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Lamoriello And Roy Anticipate Offseason Changes For Islanders

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Screenshot courtesy of the New York Islanders

EAST MEADOW, NY–As the New York Islanders step into an offseason of uncertainty, one thing is definitively clear: both team president/general manager Lou Lamoriello and head coach Patrick Roy will return to their roles within the organization next season.

“The two gentlemen that are up here will be back next year,” Lamoriello said at Northwell Health Ice Center on Friday as Islanders closed the books on the 2023-24 season. “I’m excited. Next season [has already started]. What we have to do right now is get prepared for next year.”

Next year for the Islanders comes off the heels of a second straight first-round exit from the postseason. After enduring a course of severe highs and lows that included a mid-season coaching change, the Islanders valiantly fought their way into the playoffs by winning eight of their final nine games during the regular season.

In five games against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Islanders hung in against one of the top teams the NHL has to offer, despite what the 4-1 series finish suggests.

“I really believe in this group, and I still believe in this,” said Roy. “I mean, there’s great leadership on that team. There are players who are eager to get better, and they love playing for this franchise, and it’s the same thing for me.”

Still, the Islanders aren’t any further along than they were at this point a year ago. At the time, Lamoriello believed the Islanders simply underachieved and opted to bring back the roster in full with the hopes the team would return to the heights it had previously accomplished. Now, the Hall of Fame executive can no longer ignore that the Islanders have reached the final page in one of the franchise’s most storied chapters.

Two of the biggest priorities on Lamoriello’s offseason to-do list center around veteran forwards Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck, who both stated on Friday they had no plans of retiring, setting themselves up to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. For nearly a decade, the two have been at the core of the Islanders’ identity, which was challenged at several points this season.

“It’s obvious when you look at the roster that there are some younger players coming in that are going to demand more ice time,” Lamoriello said. “Whatever decisions have to be made will be in the best interest of the team to have success. We have to take out of the equation personal situations. We certainly love loyalty, but it can’t impede progress.”

Progress for the Islanders could mean a number of different things this summer. While the word implies steps toward contention in the immediate future, it could also suggest a retooling of the roster with an influx of youth to aid the team over the long term.

Either way, it’s a change the Islanders need to make.

“Once you’re satisfied, you become complacent. We’re not satisfied,” said Lamoriello. “We’ll look at every area, and whatever it takes for us to make a change, we’ll make that change, but it has to be for progression.”

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