New York Islanders

Sure, Kyle Okposo is most likely a goner. This doesn’t mean Garth Snow doesn’t have a few tricks up his sleeve for his New York Islanders.

Friday, July 1:

Charles Wang is officially the Isles’ minority owner, concluding a wild chapter in team history.

Wang sold the franchise for $485 million to Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin in October 2014. He endured as the majority owner up until June 30, 2016. He still retains 15% of the organization.

This is a salient transition. Wang has notoriously tied the hands of general manager Garth Snow financially, and admits that he “had a hand in” the pacts for Alexei Yashin and Rick DiPietro.

The new ownership group could dictate the path the Isles take in free agency. Will the Isles leave no stone unturned and build a team that can compete for and win Lord Stanley’s Cup, or will Snow have to work with a closed purse and be forced to believe in the current group?

The Isles have three unrestricted free agents in Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin.

Okposo, 28, has terrific scoring ability and a lethal shot. He tallied 22 goals and 42 assists (64 points) with the Isles in 2015-16.

Nielsen, 32, is an exceptional two-way forward, leader and special teams wizard. He racked up 20 goals and 32 assists (52 points) last season.

Martin, 27, is an elite body checker and momentum builder. He posted 10 goals and 9 assists (19 points) with the team that drafted him.

The trio of UFAs have been stalwarts with the Isles. Martin was a key cog on the team’s remarkable fourth line, while Okie and Nielsen were both offensive juggernauts.

However, all signs point to the Isles letting the trio walk in free agency.

Ladd didn’t meet with Detroit this morning, suggesting that the Isles will indeed land the veteran winger.

Nielsen is poised to “move on” from the Isles, barring a last second change of heart. This didn’t seem to be the case just a couple of weeks ago, when the team was in talks with Nielsen’s agent.

Both Nielsen and Okposo have signed elsewhere.

What’s baffling is that Nielsen accepted a pact valued at $5 million per from Detroit. Original reports suggested that the Isles offered roughly $5.5 million/season.

Andrew Ladd has signed with the Isles.

Virtually as soon as the clock struck for the opening of the signing period, the Isles inked former Blackhawks, Thrashers and Jets forward Andrew Ladd to a 7-year deal worth $5.5 million per, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday.

Ladd, 30, has good size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) and scoring ability. He’s tough and has the ability to dish out solid hits. He’s a great team player with leadership skills and an impressive resume. Additionally, he slots well with highly skilled linemates, so with both Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo leaving elsewhere, John Tavares will need another winger.

The caveats revolve around his inconsistency on the scoresheet and his lack of creativity in the offensive zone. He’ll post solid numbers, but isn’t an elite playmaker whatsoever.

Ladd tallied 25 goals and 21 assists (46 points) with the Chicago Blackhawks last season. He had a 50.6 CF% and 49.8 FF%.

The Isles have inked Jason Chimera to a two-year deal worth $4.5 million.

Thursday, Jun. 30:

The second major name that has surfaced regarding the Isles in free agency is Andrew Ladd.

According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, the Isles are hosting the free agent center on Long Island today.

The first major name that was bandied about was that of Steven Stamkos. But now that he’s firmly staying put in Tampa Bay, it’s now Ladd’s turn to receive the majority of the attention.

Secretive. It’s a word Garth Snow takes very seriously as boss of the New York Islanders.

He doesn’t tell anybody anything when it comes to the planning of his moves. Nobody knows what’s next up his sleeve as it pertains to his hockey personnel.

Nevertheless, we, here at Elite Sports NY, will keep you up to date on all of the Isles moves during this extremely important free agency period during the Summer of 2016.

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.