UPDATED at 5:50 pm - The Islanders have not, but Rich Chere reports a swap between the Islanders and Devils: Ben Walter to New Jersey for the rights to Tony Romano, a Devils’ 178th overall pick from 2006. Tony is a 5-11 center from Smithtown. The run of Long Islanders coming to Long Island begins!
Romano was 36-33-69 in 65 games with Peterborough. Walter wasn’t being brought back by the Islanders. Lou Lamoriello doesn’t have much of a history of trading young players who turn into NHLers. Even swap.
4:00 pm - First off, a note about today’s UFA Prep stories. I want to be clear: I haven’t written, nor will I waste anyone’s time, about what I would do. The stories on the Ds and the Fs and the next one on the goalies, they are about what the Islanders are thinking, what the Islanders likely will and will not do. I’m well aware that just because the Islanders have 12 and 7 under contract, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to get better forwards and defensemen. I’m well aware that Jay Bouwmeester is better than The Fantastic IVth, that Marian Hossa might help the Islanders win more games than Tamby.
More than unrestricted free agency, the Islanders might be in position to make themselves much better in the short and long-term by utilizing their tremendous salary cap space in deals. That’s on Garth Snow to figure it out over the next few weeks. My hunch is he has been strategizing for it.
And finally, a word about UFA scoops. Like the actual day of the trade deadline, I strongly recommend you rely on TSN (simulcast on the NHL Network), Sportsnet, Greg Logan and the message boards on July 1 and 2. To be blunt, I’m not interested in being the first to type “Islanders Sign Zanon”! a minute or two before everyone else. You guys are the hunters tomorrow. I’ll probably learn about who the Islanders have signed first by reading about it in my own Comments section. No problem with that. And by the way, I still think the Islanders are taking Tavares.