Lou Lamoriello has no doubts the Islanders will play whatever home games they have next season at Nassau Coliseum. Maybe even with fans in the building at some point.
"We will definitely be playing at the Coliseum next year, that is a confirmation," Lamoriello said on Tuesday.
The Islanders expect to move into their new UBS Arena at Belmont Park for 2021-22 — Lamoriello said seat selection for season-ticket holders would begin next week — but the Coliseum’s availability has been in doubt since Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim announced in June it was shutting the building.
Florida-based developer Nick Mastroianni II has assumed the lease but no new deal has been reached with a company to operate the arena long term.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said recently the start of next season may "slip into January," and Lamoriello said he had no further information on when the Islanders might play again. He expected those discussions to begin in October, though he cautioned it would be a "fluid situation" even after a starting date is announced.
"Hopefully, sometime in the coming year at the Coliseum, we will have fans," Lamoriello said after Bettman’s comment the season could start without fans in the arenas. "It’s great to see when we’re looking at professional football right now, depending upon the state, we see the fans in the stands."
Lamoriello said defenseman Adam Pelech (wrist), Casey Cizikas (detached retina) and Tom Kuhnhackl (upper body) all underwent successful surgeries after leaving the Edmonton bubble and would be ready for the start of training camp.
Lamoriello said he expected all of Barry Trotz’s coaching staff to return.
"I think the job that they did, the results speak for themselves," Lamoriello said.
The staff includes associate coach Lane Lambert, assistant coaches John Gruden and Jim Hiller, director of goaltending Mitch Korn and goalie coach Piero Greco.