NHL

New York Islanders re-sign Tanner Fritz as Lamoriello eyes free-agency splash

06/02/2019
Matt Di Giacomo

The New York Islanders retained Tanner Fritz while Dave Pagnotta dropped some bombs about Lou Lamoriello’s offseason shopping list.

If what Dave Pagnotta says is true, Tanner Fritz and Arnaud Durandeau re-signing with the New York Islanders should be the last thing on fans’ minds this October.

On Friday, the Islanders held on to another piece of their Center depth by retaining Tanner Fritz for another two years on a two-way deal guaranteeing him $700,000 next season.

Arnaud Durandeau, the Isles’ 2017 sixth-rounder, rights would have expired had the Islanders not been signed to a three-year, entry-level contract.

After locking up Brock Nelson to a six-year deal, the Islanders did well to keep Fritz who showed good promise in Valtteri Filppula‘s absence before succumbing to a blood clot in his hand which necessitated surgery.

Fritz is seen as depth, so it remains to be seen how the Islanders add to that position this-coming Summer.

From what Dave Pagnotta said on the NHL Network Radio Saturday afternoon, there should be plenty of Islanders rumors to lookout for this offseason.

At the 13:30 mark of the NHL Network Radio segment Nick Alberga says: “The New York Islanders are going to be part of that mix (Erik Karlsson sweepstakes) as well, and they’re definitely going to be part of Artemi Panarin‘s pursuit, 100%.”

Coming from pundits like Alberta and Pagnotta gives these rumors more weight than sorting through typical Twitter fodder.

Tumultuous free agency periods have plagued the Islanders for decades with oftentimes little to nothing to show for it. Given the season the Isles had, hearing Lou Lamoriello’s name in the same sentence as Panarin isn’t the biggest shock, but it is a welcome reminder of how much change this organization has undergone in the last calendar year.

The latter mention comes as a surprise, given Barry Trotz’s assertion on stay-at-home defense and Karlsson being the virtual opposite.

Outside of the big fish in the free agent market, the Isles will likely turn to trades to bring a little more pop up front. The Isles have a good sense of what their spare parts are with a full season’s sample under Lamoriello’s regime with Nick Leddy topping the list of the likely departures.

The Stanley Cup will be awarded within the next two weeks, and once it is, Lou Lamoriello will be just one of 31 GMs in a frantic race to July 1.

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