PB Q & A, Round 1: Goalies, Kirill Petrov, college and Euro free agents, the NHL draft, the NYI payroll

The Questions portion of the Q & A ended Friday night. Here are the first batch of my responses. You’re welcome to respond to my answers – one per reader, please – in Comments.


Before we start with the Q & A, I want to call attention to a new sponsor. A big Islanders fan and Point Blank reader from Thunder Bay, Ontario was kind enough to send me a note and offer a sponsorship as his way of supporting the blog. It was an incredibly thoughtful gesture.


His sponsorship is in the form of a text link that you can see along the right side of the blog, under the ad for Generations Beyond. The link is marked “Identity Theft Protection.” The company is called Identity Theft Labs and I hope you will visit the site. As he told me in an email, “Identity theft claimed 9.9 million victims in 2009.” Please support a fellow reader who was generous enough to support Point Blank. Thank you. Now on with the show…




Have the Islanders targeted any college free agents this year?

Carmine, Isles fan in Tampa


Hi Carmine. Thanks for checking in from Florida. After the Islanders were shut out of getting any of the perceived top college free agents in the early going, I was told they were still in the hunt for a good college prospect and one strong player from Europe. As of this date, they have come up empty in college and Europe.




What would say is the probability of signing Petrov? Could a strong performance at the Worlds hurt us as the KHL team might not want to release him?

Bob E.. Rockville Centre, NY. Isles Fan Since Birth.


Hello, neighbor Bob. Petrov is available for the Islanders to sign him to an Entry Level contract. He’s coming to prospect camp. The team needs to work a deal with Ak Bars and the KHL. If the Islanders want him, he’s there for the taking. It’s up to the Islanders to cut a deal.




CB: Just a quick question about the goaltending situation. With DP? Roli, Koskinen, Poulin, Nilsson, Ridderwall?, and Lawson you have seven (assuming we let Munroe walk) goalies, with 6 potential spots (NYI-BRI-UT) if we do not sign another reliable backup for Roli next year. Does somebody jump straight to the big club?

Will C., Currently living in Delaware. Huge fan, used to attend 30 games a year on LI, since moving away I go to road games with my family. Seen them in MSG,NJ,ATL,TOR,PITT,COL,NC,DC. GO ISLES!


Thanks, Will. No, I don’t see any of the prospects being ready to make the leap. Nilsson will be in Sweden at least another year or two. Koskinen and Poulin are not ready. Ridderwall had a good year, but it would be a gamble to place him right into the NHL.




How do you predict the top five working out at the draft?

My name is David Schneider and I’m from Millwood, NY. I’m seventeen years old and I’ve been a fan for eight years.


Thank you, David. Two months away, it will be difficult to nail down the exact order and teams. The first five picks will almost certainly be Hall, Seguin, Connolly, Fowler and Gudbranson. (I know, I’m not going out on a limb there). Edmonton will probably take Hall, leaving Seguin for the Bruins. The rest will depend heavily on how Connolly checks out at the Draft Combine in late May.




Who is the one player on the team that you don’t particularly get along with?

Ken – nassau. season ticket holder since the comrie daze.


Ha! Ken is referring to a throwaway comment I made during a game chat late in the season. To be clear, Ken, it’s not like we have argued or anything. I just think he’s a bit FOS. He thinks I’m a jerk. We’re both right. Everyone else on the team, in my humble view, is first-class. All it means is I don’t sit in on his media scrums because nothing sincere comes out of them. It doesn’t change my writing about his performance on the ice, which was very good and received several raves from me. No biggie.




CB: Do you think that if Hamonic and de Haan have ridiculous camps where they are playing out of their minds, do you really think that Garth should still let them develop in the Port rather than just bring them up?

Gary Harding – 22 year season ticket holder, former President of the Booster Club and current Blog Box writer.


Hi Gary. Nice hearing from you. If Calvin doesn’t make the big club, he has to go back to junior and would almost definitely be a leader for Team Canada at the WJC. After a season cut short by major shoulder surgery, and while he still needs to add bulk, I do not see why the Islanders would put him right into the NHL. But I guess you never know. They haven’t hesitated to put some of their top kids right into the bigs.

As for Hamonic, the player that scouts say he can aspire to be if he reaches his max-max-max potential (am I clear?) is Shea Weber. If Weber had to play a half season in the minors before joining the Preds, I don’t see why Travis would not do at least that.




Can Islanders Country be assured that this summer’s potential bonanza is not a pipe dream? Will Garth and Co. add payroll and size?

Z – Queens


By “bonanza,” which I used in the headline, I was referring to the Islanders being able to sign three or four good players that will enable them to be a playoff team this season (and beyond) and not upset the rebuild. I don’t see how it can be a pipe dream when the team has to spend cash just to get to the CBA-mandated salary cap floor.




No more questions, please. We’ve got plenty to address. You’re welcome to respond to my answers – one per reader, please – in Comments.