New York Islanders: Reaction to every free agency move, including missing out on Panarin

New York Islanders. #14 (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
New York Islanders. #14 (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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New York Islanders.
New York Islanders. #14. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Reaction to the rest of the “fluff.”

In a quiet move that I didn’t even see on’s free agent tracker, the Islanders re-signed Tom Kuhnhackl to a one year deal. The deal is exactly that, quiet, and it is peak, Lou. Kuhnhackl is part of the continuity theme, he was here last year, but he is also just a veteran player who has been there before, something Lou also wants.

In terms of another player Lou signed last offseason, Valtteri Filppula signed a contract with the Red Wings and is no longer an Islander. Much like Kuhnhackl, I wouldn’t have been opposed to Filppula staying, but it’s encouraging to see a new spot open.

The Islanders have only added Semyon Varlamov. That’s it. They did re-sign players before the free agency, but that is all they have done otherwise.

So, by losing Filppula, it ensures the Islanders will be adding a new center. That does not mean it will be via free agency. Lou alluded to it is from within, but anything could still happen.

Losing Filppula is not that big of a deal, much like bringing back Kuhnhackl is not either. The real focus for the Islanders was Lee, Lehner, and Panarin. That was it; whatever happens next is just fluff.

Yes, adding a third line center to the team from Bridgeport, or a top prospect, would become a bigger deal, but the Islanders should be in no rush to name who that is and let the cream rise to the top, they have plenty of talented prospects and can mold a center.

Plus, when looking at how much the Islanders had, and in theory alone, if they were willing to give Panarin $12M or more per year, but now have just added Lee and Varlamov for a combined $12M per, there is still some room to make another big splash, or continue to “fluff” with a series of mini splashes.

Overall, the Islanders did the one thing they had to do this offseason, keep Lee. No matter how you twist it, they needed to do that; whether it was going to be with Panarin and Varlamov, with Bobrovsky and Lee, however, it had to be. It would have looked horrible for the franchise to lose its captain for the second straight offseason.

It would have sent a horrible message to the team that no matter how much you give, you wouldn’t get. Now, that is all null and void. There is plenty of incentive to keep the train rolling now and keep moving forward. I’m thrilled with who the Isles did get or keep, and not upset about who they didn’t, that is just part of the culture change.

In prior regimes, it was about who they wouldn’t get while also being discouraged by who they did. Now, Lou is proving to be making the correct decisions and not doing anything based on instant gratification, but what will work to sustain the future. That is precisely what the Islanders need, the future.

Next. Discussing Andrew Ladd's legacy with the Islanders. dark

Now, I cannot wait for the season. Let’s go!