As my last post, here are some thoughts on how the Islanders should move forward, in no particular order.
5. Don’t get complacent. I think was what we saw this last summer, when the Islanders did zilch in the off-season and then proceeded to perform poorly on the ice. This summer, that’s clearly not been the case as they’ve gone out and gotten three goalies, and two NHL forwards. So my advice is to not let last summer happen again. The bar should be set high and not simply at “making the playoffs and losing a round.” That’s been the high bar on this team for the last 20 years. That all sounds really simplified now that I type it out, but the goal should be winning a playoff round and aiming higher from there. The new building and (hopefully) success on the ice will get the ball rolling and once it’s rolling, it should be better from there.
4. Make the Last Season at the Coliseum a Special One. And with that I mean both on the ice and off. Of course, the best scenario is a playoff run in the last year at the old barn. That should be goal #1, but I would also hope to see the Islanders give the old building a nice send off. We’ve had a few Islanders Hall of Fame inductions in recent years and the 1993 playoff team was brought back. Go all out — bring back as many ex-Isles as possible. Have giveaways for the fans. To read more of this story, click here
Yesterday afternoon, Garth Snow was on Joe and Evan on WFAN to discuss the team’s recent signings and season. You can listen to the full audio here
, and below are some of the interesting points.
Was asked about the team not spending a lot of money on players:
“I think anytime you go through a rebuild like we did there’s a level of frustration. Part of the CBA is the ELC system for young players and we can’t control that they make a certain amount of money until they get to the next contract… [Tavares, Hamonic, Okposo...] Until those players get out of the entry-level system, a byproduct of going through a rebuild is having a low payroll. I understand that question. Part of for us, to get where we want to go is to get those players, draft them, sign them, play them and let them have that experience and not bring in a veteran, a stop gap kind of player, who takes away from the development of those young players.” To read more of this story, click here
To read more of this story, click here
It’s been a fun three seasons here at Point Blank, and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped out, read, commented and emailed over the past couple of years for their support. Tomorrow will be my last day here at IPB (set off some fireworks for me? but please don’t set yourself on fire).
This move is good — Grabovski was on pace for 50 points last year in Washington — and adds some serious forward depth to the Islanders. I would be sweating right now if I was Colin McDonald or anyone else who could be in the Islanders bottom six. There are now 16 forwards projected for the Islanders roster, which if you’re scoring at home is four more than they are allowed to ice in a game. And it’ll be interesting to see how that pans out too, as the Islanders are not a team that likes to risk players to waivers.
But what will be interesting to watch is how, and if, Grabovski (or Grabbo for short) and Kulemin can recapture some of the magic they had with Toronto before the Leafs front office started thinking they were smarter than everyone else and torpedoed the whole thing.
To read more of this story, click here
Maybe this is out of context, but it sure sounds like the Islanders are all set for the summer. From a Newsday article yesterday
about signing goaltender Chad Johnson:
Snow declined to comment on any players who chose not to sign. “I think the core of our team is set,” he said. “It’s up to our players to improve from last season. We have a few guys who need to have better seasons for us to have success.”
After six signings yesterday of varying importance — but no “big fish” — it seems as though Garth Snow is settled in free agency. A whopping 86 NHL players signed a new deal yesterday, so to some extent a vast chunk of the available players are gone. Two of the remaining that the Islanders could/should be interested in are Mikhail Grabovski and David Legwand, who could lend experience and are capable of 50ish points. They would definitely be useful players but how far down the depth chart they would be willing to play could be an issue, as you wouldn’t want them keeping Lee/Strome/Nelson too far down.
Right now though, signs point to the Islanders being done in free agency. Arthur Staple, in a radio interview last night, speculated that the Islanders may still be looking to improve the team via trade. To read more of this story, click here
The saga of Dan Boyle is now over for the Islanders and, the worst part, is that he ends up in Manhattan in a Rangers uniform. According to Larry Brooks, Boyle left money on the table to become a Ranger and maybe that had something to do with their playoff run. I think we can certainly say that Boyle will not get a warm welcome when he comes to the Coliseum this season.
Originally posted on SNY Rangers Blog:
The Rangers have signed Dan Boyle to a TWO-YEAR deal worth $4.5 million per year. (Larry Brooks)
Boyle reportedly left a lot of money on the table to sign with the Rangers. (Brooks)
For more on Boyle, CLICK HERE.
Pierre McGurie said on TSN that Boyle will replace Stralman, will run the PP, take some pressure off of Ryan McDonagh, pair with Marc Staal and add more credibility and leadership to the locker room.
“Boyle plays with a chip on his shoulder every night and going to NY is no problem.” (Ray Ferraro)
Boyle left a lot of money on the table to join Marty St. Louis. (Pierre LeBrun on TSN)
The second signing of the day for the Islanders is TJ Brennan
, a forward who spent the majority of last season in the Maple Leafs system. Brennan signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $600,000.
Brennan was originally a first round pick of the Sabres in 2007.
He spent last season playing for the Toronto Marlies of the AHL, scoring 25 goals and tallying 72 points in 75 games.
Brennan is a left handed defender who won the AHL award for best defenseman last season.
Brennan was fifth in the AHL with 69 points (24 goals, 45 assists) in 73 games, the most by an AHL defenseman since 2005-06 and the most goals since 1999-2000. He led the league in power-play points (42) and shots on goal (256) and defensemen in power-play goals (12) and game-winning goals (four, tied).
According to multiple reports, the Islanders have signed goaltender Chad Johnson. It is a two-year deal valued at $2.26 million (Dreger
Johnson, 28, was originally a fifth round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2006. In 37 career NHL games spread over four seasons he has a .926 save percentage and 2.07 GAA. Johnson spent last season backup up Tukka Rask in Boston and posted a .925 save percentage and two shutouts in 27 games, by far the most he had played in an NHL season thus far.
This means that Kevin Poulin will not be an Islanders backup to start the season (barring extenuating circumstances). If Poulin does re-sign with the Islanders
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:
Ask and you shall receive.
The Islanders had a pressing need for a backup goaltender and Garth Snow delivered by signing Chad Johnson. Snow has been aggressive on the goaltending front this offseason signing Jaroslav Halak and now picking up Johnson. This will be a major upgrade to the Islanders goaltending tandem and Johnson is a quality backup, who played very well in Boston.
This signing does however indicate the end of Evgeni Nabokov’s tenure with the Islanders and that is for the better. With Johnson in the fold the Islanders now have a solid one-two punch in net that will — in theory — make them a better team going into next.
Johnson was on many people’s wish list of possible backup goaltenders, so Islander fans should be happy to have him on Long Island.
According to Aaron Ward of TSN, the Islanders are among 8-10 teams that have expressed interested in UFA center David Legwand. To read more of this story, click here
According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the Islanders are looking at the possibility of signing/acquiring Michael Del Zotto from the Nashville Predators. Nashville GM David Poile said yesterday that Del Zotto is “not a fit” with the Predators. If he is not qualified by the Predators, Del Zotto would become a UFA tomorrow at noon.
Del Zotto is a former first round pick of the Rangers from 2008 and fell out of favor in Manhattan, as he was traded to Nashville in January. He had 16 points and was -9 in 67 total games last year.
One of the biggest defensive names on the market will be Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen, who hits free agency tomorrow. It was reported earlier that the Islanders were looking into the possibility of bringing in Niskanen. Today, Darren Dreger tweets that 10 teams have expressed interest in Niskanen, which make the competition fierce for the defender’s services. It is believed he is looking for a contract in the neighborhood of seven years and $40 million.