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5 Takeaways: Lamoriello on Lee Injury

Lou Lamoriello on Anders Lee's injury, the trade deadline, Anatoly Golyshev and more

by Cory Wright @WrightsWay /

Islanders President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello shed some light on Anders Lee's injury on Wednesday morning, confirming that the Islanders captain will undergo ACL surgery and miss the remainder of the regular season and playoffs. 

Lamoriello fully expects Lee to be ready for the start of next season, given the nature of the injury and subsequent rehab process, as well as the captain's character and discipline. 

"Anders Lee will undergo surgery this week and will be out for the season," Lamoriello said. "We feel he will be ready for next season, we have all indications of that, but certainly knowing the character and discipline of Anders and the rehab, that he will be so diligent at that he will be ready for next season." 

Video: Lou Lamoriello 3/17 Availability


Lamoriello was asked about how his approach to the trade deadline looks now with Lee's injury and said: 

"We have cap room, with Anders being on LTIR and whatever we can do to make ourselves better we will be doing that," Lamoriello said. "It certainly changes our focus, you lose a player like that, the role that he plays, he's our leading goal scorer. If we can get ourselves better we will, but we will not do something just for the sake of doing it. We're now looking a little differently."

"You have to think beyond just this year when you make a decision," Lamoriello added. "The cap is going to be flat next year, so any contract that you take on that is going to be more than one year is going to disrupt whatever you're doing next year. That complicates the matter without the cap increasing, but it's the same for everyone."

"You always want to get [a deal] done as quick as you possibly can," Lamoriello said. "This is certainly a different era as far as a year goes in regards to quarantine and types of protocol and COVID. So there are lots of extenuating circumstances that will go into any and every decision that is made."

Tweet from @khl_eng: ��� Avtomobilist has terminated contract with F Anatoly Golyshev, 26.Golyshev is Avtomobilist's franchise goals/points leader with 109 G and 220 PTS in 403 GP during 8 seasons with the team.


The Islanders could have a de facto deadline acquisition in Russian prospect Anatoly Golyshev, who Lamoriello said was in talks to come over from the KHL to the Islanders. 

The 2016 fourth-round pick (95th overall) has spent the past eight seasons playing for Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg of the KHL, but terminated his contract with the club on Tuesday. That is seemingly one of the first steps in bringing the 26-year-old over to North America.

Golyshev has 208 points (103G, 105) in 368 games in the KHL, plus 12 points (6G, 6A) in 35 playoff games. This past season, Golyshev recorded 27 points (12G, 15A) in 53 games.

"He does want to come over to play and see what he can do," Lamoriello said. "The first step was him terminating his agreement with his team. We will speak to him and see what his thoughts are. There is a chance that he will be coming over."

Video: NYI@NJD: Wahlstrom wins game for Islanders in SO


Lamoriello assembled two veteran-heavy groups in his first two years with the Islanders, keeping with his - and Head Coach Barry Trotz's - philosophy of bringing young players along slowly. 

That approach appears to be paying off, as the Islanders youngsters are making an impact so far this season. Oliver Wahlstrom, the 11th-overall pick in 2018 and youngest player on the roster - has 11 points (6G, 5A) in 23 games, while 2016 first-round pick Kieffer Bellows has three goals in his last three games since re-entering the lineup. Noah Dobson, the 21-year-old selected 12th in 2018, leads Islanders defensemen with three goals and is averaging 16:58 TOI/GP.

"Certainly the young players who have come in have done an exceptional job," Lamoriello said. "They've worked very hard and were ready when the opportunity came. They also know it's going to get a little tougher as you go towards the end of the season, but they're ready for that."

Ilya Sorokin, the 25-year-old rookie, is certainly young as far as NHL experience, but has put together a 6-2-1 record, with a 2.20 GAA, a .910 SV% and two shutouts. Sorokin has won six-straight starts. 

"We are happy with each and every one of the young players," Lamoriello said. "Noah Dobson, Ilya Sorokin, Kieffer Bellows and certainly Wally has come in and established himself and has been consistent in doing so." 

Video: NYI vs NJD 3/13: Barry Trotz


Given the challenges to executing a trade this season, Lamoriello said he is still confident in the Islanders as currently constructed. 

"We have tremendous confidence in the players in this locker room," Lamoriello said. "We have tremendous confidence in the leadership, so they will certainly take up that. You don't simply replace Anders, but if there's an opportunity to make us better we will do that, but it's not to replace Anders."

The Islanders GM is conscious about not wanting to disrupt the chemistry in the room, and is confident in his team's veterans and leadership group to band together without Lee. As important and unique a player like Lee is, the Islanders take a committee approach to winning, which reflects Lamoriello's "individuals win games, teams win championships" mantra. 

"What we have right now is we have balance throughout the lineup," Lamoriello said. "If we can add to this lineup that will not take away. Sometimes you add and it takes away from other players, so you have to be careful. Chemistry to me is as important as anything."

So far the Islanders are 2-1-0 without Lee in the lineup. 

Tweet from @IslesMSGN: .@joboych in the house 


Johnny Boychuk has been spotted sitting alongside Lamoriello in the GM suite at games this season. 

Boychuk announced the end of his playing career in November, due to the after effects of an eye injury he suffered in March, but has maintained a presence around the team, helping facilitate practices and travelling with the group. 

"If anyone knows Johnny Boychuk, you'll know why I encouraged him to stay close to us during this unfortunate situation," Lamoriello said. "We'll do anything and everything to keep him here as long as he'd like to be."

Lamoriello opened up on the benefits of having Boychuk around, saying he's used the likeable veteran as a sounding board for the player's perspective, as well as a conduit to the team. 

Asked if he sees a more official, or permanent, role for Boychuk once his contract runs out, Lamoriello said the team would look to find a role for him, if Boychuk were interested. 

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