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NYHN Daily: Islanders Identity Line May Be No More, Pageau Injury, & More



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The New York Islanders completed their final interviews for the season on Sunday. With fourth-line center Casey Cizikas a pending unrestricted free agent, is this the last we will see of the Islanders identity line? Jean-Gabriel Pageau was not completely healthy this postseason and offseason surgery is not out of the question to repair what was ailing him. These stories and more in today’s daily links!

It was a thought the New York Islanders didn’t pay too much mind to as they looked to win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup since 1983. Now that it is all over, the Islanders have to contend with the possibility that Casey Cizikas, one of the team’s most impactful players, might not be here when the puck drops for the 2021-22 season. (NYI Hockey Now)

You could call it the worst kept secret during the New York Islanders playoff run. Jean-Gabriel Pageau confirmed on Sunday that he had been playing hurt during the end of the Islanders series with the Tampa Bay Lightning. What exactly ailed him? Well that he wouldn’t say. (NYI Hockey Now)

After a fairy tale run to the semifinals for the second year in a row, the Islanders face plenty of questions this offseason that will impact the future of the franchise going forward. NHL GM of the Year Lou Lamoriello will have a busy offseason ahead of him trying to navigate the Islanders through another expansion draft and key free agents to re-sign amid very tight salary cap space for the Islanders. So what’s next for the Islanders? Let’s take a look at some of the key issues facing them. (NYI Hockey Now)

The final Zoom calls of the season were Sunday for the Islanders players and their coach. We learned precious little about what some of the Isles players went through physically during their deep playoff run and precious little about the team’s offseason plans, though as you might expect every pending restricted and unrestricted free agent wants to return. That, of course, isn’t happening. So we’ll read between the lines a bit to decipher what was said and what it means as the Islanders head into another busy offseason after falling just short of the Stanley Cup Final for a second season in a row. (The Athletic)

Anders Lee said he expects to be ready for training camp with the New York Islanders next season, but there may be some changes when it gets underway in September. Lee, the Islanders captain, missed the final two months of the regular season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs due a knee injury sustained March 11 during a game against the New Jersey Devils. The forward scored 19 points (12 goals, seven assists) in 27 games. (NHL)

Impending unrestricted free-agent Kyle Palmieri knows his tenure with the Islanders might be brief. But Palmieri, originally from Smithtown and acquired from the Devils on April 7, hopes he can stay on Long Island longer. I enjoyed every second of going to battle with this group,” Palmieri said on Sunday as the Islanders conducted their end-of-season exit interviews. “To be a part of a team like this, it was an incredible opportunity for me and I would love to keep that going.” (Newsday)

Change is inevitable from season to season in modern pro sports. This is not news. The fact 16 Islanders played for all four Stanley Cup winners in the early 1980s is so unfathomable by 21st century standards it might as well be a tale from the early 1880s, when Andy Greene was a young player. But for the 2021 Islanders, who gathered one last time on Sunday, there was added poignancy in flipping their psychological calendars to a new season and the inevitability of parting ways with old friends. They were bidding farewell to an aging teammate who can’t even skate. (Newsday)

Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now dropped five awesome tidbits about the Red Wings drafts, including…need to know Hanson Brothers facts. (Detroit Hockey Now)

Joe Haggerty dipped into the mailbag to address fans getting uneasy with GM Don Sweeney, which Paul brother should get beat up, and the coming Bruins activity on the NHL trade front. (Boston Hockey Now)

Every time we mentioned available defensemen (for two years), Trevor van Riemsdyk’s name would pop up in our search or your comments. The Washington Capitals finally plucked van Riemsdyk out of Carolina, and they were pretty happy with the results. (Washington Hockey Now)

Sure, Marc-Andre Fleury wants to stay in Vegas. He made that clear, as did his agent Allan Walsh, but Tom Callahan asserts now is the time to put him on the NHL trade block. (Vegas Hockey Now)

The goal is a Stanley Cup, and Vegas Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer flatly said the Golden Knights are “not there yet.” (Vegas Hockey Now)

Adrian Dater did a hard look at the state of the Colorado Avalanche. From Brandon Saad to Gabriel Landeskog, big stories and possibly big changes are coming to the Avalanche. (Colorado Hockey Now)

Shea Weber is keeping his steely eyes on the ultimate prize, and he’s making sure the rest of the Montreal Canadiens do the same. The defenseman has finally reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in his 16 NHL seasons, and the Montreal captain is not going to allow himself or his teammates to let up four wins away from the title. (NHL)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have to go through a storied franchise with a history of dynastic Stanley Cup championship runs in order to keep building their own dynasty. The Montreal Canadiens have to go through the defending Stanley Cup champions in order to bring the trophy home for an NHL record 24th time. The 2021 Stanley Cup Final, the Lightning against the Canadiens, is loaded with plots and subplots, history and tradition, goaltending greats, skill, speed, tenacity, grit and devoted fanbases. The best-of-7 series begins with Game 1 at Tampa Bay on Monday. Here are 10 storylines to follow. (NHL)

This is your chance at hockey immortality, without ever scoring a goal or making a save in the NHL. All you need is a Twitter account. The NHL in conjunction with the Hockey Hall of Fame is inviting fans of the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning to submit their #StanleyTweets, where supporters of the winning team could have their tweet enshrined alongside the Cup at the Hall of Fame. (NHL)

Corey Perry and Eric Staal sat in the Montreal Canadiens locker room moments after their team advanced to the Stanley Cup final. The veteran forwards — champions early in their careers — were in a reflective mood. (TSN)