file resulted in lacking the postseason final season, insisted that he had no qualms about bringing again — in essence — the identical roster that fell brief final season.
“There’s a lot to be excited about,” he mentioned. “And I know everyone looks at, if something isn’t done then it’s not good. Sometimes some of the best transactions to make are the ones you don’t make.”
That is to say, he will likely be making no apologies. Lamoriello has his beliefs. Those gained’t be altering.
“It starts with our goaltending, goes through our defense, then goes through our forwards,” he mentioned. “I’m a goal-differential type of person. You win hockey games by scoring more goals, it doesn’t matter how many, it’s differential that allows that to happen. … I feel very good about this hockey team.”
Lamoriello did go away the door open to a transfer between now and the beginning of coaching camp, ought to the chance current itself. But the probability of one thing like that appears low on condition that a lot of the league’s business has been lengthy concluded.
Going into the offseason, Lamoriello had made clear a need to improve the workforce’s forward group, which struggled for a lot of final season, through hockey trades. None got here to fruition, although Lamoriello mentioned he explored “many options.”
“When we hear the word disappointment, I wonder what that is,” he mentioned. “Because free agents have to make decisions and also teams have to make decisions. And if you’re interested in a player or players, it has to be the right cap fit, has to be the right role fit and all of those things come in. Anybody can look at it through any sets of eyes they like.”
For him, the perspective is optimistic. But outdoors the partitions of the Islanders’ personal facility, Lamoriello is likely to be lonely in that opinion.
After the huge failure that was final season, when the Islanders have been out of the playoff race by February after coming in with Stanley Cup hopes, the franchise is at one thing of a crossroads. Proving that final year was an aberration is significant, because the core that introduced it to two consecutive convention finals is ageing. There can also be the added stress of promoting seats at UBS Arena whereas the franchise celebrates its fiftieth anniversary.
“This is really the first season at UBS Arena,” Lamoriello mentioned, referencing the rocky begin that knocked the Islanders on their heels earlier than they performed a house sport final year.
Dobson summed all of it up with a sentiment fairly comparable to what gamers expressed all through the again half of final season.
“I think inside the locker room, we love the group we have,” he mentioned.
When the season begins, although, it will likely be about proving what that group can do to those that aren’t part of it.