The Isles had a breakout season last year, making it to game 7 and losing in a tight game 2-1, to the Washington Capitals. This offseason, the Isles are trying to improve, in order to go deeper in the Playoffs next season. With a higher salary cap, and a move to Brooklyn, the Isles should be looking to spend more money. Here are my thoughts on the good moves, bad moves, and moves that need to be made before the drop of the puck in the 2015-16 season.
- Signing Thomas Greiss- Thomas Greiss is a solid backup goaltender. Last year, he played with Pittsburgh and went 9-6-3 with a 2.59 G.A.A and a .908 save%. His best year was in 2013-14 with the Coyotes, where he posted a 2.29 G.A.A with a .920 save%. He will give Jaro Halak and the Isles some depth in net.
- Trading Griffin Reinhart- The 2012 4th overall pick had high expectations heading into the 2014-15 season. He made the Isles roster, but his stint only lasted 4 games. He was called up throughout the year, but never seemed to fit in. In the playoffs, he played one game in which the Isles lost 5-1. Trading him to the Oilers for a 16th and 33rd overall picks was a great move. They acquired a top 10 talent in Mathew Barzal, who they expect to be the second line center in a few years, behind Captain John Tavares.
- Not Resigning Lubomir Visnovsky- Lubo was no doubt a great defenseman in his prime. However, those days are way behind him. Lubo made almost $5 million last year, which is way too much for an injury prone, old d-man. Not resigning him opens up a roster spot, which the Isles have yet to fill.
- Resigning Thomas Hickey to a Three Year Deal- Thomas Hickey, another 4th overall pick, by the LA Kings, is a below average d-man. He has a small structure, is not quick to the puck, and is not physical. His only upside is his vision. However, signing him to three years is a mistake. I feel he needs to prove himself first, before receiving a big contract.
- Not Firing Jack Capuano- Yes, I know many will disagree. He led the Isles to one of the best seasons in franchise history. The truth of the matter is he’s not a good coach. In the Playoffs, he looked clueless at some points. He chose not to start Anders Lee, and instead put in a worthless player, Colin McDonald. Maybe it’s the inexperience, but I don’t feel that he’s the right leader for a team contending for a Cup.
Moves That Need To Be Made:
- Sign A Top 4 D-man- The Isles have failed to sign a top 4 defenseman to play with Travis Hamonic. They have a bunch of trade bait, such as Michael Grabner and Calvin De Haan. Like last year, Garth Snow might be waiting for the weekend before the season begins, but this is definitely one spot that needs to be taken care of before heading into the 2015-16 campaign.
*Make sure to leave your opinions below! Thanks for reading!