The New York Islanders appeared to be making a comeback in the past few seasons, but took a few steps back this offseason. Ted Nolan’s disagreements with management reached a point that was apparently no longer repairable, and the talented coach was let go early in July.
Free agency also proved to be rough on the Isles, as they lost solid performers Ruslan Fedotenko and Miroslav Satan to Pittsburgh. While it’s never good to lose a player to a team in the same division, what makes it worse is that the Islanders were the only team in the division that failed to make the playoffs last year. With the current state of affairs being what it is, things don’t look like they’ll be getting any better on Long Island.
The Islanders did manage to re-sign heavy hitting defenseman Brendan Witt, as well as role players Jeff Tambellini and Sean Bergenheim. The acquisition of Doug Weight may prove beneficial, but Weight is 37 years old and managed only 25 points last season in Anaheim. Mark Streit will help protect keeper Rick DiPietro, and provide solid offense from the blueline but New York will need to start rebuilding from the inside out if they hope to make any serious progress in the future.