Islanders captain Anders Lee will undergo season-ending ACL surgery later this week, GM Lou Lamoriello said Wednesday.
Lee suffered a torn right ACL in the first period of last Thursday’s win over the Devils, and he was placed Sunday on long-term injured reserve.
Lee, who is tied with Brock Nelson for the team lead with 12 goals this season, was re-signed to a seven-year deal worth $49 million in 2019. Lamoriello indicated that the Isles will look to fill the salary-cap room created by Lee’s injury ahead of the April 12 trade deadline.
“Whatever we can do to make ourselves better, we will be doing that,” Lamoriello said, according to The Athletic. “[The injury] does change our [deadline] focus. If we can get ourselves better, we will. We’re now looking a little different (at the deadline).”
Lamoriello added that the 30-year-old Lee is expected to recover from surgery before the start of next season.
After reaching the Eastern Conference finals last season, the Islanders are tied with Washington atop the East Division with 42 points, although the Capitals have played one fewer game. The Caps halted the Isles’ nine-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory Tuesday night in Washington.