From The Ice

Islanders’ Anders Lee could have returned for Game Seven

New York Islanders forward Anders Lee has suggested he would have been available for game seven on Thursday, had the clubs Eastern Conference semifinal series with Tampa Bay gone the distance.

Lee missed the Islanders final two regular season games and all eleven playoff contests with a broken left fibula after being struck by a Johnny Boychuck slapshot during the game against with the New York Rangers on April 7.

The 25-year-old registered 15 goals and 36 points in 80 games for the Islanders this season, down on his 2014-15 career high of 25 goals and 41 points.

Drafted in the sixth round (152nd overall) by the Islanders in 2009, Lee signed a four-year contract extension with the organisation last summer, carrying a cap hit of $3.75 million per season.

The University of Notre Dame graduate had enjoyed some time on the Islanders first line with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo previously, but found himself moved down the line up this season after failing to recapture the same scoring touch he had displayed previously.

Lee is still seen as a big part of the clubs future however, and his absence against the Lightning will not have helped an offence which at times struggled to solve the Tampa Bay blue line and goaltender Ben Bishop, who recorded a shut out in game five to eliminate the Islanders from the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Changes are expected at the Barclays Center this summer, with veterans Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin all set to become unrestricted free agents while the club also has nine restricted free agents to make a decision on.

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