After advancing to the second round of the NHL playoffs for the first time since 1993, the New York Islanders face a difficult offseason, as they have to find a way to replace the contributions of potential unrestricted free agents Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin and Frans Nielsen.
Although there are rumors that Nielsen’s agent and the Islanders are working on a long-term deal that could keep “The Great Dane” in Brooklyn for potentially the rest of his career, Okposo is considered a goner at this point and Martin’s future with the Isles is up in the air. Add in the cloudy status of oft-injured second-line center Mikhail Grabovski and unhappy goaltender Jaroslav Halak and the Islanders have plenty of questions to address this season.
In this video, The Hockey Writers plays “NHL 16” without Nielsen, Okposo and Martin on the Isles, showing fans just how the team “could” look. Although they have some depth at forward with Shane Prince, Alan Quine and Mike Halmo, who all have NHL and AHL experience, the bottom two lines on the team lack the grit and offensive punch the team has been known for the past two seasons, making this offseason an important one if the Islanders want to get to the 100-point mark for the third consecutive season.
Over the past ten years as a working journalist, Patrick Hickey Jr. has covered the New York Islanders, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, as well as the Brooklyn Aces of the former EPHL, contributing pieces and/or holding Editorial positions at NBC, New York Sports Day, NY Sportscene Magazine and the New York Times. During that time, he has interviewed NHL stars the likes of Brendan Shanahan, Bernie Nicholls, Bob Probert, Martin Brodeur and Zach Parise. He is also the first winner of the New York Islanders Blog of the Year Award, for his work on TheDriveForFive.com in 2008.