Brian Compton and Christian Arnold discuss the importance of the contracts signed by Anders Lee and Thomas Hickey. Plus, Brian chats with Arthur Staple of Newsday (9:15) about the signing of goaltender Thomas Greiss, and the possibility of adding defenseman Christian Ehrhoff or forward Patrick Sharp.
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The Islanders have signed six forwards to one-year, two-way deals, the team announced (July 2).
Justin Florek, Ben Holmstrom, Bracken Kearns, Justin Vaive, Joe Whitney and James Wright all agreed to terms on NHL/AHL contracts.
Florek, 25, spent last season with Providence of the AHL, notching 11 goals and 24 assists.
Holmstrom, 28, had five goals and 15 assists last season for Charlotte of the AHL.
Kearns, 34, played in Finland last season. He has played 31 career NHL games, split between the Panthers and Sharks.
Vaive, a 25-year-old Buffalo native, had 14 goals and 18 assists last season for Hartford in the AHL.
Whitney, 27, had 23 goals and 37 assists last season for Albany in the AHL, and also played in two games with the Devils, notching his first career NHL goal.
Wright played in the KHL last season. He has played 146 games in the NHL, scoring four goals between the 2012-2013 and 2013-14 seasons for Winnipeg.
The Islanders desperately need depth up front at Bridgeport. Look no further than the Kael Mouillierat call up last season as proof of that. That’s what these signings are all about. Guys like Vaive and Wright, who are both 25 years old, are still young, but they don’t figure to crack the lineup over the dearth of talents forwards the Islanders have. So outside of a rogue game or two where New York will need a fill in from the AHL, these players should spend most of his year with the Sound Tigers.
The Islanders have officially signed Russian prospect Kirill Petrov to a one-year entry-level contract (Staple, July 1).
Petrov and AK Bars of the KHL agreed to terms on terminating his contract on June 8 so that he could make the move join the Islanders. He had five goals and 10 assists in 47 games with AK Bars last season (IPB, June 8).
The Islanders drafted Petrov in the third round of the 2008 NHL Draft.
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:
The news is finally official. Petrov will be in New York and fans will finally get the chance to see what Petrov has to offer. He will get the chance to compete for a roster spot with the Islanders, but I would be hard-pressed to say it will be easy for him to crack the lineup. He could end up starting the year in Bridgeport — which needs a lot of help at forward — and may be called up during the season due to injuries.
Regardless, it will be fascinating to see Petrov in a New York Islanders uniform.
The Islanders and Thomas Hickey have agreed on a three-year deal, worth $2.2 million per year, according to Arthur Staple (July 1).
Hickey was a restricted free agent. In 81 games, he scored two goals, tallied 20 assists, and was a minus-12.
Hickey has 48 points (seven goals, 41 assists) in 202 career NHL games, all with the Islanders. The Calgary, Alberta native led all Islanders defensemen in games last season (81), set a career high in assists (20) and matched his career high in points (22).
The two sides were reportedly working on a new contract for a few days.
The Islanders have signed goaltender Thomas Greiss to a two-year, $3 million contract, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports (July 1, 12:11 p.m.).
As backup for the Penguins last season, Greiss recorded a 9-6-3 record with a .908 save percentage and .259 goals-against average. Greiss has a career .913 save percentage in 89 games played.
Greiss is expected to take over the backup role behind Jaroslav Halak. Last year’s backup, Michal Neuvirth, is a free agent, and according to multiple reports, is expected to sign elsewhere.
This is a solid signing. The Isles save a half million on what Michal Neuvirth eventually got from Philadelphia, all while wrestling Greiss away from the Penguins. And, in my opinion, Greiss is actually a better option than Neuvirth.
Greiss actually had his worst save percentage season of his career last year with the Pens, and his goal against average was his highest since 2009-10. But backup goaltender statistics can be maddening to try to quantify. They’re usually dependent on a very small sample size, so I wouldn’t look at those figures as causes for concern. Greiss has a reputation for being a very steady hand and a capable fill in when his number is called, and he’ll hope to continue that in orange-and-blue.
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:
The Islanders needed a backup goaltender and they went out and got one. It appeared that Michal Neuvirth wasn’t going to return to the Islanders as the hours inched closer to the opening of free agency. Greiss is a serviceable backup who has averaged a save percentage of .913 and a goals against average of 2.47 through his career. He knows and understands the role of backup well and with a rhythm in place this season, the tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss should work well for the Islanders.
The Islanders and forward Anders Lee have agreed to a four-year deal. The deal is worth $3.75 million per season, according to Arthur Staple (June 30).
“Anders has proven to be an effective goal scorer over his two seasons with the club,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. “We’re thrilled to have another home-grown talent signed long term.”
Lee scored 25 goals and 41 points in 76 games as a rookie with the Islanders. He finished second on the Islanders in goals and fourth among National Hockey League rookies.
“I’m extremely excited to finalize this deal and ensure that I’m a New York Islander for the next four seasons,” Lee said. “The organization has been nothing but first class to me from the moment I was drafted. I look forward to competing for the Stanley Cup in each year while playing in front of the best fans in the NHL.”
I love this move. Consider this: The Jets just signed Drew Stafford for a two-year deal is an AAV of $4.35. That’s for a winger who is 29 and scored 18 goals last season. Lee already has a 25 goal season under his belt and is five years younger. The free agent class is so weak this season, the best thing the Islanders can do with their cap room is lock in their young players to deal that will be favorable to the team now and in the long-term. Garth did that with the contract.