Training camp set to be competitive one for Isles

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Training camp is still two months away, but with the Islanders aggressive offseason, it is already shaping up to be one of the most competitive camps in quite some time.

“I don’t think you can look at any two guys and in particular point guys out,” Islander Head Coach Jack Capuano said following the first day of Islanders Mini Camp. “When training camp rolls around for the first time if we’re healthy, with the competition that we have, the guys that come in with the habits that we want, the work ethic that we want, the discipline that we want are  the guys that are gonna be in the lineup. It’s our time now and we have to win hockey games.”

The offseason signings have — on paper — made the Islanders a better team. The additions of two top-six forwards in Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski make the Islanders more of a scoring threat, but also raises questions of which forwards will be with the team on opening night.

“I don’t think you point out a couple guys in particular or look at what their contract status is. If I was a forward right now looking at our roster I would be ready to go in September,” Capuano said.

Barring any trades before camp in September the Islanders will have 16 forwards under contract. Capuano seemed positive about not just the competition that brings, but also about the depth the Islanders have.

With the Islanders missing out on signing Thomas Vanek the question still remains regarding who will play with John Tavares on the wing. The abundance of forwards, according to Capuano, allows the team to “experiment” with who will fill that role.

“Obviously every year everybody asks the question who’s going to play with Johnny. I think now we have some options,” he said. “We have some guys that can play center that can also play the wing. That are very determined players that play with the grit that we want, so we have options now. When september comes around — preseason — we’re going to experiment and some different things.

“We have depth now in our organization. We have other guys we signed July 1 that can be an integral part of this team as well, so I’m excited about it.”

Defensively the Islanders also have some big questions and the competition will be just as intense. Especially for some of the younger players trying to make the roster like Griffin Reinhart, but don’t expect any players in mini camp to get a jump on the competition.

“The fate of our lineup will be determined in training camp, Capuano Said adamantly. That’s all I can tell you. The guys that come in and want to earn an opportunity that we feel can help us win in game one are gonna be the guys that play. End of story.”




44 comments
fourcups
fourcups

From what I've seen, I'm not a big Reinhart guy. Don't see much push back from him. I love defensive defensemen but I like the guy more if he has some snarl.


Trade coming......just too many fwds.

fourcups
fourcups

Kane is a problem in the locker room. Fair chance that Strome will be the better player. But, to get Kane it will take something like this.


This team is still years from going for the Cup. Why trade 20-23 year prospects for a guy over 30. Only give this much up if the guy you are getting is going to give you a sahot at the Cup.

Logan Monstuart
Logan Monstuart

How bout this: 


Strome for E. Kane. (Throw in Mayfield OR Donovan OR Pedan if we have to.)


Reinhart and Lee for Yandle.

dinbigd
dinbigd

You do not move Reinhart when he could be our #1 or 2 dman going forward for a very long time.Lets see what he brings at this level 1st before we give up on a bluechip prospect. As for the forward depth I see it as a motivational tool. No longer will players be able to float around for 20 games or so. Agree about CM but you also need those kind of depth players for injuries & if he starts in bridge wouldn't be a bad thing to have him around the youngers. You need experience around youth at all levels. Why not head into season w/ what we have & go from there? Reading into Caps comments there is a real pressure being put on him to win now. No more excuses. I haven't been a big fan of his but must admit this is the best roster he's had period. So lets see what you got Cap. I also would not overpay one bit to the cap strapped teams. They are the ones in financial ruin by there own doing so Isles in return for taking salary off their hands should be able to dictate the players involved. I do think the jury is out on Martin,Grabs & Bailey for what its worth. I'm finally truly excited about upcoming season. Now maybe fans can address the influx of road teams fans invading the Coli.

Logan Monstuart
Logan Monstuart

Clutterbuck should play with JT.


See if a team with a stud d-man will take Reinhart straight up. Pokka, Pulock coming next year, de Haan and Hamonic are solid.


Trade either Strome or Nelson. Makes no sense to keep both. (Anybody remember whom/what the Isles traded to get the #3 pick that was LaFontaine? To Colorado? Amazing to think -- Isles run of Cups ended the year they got LaFontaine. He was one of the best players in that playoff.)

since72
since72

Those words all sound good, but Cappy has had the tendency to play more experienced players regardless of merit.  Certain players like Bailey, played virtually every game, lack of production notwithstanding.  


I would expect Reinhart to come to camp ready and hungry.  If he is as good as billed and outplays the competition in training camp, I don't want to see him in the AHL so that Strait can get time in the NHL.  If Lee is outplaying Bailey, I don't want Lee in the AHL so that we can watch Bailey.  Cappy is saying the right words.  Let's hope he means what he says.

jepliberty
jepliberty

@fourcups 

I've watch some of the vids, and one announcer says he is not a big physical guy, so it is what it is with him, at least at this stage of his development.

jimmydev
jimmydev

@fourcups Who would you rather have the smurfs they drafted this year? How bout Ness? or Donovan, give the kid a chance 

isles23
isles23

How many games of his have you watched of his? How do you know he doesn't have snarl?

mrcisback
mrcisback

@fourcups Lets give Griffen Reinhart a chance to play a game before we throw him under the bus.

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@Logan Monstuart

No way, Jose,,, is Reinhart going anywhere...  He's got the pedigree of a top pair type defenseman for years to come.  Snow is going to take some time here and find out if he's the real deal.  And Strome is not bringing back Kane by himself,,, Cheveldayoff is already on record as stating that Kane is worth a player, a prospect and a pick.  Strome might get patrick Sharp but, that confuses the picture on the next three lines.  But Strome for Sharp might also let Snow make an offer for Boychuk,,, like Cizikas and Conacher.  That solves the log jam at forward, moves Nelson to the fourth and lets Lee play with Grabovsky and Kulemin...   

leebobb
leebobb

@Logan Monstuart Would not trade Strome for Kane. Don't see how that helps this team no or in the future... Would consider Reinhart & Lee for Yandle but worried he'll bolt once he becomes a UFA.

willymayshays
willymayshays

@Logan Monstuart


Reinahrt, Mayfeild and Lee need to be here and help us solve our size issue.  

I really like Strome, but I'd trade him for Kane, probably, but I wouldn't want to give up much more.  I really like the idea of JT and Strome as our 1 and 2 Centers long term.   Strome will be under team control for a long time.


To be honest, at this point, I just want to see Snow do as little as possible.  Get a decent, over the hill type defender who can help defensively, but also someone who can help mentor the young defenders.  That kind of guy, esp from a team with cap issues, would be easy to get and cost very little.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@Logan Monstuart Did you just start watching the Islanders last year. What do you mean it makes no sense to keep both Strome and Nelson. They both look like there going to be really good players and there young. If your 1 player away from winning the stanley cup maybe then it would make sense but the Islanders are far from that. Lets not do what the Brooklyn Nets just did last year by giving up young players and 1st round picks for two players at the end of there careers.

isles23
isles23

Actually makes a lot of sense to keep both Strome and Nelson. Manly because they are both very different players. They are centers and have good speed but that is about all their games have in common. Nelson is big and strong on his skates. Has shown to be a solid two way player but his point production is prob gonna top out around 50. Realistically his ceiling is a 20 goal 30 assist guy if he pans out like we hope. Strome is smaller but more of a play maker and has a much higher ceiling as far as point production. If Strome pans out as we hope 50 points could be a down year for him.

Don22
Don22

@since72 Very true.  But something has to give.  I know some have said don't make trades just for trades sake, and I agree to an extent.  But it's either make some trades to alleviate some of the logjam or some guys are going to be disappointed in starting in the Bridge.  It may not be what we want, but it's reality.  Bailey isn't a guy that is just going to be released and I doubt he is going to be sent to the AHL.  Strait could be a guy that is sent down, but unless more than one rookie stands out, he's going to start.   My guess is that only one rookie - probably Reinhart - starts the season with the club,with a few others circling in the AHL.  


fourcups
fourcups

@mrcisback @fourcups 

Hey I'm Dr. Doom and my recent predictions have been terrible (which is good for the Isles). Let's hope I'm the same way on Reinhart.

Logan Monstuart
Logan Monstuart

@REDSpointofview @Logan Monstuart Here's the problem as I see it, Red, and it's a beaut. After eight years of Garth Snow, we have no idea what ANY of our lines will be next year, with the possible exception of the fourth. Possible. I always thought the job of a gm was to put pieces of the puzzle together, year after year. The Isles? Some okay to good pieces, lying all over the table.

Don22
Don22

@willymayshays I agree about Strome.  I'm not comparing the talent, but I see him as the Malkin to JT's Crosby.  As you said, 1 & 2 long term.  

since72
since72

@willymayshays Teams with cap issues are looking for picks and prospects.  Odyula and Boychuk have been floated in the last couple of days, but what do you give up for them?  We have no 1st next season and only Philly's 2nd.  So you send a prospect for one of these over the hill guys who will probably leave after 1 season?  We may have to go with what we have.

Logan Monstuart
Logan Monstuart

@willymayshays I'm not sure "over the hill" is going to help us, but I get your point. And I know I'm in the minority here, but don't see much to Lee's game. And I could tell Oli Jokinen was a player after one shift.

Logan Monstuart
Logan Monstuart

@mrcisback @dinbigd You guys are overlooking something: Reinhart is old for his league. Should have dominated last year. If he were as good as you guys seem to think he is, would have made team already. Pokka and Pulock sound like they have a greater upside. (Admittedly, going only on what I've read)  Some team out there -- there are 30 friggin' teams! -- must agree w your appraisal of Reinhart, would trade a stud, 30-year-old d-man in return. That's what we need NOW, not a 20-year-old prospect.

Logan Monstuart
Logan Monstuart

@mrcisback Don't believe I said anything about trading for players at the end of their careers. And it's a good bet I've been following the Isles a lot longer than you have. (Do YOU know who Jim Mair is??) And I do not recall ever seeing an Isles team where two players drafted at one position play another. MAYBE play Nelson at wing. But not Strome. He is so obviously a center. So where is he going to play center? Fourth  line? Trade Frans? That would be a huge mistake.


The better comparison would be the trade for Butch Goring. Billy Harris was no schmoe. He was a #1 overall. And Dave Lewis was a solid d-man. But the Isles needed Goring.

since72
since72

@Don22     I certainly hope some kind of a trade happens where we can thin out the forwards.  I see a team that is ready to make the playoffs now.  It does us no good putting guys out there simply because they are on 1 way contracts and are clearly being out played by guys who have options.  


Would anyone on this blog trade Lee straight up for Bailey?  If McDonald were waived, would anyone claim him?  Would we care if they did?  Same goes for Carkner.  


Bailey will not be sent down, but can be a regular healthy scratch if he plays anything like he did in Oct-Jan.  He can be injury insurance while Lee and Strome get the ice time. 






mrcisback
mrcisback

@fourcups @mrcisback  We've waited for all these prospects to finally get here and suffered along the way and now there here. All i'm saying is lets give Nelson,Strome,Lee,Reinhart,and others a full year to see exactly what we got. We don't want to repeat the same mistakes we've made in the past especially when Milbury was in charge.

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@Logan Monstuart @REDSpointofview

I have said this already,,, the move to sign Grabovsky and Kulemin just does not have Garth Snow's signature on it.  At least he's never done anything like that before,,, two players signed together for over $9 million per for four years.  I know Wang had to agree to spend that kind of money but, I've been wondering if it wasn't Yormark that put the suggestion on the table.  The unfortunate thing is that as long as Wang owns this team and as long as Snow is the loyal soldier, Wang's history says that Snow keeps the job.  So now you have 16 forwards for 13 spots and an entire class of drafted defensemen about to age into the league.  We as fans have bitched for years that Snow couldn't get anything done.  Now with what he's created, he absolutely has to get a lot done and do it before the season starts.  Time will tell... 

mrcisback
mrcisback

@orange2327 Yes Orange i would love to trade for Keith Yandle. Hammer and Frans should get that deal done and then the Islanders would have a true #1 defenseman. But i would only make that deal if Yandle had more then 1 year left on his contract.

jrjr
jrjr

@logan

Sorry, try again. I give thanks that you arnt the islanders gm.

willymayshays
willymayshays

@Logan Monstuart 

I wouldn't say Reinhart is untouchable, but it's pretty close IMO.  I've agreed with a lot of what you post, but not this.  Defenders take more time to develop and letting prospects develop longer before they get to NHL, helps their confidence and helps minimize the amount of "rookie mistakes" your big league club needs to deal with.  Snow rushed players in the past, he is taking a more conservative approach now and I'm 100 % for it.  


also it's really hard to say who has the most upside, all 3 guys have much different skill sets.  Pulock has a ton of offensive ability,  Reinhart is very good defensively and Pokka seems to be more of a 2-way type, not great but good at everything, though I haven't seen Pokka play at all.  

mrcisback
mrcisback

@Logan Monstuart @mrcisback I've been watching hockey since 1965 starting with the Rangers. Either player Nelson or Strome can play the wing. Nelson on left wing and Strome on right wing. Yes Frans is the more likely player to trade if were getting a 1st line player back like Evander Kane.

Logan Monstuart
Logan Monstuart

@since72 When I think of Bailey, I think of Bergenheim. No way in the world a good organization can't figure out a way to utilize his/their skills.


But....

Logan Monstuart
Logan Monstuart

@mrcisback @Logan Monstuart Of course they CAN; that's not the point. The point is: THEY'RE CENTERS! That's the position they've played their entire junior careers. Forward positions are not interchangeable. Can you think of a shortstop moved to second base? Only no-plan Garth would be in this position, no other gm. Five friggin' centers!


Excuse me. Six!! Seven, if you count Bailey.

chrisredux
chrisredux

@Logan Monstuart @since72 bailey and bergenheim are ok players at best..nothing to lose sleep over

jrjr
jrjr

And the rags have 1

mrcisback
mrcisback

@Logan Monstuart @mrcisback I know there natural centers but i don't think Nelson would be too unhappy playing left wing for John Tavares. When Strome was drafted the commentators said at the draft that Strome would be the perfect right winger for Tavares because he shoots right handed. Like i said i doubt you've been watching hockey before me. And yes i know who Jim Mair is because he was on the Islanders there first year in the league.

jrjr
jrjr

You need to be corrected every comment.

willymayshays
willymayshays

@Logan Monstuart @willymayshays


I think Brock is GREAT because he is versatile AND well rounded.  You can move him around.  He has more value at center, but he needs to become more of a playmaker, Strome is more of a natural center, IMO.