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Unrestricted Free Agents New York Islanders Should Consider

Forwards: Steven Stamkos, Loui Eriksson, Kyle Okposo, Milan Lucic, David Backes, Frans Nielsen, Lee Stempniak, Andrew Ladd, Shane Doan, Troy Brouwer, Eric Staal, Jamie McGinn, Jason Chimera

With Kyle Okposo and Matt Martin likely entering free agency, the Isles should desire both a top-6 and depth forward to fill some gaping holes.

The team’s fourth line will be broken up (with Casey Cizikas signing for third-line money and Martin leaving), so the Isles could use some help there.

Additionally, John Tavares still needs a winger to compliment him, although Jack Capuano has shown prior tendencies to experiment with, well, just about anybody.

Snow needs to be vigilant if he desires catapulting New York into the Eastern Conference’s elite.

C Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

  • 26 years old
  • 6-foot-1, 194 pounds
  • Tallied 36 goals and 28 assists in 2015-16
  • One of the league’s top scorers

As of the present, Stamkos is more of a pipe dream than an actual reality. It’s fun to speculate about the blue-ribbon prize of free agency, though.

The big problem is simple: money. If Snow drops an offer in the ballpark of $10 million per, the Isles would have roughly $32 million tied to four players in 2018-19, per Arthur Staple of Newsday.

Still, the temptations of having a combo similar to that of Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin is intriguing. And, if he doesn’t mesh with El Capitano, Tavares, then he’ll still be a threat on another line. After all, he’s been shuffled around plenty during his time in Tampa, and his production hasn’t suffered whatsoever.

Ever since he didn’t sign an extension last summer, the veteran goalscorer has been the subject of extensive talk. There’s sure been a lot of dirt:

“We’re going to chase the big fish,” Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray said, via ESPN.

It’s absolutely 100 percent certain that the Red Wings will also make an offer to Stamkos, sources have told ESPN. Both Vancouver and Toronto may be suitors, as well.

LW Milan Lucic, Los Angeles Kings

  • 28 years old
  • 6-foot-3, 233 pounds
  • Tallied 20 goals and 35 assists in 2015-16
  • Nasty, intimidating forward

The Isles have been forced to cope with a lack of intensity from key players at key times, so the gritty Lucic would be a major asset in that regard.

He’s a strong possession player who can handle big minutes and dominate a hockey game with his physical presence. He may not be an elite scorer, but with Tavares on his wing, he’ll always have a chance to light the lamp.

Lucic’s got a friend in the Isles locker room in ex-teammate Johnny Boychuk. However, that may not be enough to lure him in.

The Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks are all potential landing spots.

LW Jason Chimera, Washington Capitals

  • 37 years old
  • 6-foot-3, 216 pounds
  • Tallied 20 goals and 20 assists in 2015-16
  • Impressive forechecker

When the Isles forecheck, they win.

While it will be unfeasible for any impending free agent to replicate the impact that Matt Martin has had on this squad, there is one, Chimera, who can rival the sacred forechecking and hitting that Martin brings to the table.

Although not a gifted playmaker, Chimera is similar to Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck in the sense that he’s solid in penalty-killing situations and possesses blinding speed.

There isn’t much dirt surrounding the veteran winger, considering that he is, well… a 37-year-old fourth line winger.

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.