The moment it was announced by Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan that general manager Lou Lamoriello would NOT be returning as the team’s GM in 2018-19, rumors linking Lamoriello to an executive role within the New York Islanders organization started to leak out. Sure enough, less than two weeks later it was announced that Lamoriello had elected to leave his advisory role with the Leafs for a shot at running hockey operations with the Islanders in Brooklyn, NY.
In the nearly two weeks since Lamoriello was unveiled as the Islanders’ new president of hockey operations, the hockey world has been anxiously awaiting his first move. It’s been reported that Lamoriello’s authority supersedes that of GM Garth Snow and that he has the power to unilaterally make trades and sign free-agent contacts without Snow’s permission. Presumably, however, the two men will work together to build the team’s roster. But… what will be their first move? Re-sign superstar captain John Tavares? Negotiate extensions for wingers Jordan Eberle and Anders Lee? Or, how about shore up their goaltending?
Veteran Jaroslav Halak is a pending free agent and backup Thomas Greiss is signed for two more seasons at approximately $3.3 million per season. No doubt about it, the Isles will need some help between the pipes in 2018-19.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal hypothesizes a potential solution and it involves Lamoriello going back to the well and striking a deal with his former club, the New Jersey Devils.
Interesting… Schneider straight up for the 11th or 12th pick overall? As much as Schneider struggled in 2017-18 and as good as backup Keith Kincaid was down the stretch for the Devils, this seems far fetched. There’s little doubt that Schneider would provide the Islanders with better, more reliable goaltending than Halak, but Devils GM Ray Shero isn’t likely to give him up without getting a quality goalie back. After all, Kinkaid is still relatively unproven and, of course, Schneider himself would have to approve any move himself as he holds a no trade clause.
So… any chance of this deal going down? Sure… anything’s possible. Is it likely? Probably not…