Anders Lee knows the Metropolitan Division will be a lot more challenging for the New York Islanders this season.
"You look at our division, not just this season but the past few years, we've got three Cup wins in the last four (Pittsburgh Penguins, 2016 and 2017; Washington Capitals, 2018)," the Islanders captain said Monday at Da Beauty League, a 3-on-3 set of summer league games for NHL players with ties to Minnesota. "You go back and you see 100-point finishes from teams in our division. It's always been tough, and now it's even tougher with trades and moves that have gone on. If you come out of the Metro, you're going to be in a pretty good spot."
Lee, an unrestricted free agent who signed a seven-year contract with the Islanders on July 1, looks at what the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers have done during the offseason. The Devils selected center Jack Hughes with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, acquired defenseman P.K. Subban in a trade with the Nashville Predators on June 22, signed free agent forward Wayne Simmonds on July 1 and traded with the Vegas Golden Knights for forward Nikita Gusev on July 29.
The Rangers signed forward Artemi Panarin and acquired defensemen Jacob Trouba and Adam Fox in trades. They also chose Kaapo Kakko with the No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft.