New York Islanders, 2013-14 (Puck Daddy Gold Medal Preview) (Puck Daddy)

(Ed. Note: It’s an Olympic year in the NHL. So, naturally, we decided to use the trappings of the Winter Games to preview all 30 teams for the 2013-14 NHL season. Who takes the gold? Who falls on their triple-axel? Read on and find out!) The long-awaited trip back to the playoffs was in the cards for the New York Islanders in 2013. After years at the bottom of both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, the Isles grabbed the eighth seed after a 24-17-7 (55 points) season. They pushed the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins to six games in the opening round, coming within an overtime goal of forcing a Game 7. Despite the end to their season, it was evident that the future is bright and that the team is turning the corner after years in the NHL's basement. It was a season of leaving the past behind and focusing toward the future. A deal to move to Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the start of the 2015-16 season was finalized. John Tavares was a finalist for the Hart Trophy. And finally, the team bought out the remaining eight years of his 15-year, $67.5 million contract signed in 2006. Can the Islanders continue their turnaround and push for a return date in the Eastern Conference playoff picture?

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