Josh Ho-Sang, Michael Dal Colle
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

Two of the New York Islanders’ remaining three RFAs, Michael Dal Colle and Josh Ho-Sang, have inked the dotted line and enter contrasting seasons. 

A slow offseason saw small rumblings Monday evening when two parts of the New York Islanders future committed to sticking around.

Forwards Michael Dal Colle and Josh Ho-Sang re-signed with the Islanders as some competition has opened in the bottom-six. There has not been any news regarding the status of RFA Anthony Beauvillier.

The departure of Valtteri Filppula to the Detroit Red Wings leaves a gaping hole in an already thin center position.

Players looking eligible to compete for the position include Beauvillier, Tanner Fritz, Otto Koivula and Leo Komarov. If not at center, then at the inevitable space on wing, that will be available.

There are not any details on the specific terms of either contract, but Dal Colle was offered a two-year deal while Ho-Sang enters his decisive year with the New York Islanders.

One Last Chance

After coming up at the end of the 2016-17 season and potting four goals and 10 points in 21 games, things looked good for a spot on the top-six for Ho-Sang.

In the 2017-18 season, Ho-Sang scored just two goals during the first three months of the season but had 10 points in the first 21 games.

Garth Snow and company sent down Ho-Sang at the end of the calendar year which was met with controversial scrutiny by the young forward.

To his credit, the 2017-18 Islanders were the worst defensive team the NHL has seen in the last decade.

Obviously, discontent with Ho-Sang’s comments, a negative impression with management soured his relationship with the team.

When Lou Lamoriello stepped in last summer, he promised a clean slate for everyone in the organization. In 10 games with the Islanders this season, Ho-Sang net a goal and two points and was subsequently demoted once more.

Whatever the reasoning may have been this past year, Ho-Sang has not yet won the favor of two managerial groups thus far and may be looking at his last shot with the organization.

Regardless of the underlying issues that may exist between Ho-Sang and the Isles, the offensive corps needs a player like him to step up big this season.

For the last two seasons, Ho-Sang has not qualified to crack the full-time NHL roster and has to perform to a tee this-coming season to avert strike three.

New York Islanders

Inevitable Ultimatum

Whether it’s Ho-Sang, Dal Colle, or Beauvillier, it seems management would rather push a solution through from inside the organization rather than out of it.

Lamoriello hasn’t ruled out the possibility of bringing in new players via PTO’s or trades, but as of right now it’s Aug. 19.

Since the floodgates of free agency opened and the Isles swung hard and missed on Artemi Panarin, and Lou ditched Robin Lehner for Semyon Varlamov (after admitting he was after him the entire time) and has stood pat since.

The Isles top trade chips, Nick Leddy and Thomas Hickey remain with the team as the team remains quiet on the trade front. Rumblings of RFA offer sheets have silenced since Montreal’s attempt at Sebastian Aho.

Overall, the RFA market feels like one gigantic Jenga Tower ready to topple over once the most important piece is pulled. Uncertainty clouds the futures of both Mitch Marner and Patrik Laine, who have yet to have any resolution on their disputes.

As far as the free-agent market goes, whatever remains in a mostly empty market can service the Isles short-term needs. Brian Boyle remains unsigned as does Derick Brassard

Though much of the main core remains intact, the Islanders have gaps to fill next season whether it comes from inside or outside the organization.

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