5 Free Agents the New York Islanders Should Target This Offseason

New York Islanders: 5 Free Agents They Should Target This Offseason

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This offseason will be a crucial one for the New York Islanders as they play their final season on Long Island before moving to Brooklyn. The Isles have been at the cap floor for seemingly forever, and with a potential new owner on the horizon and the opportunity to put a good product on the ice when they move, they need to make substantial progress this offseason. New York needs to address several glaring needs and these players could be fits.

5. Anton Stralman, D, New York Rangers

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5. Anton Stralman, D, New York Rangers

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For several seasons now, the Islanders haven't been able to adequately stop opposing offenses. The back end needs to be their primary focus in free agency. New York needs to bring in a veteran, stay-at-home defenseman capable of handling an opposing team's top wingers, and Stralman is capable of fitting that bill. While he gets lost behind Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonough and Marc Staal on the Rangers, Stralman would be a big addition for the Isles.

4. Ryan Miller, G, St. Louis Blues

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4. Ryan Miller, G, St. Louis Blues

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Consistent goaltending has been the Islanders' biggest concern for some time, and they need to move mountains this offseason to bring in a netminder who can steal a few games for them. Evgeni Nabokov has been adequate, but he's frequently injured and nearing 40, meaning it's time for some new blood. Miller struggled a bit this season playing behind a suspect Buffalo defense, but he'd the best goalie the Isles have employed since Chris Osgood.

3. Thomas Vanek, LW, Montreal Canadiens

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3. Thomas Vanek, LW, Montreal Canadiens

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No, this is not a joke. The Islanders acquired Vanek earlier in the season, but when he made it known that he had no interest in foregoing free agency, New York felt they had to deal him rather than risk losing him for nothing. Vanek is one of the most highly skilled wingers in the game, and though he wouldn't commit in March, it doesn't necessarily mean he'd have no interest in signing on long-term if the price is right.

2. Andrei Markov, D, Montreal Canadiens

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2. Andrei Markov, D, Montreal Canadiens

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Keeping with the back end theme, perhaps the best stay-at-home defenseman slated to hit the market this offseason is Andrei Markov. Dan Boyle may be a better player, but he's in his late 30s and is unlikely to leave San Jose, making Markov a more realistic possibility. Markov still possesses one of the heaviest shots in the league, and his veteran savvy would be a huge help to an otherwise young Islanders defensive corps.

1. Jonas Hiller, G, Anaheim Ducks

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1. Jonas Hiller, G, Anaheim Ducks

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The Islanders simply have to address their goaltending issues this offseason, and signing perhaps the best free agent goalie on the market would be a good way of doing so. Although there's no guarantee he'd leave the winning situation he has in Anaheim to head to a perennially losing franchise like the Islanders, a hefty contract offer could make him think otherwise. Hiller's still got plenty of good years left, and he'd be a huge boost in net.

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