Lou Lamoriello and the New York Islanders are working with renewed vigour behind the scenes as the organisation wakes up from its Garth Snow induced slumber.
The last few years of Snow’s tenure as Islanders GM were akin to being in a sporting coma. The team slipped away, without fight, into a steady decline and the final year of John Tavares‘ contract dwindled away to leave the franchise and its increasingly disillusioned fanbase at a major crossroads.
The only certainty coming out of the New York Islanders was the uncertainty and confusion around its direction and future. New GM Lou Lamoriello, it appears, has thrown an ice-cold bucket of water over the Islanders to snap the team out of its slumber.
Dallas is the destination for the Isles hierarchy at the end of this week, but there is a lot of business to be completed before the Draft, in which the Islanders possess two first-round picks (11 & 12).
On Monday, the organisation reportedly spoke to Barry Trotz – the Stanley Cup winning head coach is back on the job market and the Islanders seem a likely fit.
Lamoriello has his sights set on appointing a coach before the Islanders head into the Draft, whilst he and John Tavares are in daily contact over tying the Islanders captain down to a new deal.
Toronto, Las Vegas, San Jose and Los Angeles are all viable alternatives for
Tavares, but Pierre LeBrun has revealed that the trend amongst NHL execs is that JT re-signs with New York as Lamoriello breathes fresh life into the team.
Tavares’ contract could even be signed and sealed before the Draft, but the Islanders are unlikely to rest there.
At the Draft, wily Lamoriello is being tipped to trade Islanders’ #11 first round pick to Washington in return for goaltender Philipp Grubauer.
It’s quite possible that in a week’s time, the Islanders will have John Tavares’ contract locked up, Barry Trotz as coach and Philipp Grubauer signed as their number one goaltender.
Not bad work for a team who looked completely directionless just over a month ago.