The New York Islanders have ended their 2014 season by finishing 26th in the league, good enough for the fifth overall pick in this year's draft lottery and a 34-37-11 record.
At this time last year, the Isles were 24-17-7, a record that was good enough to place them eighth in the Eastern Conference and allow them to play the Pittsburgh Penguins in a first round playoff series match-up.
Clearly, this was not the direction that the Islanders and their fan-base expected them to travel this year.
The Islanders wrap up the home slate of the season Tuesday night when the Ottawa Senators come to town. The Islanders will try to improve on their 13-18-9 home record before closing out the regular season on the road for their final three games. The Islanders have played better at home recently (3-0-1) but their failure to take advantage of home ice earlier in the year is a big reason why the Islanders will be watching the playoffs at home next week for the sixth time in their last seven seasons.
Below is a collection of names that will either be free agents or that could be in play via the trade market. One item to note is that with many of these names, there is a reason why they are available. That is not to say they are bad or wouldn’t represent an upgrade over the current three-headed monster the Islanders have used this year (for a laugh, check out the league’s goalie leaders and scroll to the bottom of the list).
The Islanders season has been over for awhile now, their best players have been on the shelf for weeks, and they are basically rolling out the Bridgeport Sound Tigers lineup acting as an NHL lineup day in and day out, but somehow these kids have collected points in 10 of their last 13 games over the past month.
The New York Islanders return home to the Nassau Coliseum for a 7p.m. puck drop Saturday to take on their longtime rival the New Jersey Devils. This will be the fourth of five meetings between the two this year. The Devils a have won two of the three previous matchups, including the most recent, a 6-1 triumph on Coliseum ice back on March 1st. (Photo credit: paul.hadsall/flickr).
Having already used one of their two compliance buyouts from the new CBA, the Islanders have some decisions to make before the start of next season. Improvements need to be made and impact players need to be brought in if there is any hope of contending next season. Due to their already small budget, a compliance buyout may have to be used to make sure that they have money available to acquire the right players.
The New York Islanders hit the road to Raleigh, North Carolina to face the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night, kicking off a mini two-game road trip. The series between the two has been all Carolina since the beginning of the 2012/13 season as the Hurricanes have won all 6 matchups. The Islanders will try to snap the skid while also pulling into a .500 record on the road this season Tuesday night. Each of the previous three games this season have been decided by one goal, the latest coming back in January at the Coliseum, a 3-2 Carolina victory. (Photo credit: Jonathan_Hawkins/flickr).
The Islanders 4 game home stand continued on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild. The storyline entering the night was the first trip back to Nassau Coliseum for former Islanders Matt Moulson and Nino Niederreiter whom were both dealt by the team in the past year.
The Minnesota Wild visit the New York Islanders tonight in their second and final meeting of the season. The game will feature the first game back on Lon Island for former Islanders Matt Moulson and Nino Niederreiter. Puck drop is 7:00pm EST.