October 05, 2015

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

LAST SEASON: 47-28-7, 101 points. Third in Metropolitan Division. Lost to Washington Capitals in Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

COACH: Jack Capuano (sixth season, sixth NHL season).

ADDED: RW Steve Bernier, D Marek Zidlicky, G Thomas Greiss.

LOST: F Michael Grabner, G Kevin Poulin, D Lubomir Visnovsky.

PLAYER TO WATCH: John Tavares. Entering his seventh year in the NHL after being selected No. 1 overall in 2009, the Islanders' captain is coming off a brilliant season after an MCL injury cost him the final 22 games of 2013-14. He set career highs for goals (38), points (86) - one fewer than the league leader - and power-play goals (13). He then had two goals and four assists in the seven-game series against Washington.

OUTLOOK: The Islanders have high expectations as they move into a new home in Brooklyn's Barclays Center after spending their first 43 years on Long Island. After making the playoffs in two of the last three years, a handful of minor roster changes give Capuano predominantly the same team back. There may be an adjustment period early on as the Islanders get used to a new routine and their new arena. Injuries could also play a role at the start as defenseman Thomas Hickey will miss the first month of the season. Returning to the playoffs won't be easy in an improved Eastern Conference.

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