By Todd Singer @breakingbadfish on May 29, 2014
Coming off another disappointing season in 2013-14, the New York Islanders' roster could face significant changes this offseason as they head into their final year playing on Long Island before moving to Brooklyn. The Isles have already traded for and signed goalie Jaroslav Halak to address a major need in goal, but there are also several other rumors that have popped up, most of which will likely get louder closer to draft time in late June.
At one time a top 10 pick by the Islanders, Josh Bailey's development has been up and down from the beginning and it may finally be time for the team to part with him. Bailey was better towards the end of the season, which could re-inflate his trade value a bit, but he's simply never panned out as the Islanders had hoped. What they could get for Bailey remains to be seen, but it wouldn't be a surprise if he were wearing another sweater next year.
The Islanders defensive corps has been perhaps their biggest weakness in recent seasons, and it's high time they finally move to add a quality veteran to the bunch. Travis Hamonic, Calvin de Haan, Matt Donovan and Thomas Hickey have all shown flashes, with the former two showing big-time promise, but the Isles could go out and try to sign Dan Boyle, Matt Niskanen or another veteran d-man to mentor the young kids.
After the disastrous trade for Thomas Vanek backfired and the Islanders were forced to deal Vanek to Montreal for 50 cents on the dollar, New York is back in the market for a scoring wing to put next to John Tavares and Kyle Okposo on the top line. While there are a few options available in free agency, such as Milan Michalek, Jussi Jokinen and Vanek himself, the Islanders could also explore the trade market for possible answers.
Even though the Islanders traded their first-round pick in the aforementioned Vanek deal, because the Islanders finished in the bottom 10 of the league, New York had the option of keeping their pick this season and deferring the pick they had to give up until next season. As such, the Islanders may look to move this year's selection, which is No. 5 in the June draft, to land a veteran, thereby ensuring next year's pick isn't too high.
The biggest rumor of the offseason has to be the potential sale of the team. Just a year away from moving the team to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, owner Charles Wang is rumored to be in serious negotiations to sell the team to Philadelphia businessman Andrew Barroway and a group of investors. Wang has long been chastised by Islander fans because of his refusal to spend money on the team, so this move could be the biggest of them all.
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