Thank you…

Kevin Schultz

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).
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Grabovski and Kulemin can be really good, if Islanders do the opposite of what Toronto did

Kevin Schultz

The Islanders looked like they were done in free agency - well the GM said as much, anyway – but they were clearly not done, when they signed Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin to four-year contracts for lots of dollars – the same dollars that had probably been earmarked for Thomas Vanek.

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.

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News: Islanders sign Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski to four-year deals

The Islanders have signed forwards Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski to four-year contracts. (Arthur Staple)

  • Kulemin gets $16.75 million over four years. His cap hit is $4.1875 million.
  • Grabovski gets $20 million over four-years. His cap hit will be $5 million.

They were teammates in Toronto from 2008 to 2013. Islanders assistant Greg Cronin was with the Leafs for part of that time.

Grabovski, 30, scored 13 goals and 22 assists in 58 games last year for Washington with a cap hit of $3 million. He was bought out by Toronto last summer after signing a five-year deal worth $5.5 million.

  • Grabovski has twice scored more than 50 points (2010-11 and 2011-12) and averages .59 points per game.
  • He is 5-11, 183 and last season had 8 of his 35 points on the PP, averaged 15:45 per game and 1:26 on the PP.

Kulemin, 27, scored 9 goals and 20 assists in 70 games for Toronto last season and had a cap hit of $2.8 million.

  • Kulemin scored 30 goals in 2010-11 but in the three seasons since has scored 7 goals, 7 goals and 9 goals and has not topped 30 points in any of those seasons.
  • He is 6-1, 225 and last season had 153 hits, averaged 16:12 per game and saw 2:35 on the PK

After Day 1, Isles May Be Done (and Other Thoughts on Free Agency)

Kevin Schultz

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 tradeTo read more of this story, click here

Islanders sign David Leggio

The Islanders have signed G David Leggio to a one-year, two-way contract (Strang, July 1).

Leggio, 29, played 45 games for the Hershey Bears in the AHL last season.

Leggio, who has no NHL experience, will likely serve as insurance for the Islanders.


Thomas Vanek signs three-year deal with Minnesota

3:03 p.m.: The two finalists for Thomas Vanek‘s services were the Islanders and the Wild.

Vanek chose the Wild over the Islanders, who came in with a late offer (Staple, July 1).

Thomas Vanek has signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Wild, the team announced Tuesday.

Vanek’s deal with Minnesota is worth $19.5 million, and is somewhat back-loaded.

The 30-year-old Vanek was acquired by the Islanders from Buffalo last October for Matt Moulson, a conditional first round draft pick, and a 2015 second round draft pick.

Vanek confirmed on February 4 that he had rejected a seven-year, $50 million contract extension from the Islanders, prompting the Isles to trade him to the Canadiens on March 5 in exchange for Sebastian Collberg and a second round draft pick.


Matt Moulson signs five-year deal with Sabres

Former Islanders LW Matt Moulson has signed a five-year deal with Buffalo worth $25 million (Lebrun, July 1).

The Islanders traded the 30-year-old Moulson to the Sabres last October in exchange for Thomas Vanek.

The Sabres later dealt Moulson to Minnesota.

The Islanders, who didn’t contact Moulson’s agent during the five-day window, were not interested in a reunion (Staple, July 1).

News: Rangers sign Dan Boyle

Kevin Schultz:

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)

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AHLer TJ Brennan Signs with Islanders

Kevin Schultz

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).

Islanders Sign G Chad Johnson

Kevin Schultz

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.