Islanders Camp: No Harm In PTO

Photo: NHL

By Glenn Brewer

The NY Islanders and the rest of the NHL have opened training camps, followed by preseason games. As the training camps begin, the Professional Tryout Contracts (PTO) are being announced. Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders do not appear to be bringing any players into camp on a tryout contract with CapFriendly showing a full roster of 23/23 players. The anticipation is that Richard Panik will be waived after the way last season transpired and Robin Salo, who is not listed on the varsity roster, will soon be called up.

Although Lamoriello has brought players into camp on professional tryouts in the past, he did not see a fit with the currently available players nor does he believe the current roster needs fine-tuning.

History of PTOs

As the NHL shifted to a salary cap, the free agent frenzy changed drastically. Much of free agency is handled early in the summer and many serviceable players are left to wait for teams to make cap room or take a professional tryout.

On many occasions, the players signing PTOs are veterans looking to prove that they can still play in the league or younger players with a promise that has not quite developed. As you can imagine, many PTOs have turned into nothing while others have been contributors to the team. Additionally, a player has signed a PTO with one team and then received an NHL contract from another team, while on a tryout.

Although a PTO player is not going to have the impact of a UFA signing in July, many players have provided solid contributions off a PTO. Mason Raymond signed a PTO with the Toronto Maple Leafs and went on to put up 19 goals and 45 points with them for the 2013-14 season.

Brad Boyes played with the Islanders in 2012-13 and put a nice season together with 35 points in 48 games. The next off-season, Boyes signed a PTO with the Florida Panthers and scored 21 goals and 36 points. Alex Chiasson won a Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals but found himself without a contract entering the 2018-19 season.

Chiasson signed a PTO with the Edmonton Oilers and went on to score 22 goals and 38 points that season for the Oilers.

Islanders Training Camp

While the Islanders have a deep group that has been playing together for quite some time, it is obvious that change is necessary to take the next step.

This group has had a great amount of success but still has come up short in the goal to win a Stanley Cup.

Although a new coach staff will enter this season, the group of players remains the same as the prior season. A season filled with obstacles, but a failure, nonetheless.

Bringing in a player on a PTO could provide the competition in the camp that would be necessary to elevate the performance of the group. It is also possible that the player on PTO could outperform and earn a spot with the team.

At the very least, the organization is branching out to new talent for depth opportunities at the NHL or AHL level.

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October 1st, 2022

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Islanders New Reverse Retro Jersey?

Photo: NHL

By Glenn Brewer

The love and hate relationship between Islanders fans and the “fisherman” logo and jersey will live on forever. The recent news that Adidas and the NHL will be returning the reverse retro jerseys has sparked debate for all the NHL teams, but the Islanders in particular.

It has been reported that the Islanders will indeed include the “fisherman” concept to the upcoming reverse retro brand. This made a ton of sense as the Islanders, themselves, were starting to push the logo more on merchandise.

It has been a long time since the dreadful days of the introduction to the logo and jersey.

However, like many cases, would the logo and jersey be better received if the team was playing well in them? It was a sad time for Islanders hockey that happened to coincide with the change from the classic log and jersey to the new, wild transition.

It has been recently reported by Icethletics that the new Islanders reverse retro will only have a blue and orange color scheme in the ‘fisherman” logo. The original logo included a teal color that stuck out on the jersey.

It would be an interesting concept to see the logo in the original and current colors of orange and blue. The rumors seem to be that the navy blue will stay with just the orange color.

Whether you love or hate the logo, it is a part of the Islanders history. Adidas has made it a habit and focus to bring back the history of each organization, even if it is from prior relocations.

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September 29th, 2022

Islanders Last Run?

Photo: USA Today

By Glenn Brewer

The Islanders were linked to top free agents like Nazem Kadri. Lou Lamoriello may have had a trick up his sleeve but nothing came to fruition.

With the Islanders only off-season move was the acquisition of Alexander Romanov, can they compete for a Stanley Cup?

Close But No Cigar

The Islanders have progressed greatly under the tutelage of Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello over the past few seasons. Progress is a big step for a franchise, but progress was not enough to win the Stanley Cup.

The team came down to one more win to just make it to the finals, but continued to fall to the eventual champions, Tampa Bay Lightning.

Two straight trips to the Eastern Conference Finals are nothing to be ashamed of for a core group of players.

The roster has not had much turnover under Lamoriello and company. Some minor depth players have been plugged into specific roles, but this group has grown together and taken steps together. Are they capable of the final step?

Under Trotz, this team excelled defensively and played a smart style of hockey that fit well in the playoffs. Scoring goals has been the problem for this group and continues, even in the successful playoff runs.

The rival, New York Rangers, has a young and fast group that can score at will. Additionally, the Rangers have a phenomenal goalkeeper to keep the other team at bay. Still, the Rangers could not handle the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Are the Islanders at the scoring level of the Rangers and the Lightning with the new potential acquisitions this off-season?

If not, just remember that those teams did not win the Stanley Cup!

Time For Change?

The Islanders fans have had to suffer through some long and drawn-out re-builds, but it is part of the cycle of teams in the NHL. This group may be reaching that time of re-build.

If a player like Kadri came to Long Island via trade and the Islanders failed to win the Cup or even make the playoffs, what is next?

The team has important players that are young, but the veterans are starting to fade and not much more can be expected from them.

It would seemingly be time to make big changes to the roster if the Islanders are unable to put it all together this season

For that reason, it was worth the risk to bring in a player like Kadri. The top six forwards will certainly improve with the acquisition and maybe that with another year for Sorokin is just what the doctor ordered.

If not, then it is time to identify the group of players moving forward and creating some cap space to re-tool the group.

So for all the Islanders fans weary of making a move, remember it truly is a “win now” team and it would be a shame to let this group continue to grow older without taking a shot on a star forward.

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September 29th, 2022