Lamoriello’s comments during scrums leading up to the New York Islanders final roster decisions hint that these changes are in no way final.
The New York Islanders will look grittier than ever when they hit the ice on Thursday against the Nashville Predators.
The team announced their 23-man roster via NHL.com. Included within the 23-man roster are six forwards who spent significant time in their respective club’s bottom-six.
Interestingly enough, Tom Kühnhackl does make the official roster after being placed on and subsequently clearing waivers. Given both Trotz and Lamoriello’s hesitancy to outline a clear role for him, it’s likely he and Ross Johnston will both see a lot of time in the press box as the extra forwards.
Not immediately available for the beginning of the season will be Andrew Ladd, who missed most of training camp with a nagging injury that the Isles want fully healed before he returns to the ice. Tanner Fritz acts as Ladd’s temporary replacement as he’ll have a chance to demonstrate his ability to the new regime after playing his first 34 NHL games last season.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 24, 2018
To his word, Lamoriello is giving everyone on this roster a fresh look for the new season. Given his comments to the media after the second round of roster cuts Lamoriello stated:
“We have a lot of players under contract. We have to find out who they are and if they can play before any major decisions are made. You have to give an opportunity. Myself and the coaching staff are still learning about them.”
Most of the veterans signed to one-year deals are being given a chance to rebuild their careers while on the Islanders, including the recently re-signed Brock Nelson.
Lamoriello’s indications are that this roster is actively going to be changing. Evaluation on a month-to-month or week-to-week level by the entire staff will lead to a different type of desperation the Islanders lacked in seasons past, win or lose.