The Morning Skate: Hirings and Firings, Snow Speaks, Reinhart Plays

Kevin Schultz

Over the last few days, there have been a few different coaching changes across the league as teams being to prep for the draft and next season. Former Islanders coach Peter Laviolette, who was fired by the Flyers in the fall, found a new gig replacing Barry Trotz in Nashville. Lavy’s other old team, the Flyers, also made a move getting rid of GM Paul Holmgren, but not after signing Andrew MacDonald for the foreseeable future. Of course the story isn’t complete without another Islander link, Ron Hextall, getting the Flyers GM job after spending time in the organization as an assistant GM to Holgrem. Presumably learning to do the same things badly? Or learning what not to do? Not sure. 

The Islanders had a move of their own at the end of the week last week, as NHL assistant Brent Thompson will once again become Bridgeport Head Coach Brent Thompson, as Scott Pellerin was let go. The rumblings that I’ve heard are that Pellerin didn’t get along well with his staff and there may have been some mistrust there. But I’d guess that sort of thing isn’t out of the ordinary when someone gets fired. On some level, it wasn’t working. The Islanders will be in the market for another assistant coach at the NHL level. Jeremy Weiss is really good at figuring out the penalty kill, so maybe him?


This is a few days old, but Garth Snow was a guest on Sportstalkradio 1240 on Sunday night and discussed a multitude of topics. LHH transcribed most of the important points, so definitely check out this link if you’re interested. Here are a couple quotes that I found important:

We have no goaltenders under contract for next season. We made the trade with the hope of signing him. If not, there are other avenues to go down, but right now, we’re going to give it our best shot to sign Halak.

This stuck out to me a bit, especially the part about “no goaltenders for next season” which is much different than saying ‘we have a few guys and we need to get them signed’ or something like that. Is the plan to find two new bodies from outside the organization?

Snow also confirmed that Sebastian Collberg did have shoulder surgery and is currently rehabbing that injury on Long Island. He also mentioned John Tavares is just fine and went as far as to say that Tavares could play in the playoffs right now.

And on whether the Barclays Center will help lure free agents:

I believe it will. The conversations I’ve had with agents, the first thing they always ask is when are you moving to Brooklyn. The certainty of knowing where you’re going to be plays a big part in [signing free agents]. Players are hesitant to buy a home if there is a chance of relocating.

That’s certainly a change from the aw shucks, empty-pockets response of, ‘well they just don’t want to sign here what can we do?’  Hopefully that is something that the team can use to its advantage.


Griffin Reinhart is shining for the Edmonton Oil Kings in the playoffs, which is obviously a good thing. John MacKinnon from the Edmonton Journal was impressed:

And an Oil Kings associate coach called it the best hockey of his junior career:

On Griffin Reinhart playing the best hockey of an already strong junior career, Hamilton said, “I 100% agree with that.

“He’s been a presence on our back end since he got here and it’s been great to see who he’s become” both on and off the ice, said Hamilton. “When the pressure’s on you don’t shy away from it, you embrace it. And that’s always been a strength of his.

“Just (to see) that evolution of his game. He’s that much bigger and stronger and better.”

One thing to note about Reinhart is that he is one of the oldest players on the roster — third oldest to be exact — so this is what he should be doing. It’s great that he’s great, for sure, but it would be much more concerning if he wasn’t one of the best players on the ice. The real test will be in September at training camp where, you would hope, he would qualify for a roster spot after coming close last year.


Also: TSN’s Off-Season Game Plan for the Islanders… Is it OK to root for another team in the playoffs when yours is out?… These Danish soccer fans don’t just bring signs to the games, they bring a damned theatrical presentation… And in goalie news, what should Toronto do with James Reimer?




332 comments
Wc Christopher
Wc Christopher

Here's something different. Trade Bailey, Grabner, Donovan, Nilsson and the #5 to Toronto for JVR, Gardiner and Reimer. Sign Halak for around 5 years $25-$30M, Nabby for what he made last season, Vanek for 7 years $49M, sign Orpik to 6 years $42M, Gaborik to maybe 1 year or 2 for $5-$6M. The lines could look something like this.


Okposo - Tavares - Vanek

Gaborik - Nelson - JVR

Lee - Nielsen - Strome

Martin - Cizikas - Clutterbuck


De Haan  Hamonic

Hickey  Reinhart 

Orpik  Gardiner

Visnovsky


Halak

Reimer

Nabby

fourcups
fourcups

As for letting Cappy go, WHY? If you don't change everything, nothing will change. Besides Wang would just hire another minor leaguer or give the job to Weight. How about this...let Snow be GM/Coach. Milbury did it. Wang would save about $54.18 by not paying Cappy for a year. So, if you can't get Milbury back give both jobs to Snow.

dimaio34
dimaio34

Okay so here's how I look at it. I want to win now. If we trade a reinhart for some now players im fine with that. Getting sick of waiting its been what??? 8 years!!!!!! Let's make some seroius racket on out last year at the palace that we all love!!!!

rocco
rocco

@ RMRETURNS:


1. " I think Gordon is an EXCELLENT assistant coach. Is there any part of EXCELLENT that confuses you?"


2. " You need to explain how a guy like Carlyle looks his players in the face, after he let their position coaches get fired without a whimper, and ask them to sacrifice for him?"


3. " The Leafs play an awful system."


4. " The system in use by the Leafs is awful."


4 quotes from you yesterday on our Leaf's chat. The first 2 early in the day and the last 2 very early this morning. Please explain your contradictory view points and theories. Gordon is an excellent coach, Carlyle ethics are crucified (by you) for not walking with his staff, and finally the Leafs system is awful.


Gordon was part of that awful Leaf's system no?


You also stepped out and called Carlyle "a well payed yes man". What would you call Garth Snow under his 8 year tenure?


What's it going to be today?

dimaio34
dimaio34

From what I've heard oilers want griff really bad. And I think they would part with anyone to get him

dimaio34
dimaio34

How about this deal. Trade # 5 pick reinhart Franz and our two second rounders to Edmonton for 3rd pick hall and eberle. Who likes it ?????

mrcisback
mrcisback

            Hopefully we get Halak signed in the next couple of weeks. If that gets done then theres some players that i think could be had for the right price that would help the Islanders immensely. If we make an attempt to trade for Evander Kane and fail then i would try to make a deal with Philly for Sean Couturier. Couturier just came off a bad playoff but this kid has loads of talent and is being used all wrong in Philadelphia just like James Van Reimsdyk was. I'd offer the #5 plus something else and see what they say. Philly has been known to make some dumb deals in the past and teams get crazy at the draft. I also like Nazem Kadri,James Reimer and defenseman Jake Gardiner all from Toronto. I'd make the #5 pick Bailey, Grabner and "maybe" Frans Nilsson available if the right deal came along. A deal involving Frans Nilsson plus something else for Nazem Kadri and Jake Gardiner i would definitely consider. I also wouldn't mind going into the 2014-15 season with a goaltending tandem of Halak 55 games and Reimer 27 games. What do you guys think?

mrcisback
mrcisback

  I've noticed some comments about how the Islanders should sign Ryan Callahan. I can't see them paying Callahan more money then John Tavares not to mention the abuse Callahan would take from Ranger fans. He would be called a turncoat a rat and everything under the sun for signing with their arch rivals. Madison Square Garden would be a nightmare for him to play at and as i mentioned yesterday a new chant would start using Callahan's name in the middle. I don't see it as a good fit. The first thing i want to see is Halak's name on a contract in the next couple of weeks.

fourcups
fourcups

Unless some of you guys have paid for season tickets since 1972....OK let's throw out the years before 93-94, none of you is a bigger idiot or moron than I am. So, stop the debate I claim the title.......I even paid Wang for last year and the coming season LAST SUMMER. Oh wait....that was a great deal.....I got the first round of the play-offs free this year. HA_HA! Most of you guys didn't! I'm way ahead of the game thanks to Wacky Wang.....No I'll be kind....Charles Wang (sorry about the Wacky comment Mr Wang) because he's been so good to me.

rocco
rocco

On the leaf's situation, Carlyle was extended by Shanahan and GM Nonis, along with their decision to let go the assistants. Carlyle had nothing to do with those moves.


Back on our side, not trying to be sarcastic, but maybe Go-go Gordon gets another shot behind the bench here as Cappy's assistant. I can't see a Dave Lewis type coming into this situation.


Any idea what Doug Weight paints in this Islander picture? He certainly is more polished than Snow in the communication aspect of the business. Islanders are the only team in the league with a "senior adviser to the GM " behind the bench. 

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

I see a lot of recent discussion about bringing in a veteran defenseman...  Sadly, I will be the harbinger of bad news,,, it's not going to happen...  Just looking at the current roster and factoring in Bridgeport as well, there are 13 defensemen either under contract or on RFA pending deals.  That doesn't include Griffin Reinhart or the recently signed group of Pulock, Pelech and Leduc.  Pulock can be returned to his junior team for another year but that still leaves the number at 16 and doesn't include the sleeper that has not received even one mention hereabouts,,, Ville Pokka...

Pokka led Finland to last years WJC championship and was favorably compared to Olli Maata by European scouts following the tournament.  He turns 20 years old this summer.  So to recap,,, Snow has Hamonic, Viznovsky, Strait, Carkner and Hickey signed.  Donovan and deHaan are RFA's, as are Ness and Cantin.  Reinhart, Pelech, Pedan, Leduc, Mayfield and Czuczman are on EL's, and that still leaves Pulock, who can be returned to his junior team, and Pokka who has to be signed to an EL.  That's 17 defensemen under Snow's control, a number that I don't think he is going to add to by signing a UFA.  His bigger problem is the one he mentioned when he made the trade for Halak.  He doesn't have a single goal tender under contract for next year, not one.  His other problem is the lack of a left wing for his top line.  I would think defense is down on his list right now of things to get done...



isles23
isles23

By all accounts Reinhardt is a now players. He's ready for the NHL. Maybe not the top d paring guy he should become but NHL ready nevertheless

since72
since72

@dimaio34 That was Milbury's method.  We all want to win now, but Reinhart is part of the solution. 

Don22
Don22

@dimaio34 Settle down Mad Mike.  LOL.

I hear what you are saying but I agree with Slapshot.  Unless we are bringing back a proven top D for Reinhart, it's not worth moving him.  The Isles can still improve the offense (which isn't terrible) while keeping Reinhart.  They have to see what he can do.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

you make it sound so simple! 


we need dmen..unless we are getting a #1 dman in return, we have to keep reinhart. 

jepliberty
jepliberty

@rocco

Rehiring Gordon would be as bad as keeping Cappy, with them 2 it's 'choose your poison' this org. needs to go outside the org. to find a credible coach and probably GM also. Both Suck as a coach.

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@rmreturns  

Obviously the most imperative statistic not included in your otherwise quite thorough synopsis would be the math it takes to total up the dollars and years to sign Jaroslav Halak.  In 52 starts last season between St. Louis and Washington, Halak posted a SV% of .921 easily besting the league average and actually playing better in his 12 starts with the non-playoff Capitals.

Further math would also indicate that Evgeni Nabokov might compliment Halak as a back up.  Although age may be eroding his skills, Nabokov still put up numbers above the Islander average for this past season.  Nabokov posted a SV% of .905 last year in front of a young and injury damaged defense in his 39 starts.  His replacements averaged a SV% of .894 in the other 41 starts. 

Of course the factor of a young and fairly inexperienced defense might skew those numbers just a bit but,,, it would seem that a pairing of Halak and Nabokov would raise the statistical coefficient of the teams SV% and reduce the variables accompanying that young defense...  Garth Snow should be doing the dollar and sense math as we speak on both those players.

Isleguy27
Isleguy27

I don't think that trade would get done on NHL '14. I don't like it.

Dan Coscino
Dan Coscino

There is no way the Oilers would ever, ever, ever do that. I would make that trade in a second. Hall and Eberle are not the Oilers' problem any more than JT and KO are the Isles' problem.

since72
since72

@mrcisback If Philly wants the number 5 pick and a mid level prospect like Sundstrom or Mayfield for Couturier, that would be a great deal for us.  I doubt that they would have interest as Couturier is a solid forward.  Kane will cost a king's ransom and we would be best off staying out of it.  I wouldn't move Grabner or Frans unless, as you say, the right deal comes along.  Grabner is very effective on the PK.  He has trouble finishing but the teams on the PP have to play differently when he is on the ice and it can actually prevent goals as they cannot operate as they otherwise would.  Frans is an important player for us and is deadly in the shoot out.  It would have to be an offer that we can't refuse to move him.  Reimer would be fine as a place holder for a year to give Poulin a good year in Bridgeport.  Nabby would be a good back up as well and not cost us a pick or player to get.  And Halak must be signed no matter the cost / term.  He will have at least 3-4 good years as a number 1 and can transition to a back up roll after that.

Wc Christopher
Wc Christopher

@mrcisback I think Kane would cost too much even though I wouldn't mind getting him. I don't think Couturier is worth the #5 pick. I'm not crazy about Kadri. I absolutely agree with you about Reimer and Gardiner. I think Bailey and Grabner would be enough to get that done. I would not trade Nielsen at all. I still think we should offer Vanek 7M per for like 6 years. I think Eberle could be had too. The #5 pick plus. I'd also offer Orpik 7M per for like 5-6 years. Pittsburgh would have trouble beating that offer given the $ locked up in their star players. Sure it's overpaying but who cares. Other options to consider are Michalek, Gaborik, or Mesaros or Markov.


wvAL
wvAL

You should be the Gm. Maybe Garth can get some ideas. Definitely like where you're going with it. You sure you want to part with Frans though?

doc942
doc942

@mrcisback  I think the idea of signing Callahan is one of the worst ideas I've heard.  I agree MrC.

wvAL
wvAL

@rm

Very impressive.

Dan Coscino
Dan Coscino

@rmreturns  Randy Carlyle's NHL career record is 343-244-77 (70-62-16 w/ TO). Jack Capuano's is 118-120-39.

Dan Coscino
Dan Coscino

@REDSpointofview  Also, there are no veteran defensemen available (at least not to a penny-pinching team like the Islanders).

willymayshays
willymayshays

@REDSpointofview

Ness and Cantin=GONE

Dono will get 1 more yr, max (most likely) unless he develops much better here on out.

Vis is at the end of his concussion rope

Strait is under contract, but for league min.  (not hard to get rid of if necessary

Hickey might be traded before his contract is up (see AMac)

Carkner is depth, 6/7th defense-man.  He will not detour us from a improving our roster.  


The BP blue line will give us GREAT depth.  It will be nice, but I want an on the ice leader to help the kids develop.  That is not Carkner and Vis might be out all next season, who knows, he can not be counted on. 

Isleguy27
Isleguy27

I believe Pulock will turn 20 this October and has completed 4 years in the WHL. I suspect he will be at Bridgeport next season.

rocco
rocco

@rmreturns- Your lob landed in...and much thanks for your recent participation. 

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

as nice as it would be to add taylor hall to our line up - the offensive match ups would be a nightmare for teams - you have to build a balanced team.  stacking offense or defense will only get you so far.  balance is where its at and reinhart is a big piece to that.

Don22
Don22

@rmreturns I agree.  You don't move Reinhart and if you are going to move the other 2 assets, there better be a steady D man coming back in return.


If the Isles decide to trade the #5 I doubt it would be for more offense. 

mrcisback
mrcisback

@Wc Christopher @mrcisback   Christopher Vanek turned down 50 million over 7 years from the Islanders a month before the trade deadline. I'm sure Toronto would trade Reimer and Gardiner to the Islanders for both Bailey and Grabner. I disagree i would trade the #5 pick straight up for Sean Couturier in a heartbeat. He's big strong and an excellent defensive player and penalty killer. I think he also scored 40 plus points. I want no part of Gaborik and his big contract. I'd love to sign defenseman Niskinnen but thats purely a pipe dream. As far as Eberle goes it all depends on what Edmonton wants in return.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@wvAL   I don't want to part with Frans but i would do Nazem Kadri and Jake Gardiner for Frans in a heart beat.

Don22
Don22

@doc942 @mrcisbackI would be fine with it for the reasonable deal.  But he is going to go all out for a big contract which - yes, the Isles should stay away from.  I just want a veteran or 2 in here that can show these kids how to win and to hold them accountable.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

it all depends on which scenario it would be. for a couple of years, health provided, hes a big asset to any team. anything past that is too risky. 

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@willymayshays @REDSpointofview  

Based on the way that this franchise conducts business, my guess is that your on ice defensive leader will be Travis Hamonic at the ripe old age of 24.  Snow must sign at least four goaltenders and address the top line left wing before he starts thinking about a defenseman...

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@Isleguy27  

Yes,,, on October 6th, after the season has started and for that reason I believe he is eligible for one more year with his junior team.  Cap Geek lists him as a slide risk entry level,,, whatever that means...

since72
since72

@slapshot18_rs Our D has been a problem for years.  Finally we have a big, young, and by all acounts very talented D ready to play in the NHL and people actually entertain trading him.  If we didn't have him, the same guys would be trying to figure out how to trade FOR him!  The answer has to be that he is not available.  There is a very good reason Edmonton wants him. 

Scott Weinstein
Scott Weinstein

@slapshot18_rs Depends on what's a rarer commodity, point a game forwards or shut down defensemen. He's a good kid (Hall) and decent in his own end. Other teams respect defense, but, they fear offense.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

haha sorry i didnt mean to correct you for only a couple of games but that was really beside the point.  where do you expect a big bodied #1 d-man to come from then though? its nice to have all that fire power but its not fun to give up so many soft goals...offense isnt our problem...we can score, we just cant stop other teams from scoring. 

Scott Weinstein
Scott Weinstein

@slapshot18_rs Okay, it's 10 games. Sorry. He played 75 games this season and 45 out of a possible 48 last season. We can finally end the revolving door of wingers for JT. He's averaged a point per game throughout his career and he's only 22.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@Scott Weinstein @orange2327  hall missed 8 games this year alone.  


trading the highest regarded d man in our system makes no sense, even for a point a game player.  it doesnt matter how many points they are able to put up if we arent able to keep the puck out of our own net.  its intriguing, but if they are willing to give up taylor hall, they must think REALLY highly of reinhart.  


which makes me want to keep him even more. 

Scott Weinstein
Scott Weinstein

@orange2327 Hall has only missed 8 games over the last two seasons. How many 22 year old wingers average a point per game? Imagine the magic JT and Hall can create together.

Don22
Don22

@orange2327 Not sure why the would want to trade Hall anyhow.  Any time a team is willing to trade their top player it has to make you wonder.  I would stay away from him - especially if it involves Reinhart.  He has been the most highly touted Isles D prospect since probably Bryan McCabe.  You have to at least see what he can turn into.

shlo
shlo

@rmreturns @orange2327Trading Reinhart will be plain stupid.

Back to the Milbury era. Halak will probably be signed. If you cannot find a left winger for JT use who we have. Need an upgrade on the 2nd and 4th line and we'll get closer to the playoffs.

Wc Christopher
Wc Christopher

@mrcisback @Wc ChristopherYes I know Vanek turned down our offer. Only because he wanted to get to UFA and see what offers he gets just like any player in his position would. That doesn't mean we shouldn't still put our best offer on the table for him to consider amongst whatever other offers he gets come July 1st.

Dan Coscino
Dan Coscino

A) as I wrote above, 70-62-16. Not very good but 10 games better than Cappy.

B) yes. Salaries aside, the teams are comparable talentwise.

C) Both teams have issues and are coming off lousy seasons but the Leafs' last month wasn't any worse than the Isles' 5 weeks of late autumn futility. Randy Carlyle has had way more success than Cappy ever will, so, based on that alone, he deserves the benefit of the doubt and a 4th season far more than Cappy deserves a 5th season.

Dan Coscino
Dan Coscino

I like Stastny but the Isles don't really need him any more than the Avs do as they seem to have cooled on moving Strome to wing. I like JT-Strome-Nielsen-Cizikas (plus Nelson). Assuming Strome is for real (and he looked good in his 2nd go-round), you can win with that depth chart at center.

For better or worse, the Isles will not be in the Brooks Orpik business or Dan Boyle or any marquee veteran defenseman. It just isn't going to happen.

Essentially, the Isles are playing defenseman roulette. They do have a lot of chips on the board, though, with Reinhart, Pokka, Pulock, Czuczman, Donovan and Pedan. Hopefully one or two of them can jump in and play like Olli Maatta or Jonas Brodin have been able to do.

The Isles need a legit replacement LW for Tomas Vanek. After signing Halak, that should be their top priority. I would make it Vanek himself. Sure he turned down an extension, but he did seem to like his plum spot with JT and KO and if the Isles are the top bidder it could happen (and that would be the ultimate face-saving move for Snow). Short of that, Gaborik (unlikely) and then steps down from there to Jussi Jokinen or Milan Michalek (not Heatley).

In short, pay Halak and then outbid everyone on Vanek.

willymayshays
willymayshays

@rmreturns @willymayshays

I agree with all of this.

Maybe one thing I don't is Hickey.  Yes, great deal, good player but he doesn't have a contract beyond next yr.  So like AMac, he could get a nice return of picks and we open a spot for a kid like Pokka or Pulock.  Maybe Mayfeild and/or Pedan, Pelech or Czurzman.

This defense is much improved.  de Haan looked GREAT.  Really great.  Reinhart will be good in his own zone at the least, and with the rest of the kids, I'm excited about 2 yrs from now.  Could be one of the Leagues best.