I can’t help but to think of the following exchange of dialogue in Dumb and Dumber whenever free agency rolls around. . .
Lloyd: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me… ending up together?
Mary: Well, Lloyd, that’s difficult to say. I mean, we don’t really…
Lloyd: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
Mary: Not good.
Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
Mary: I’d say more like one out of a million.
Lloyd: So you’re telling me there’s a chance… *YEAH!*
July 1st, the beginning of NHL free agency, brings with it one of the last beacons of hope for Isles fans in terms of putting a team together that can compete in October. In the past few years, there really hasn’t been any reason to stand up out your chair and, throw your laptop in joy, and start a slow clap. In fact, recent FA periods have been low key for Isles country, save for the occasional rumor (Kovalchuck) or ‘college -try’ (Erhoff neogtiations). This year will be a little different, not only will the Islanders probably not be announcing any earth shattering additions, they are losing one their own to UFA; PA Parenteau.
PA, in our estimation, will wind up near his home with the Montreal Canadiens. Can’t blame him for not taking any ‘hometown’ discounts regarding any offers Snow may have made. The market is there and he can cash in. It’s his chance to hit paydirt. Go for it brother.
The question is: What can Islanders Country expect starting July 1st? Here are a few possibilities . . . and you’re not gonna love ‘em.
1) Ray Whitney / Forward- The Wizard is not your ordinary 40 year old NHL’er. He’s in pretty great shape, and when healthy, does all the things a great play-making forward with great vision should do. He also goes in those greasy and grimy areas to get pucks. The Coyotes could not have advanced as far they did in the Conference playoffs had it not been for Ray’s play and leadership. It would probably be a short deal, likely one year.
2)Sheldon Souray / Defenseman – Told ya you weren’t going to love this list. To say that Souray’s career has been mercurial would be an understatement. This past season with Big D he had some solid numbers. 6 G, 15A, and a plus-11. What’s to like about Souray? He’s 36, not too old (amazing we mention this stuff huh?!), he’s big at 6’4″, and would provide some vet leadership to the Isles blueline. He’d probably want something in the 2-3 year range, and if he would be willing to be patient, would get more from the Isles than he may get elsewhere.
3) Carlo Colaiacovo / Defenseman- A past, and potential, 30 point guy who will be 30 years old mid-season. He would certainly take some pressure off the A-Mac’s and Hammer’s of the world and definitely give the Isles some depth. He’d probably get between $2 mil and $3 mil in this market. Two years? He’d come here because he’d get a chance at more playing time, something that was dwindling in St. Louis.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see one, or none, of these guys in an Isles sweater. I also wouldn’t be too surprised if we hear rumors this year, as we have in the past. I get the feeling that Snow and Wang feel the same sense of urgency the fans do.
Honorable mentions: Jason Arnott as a veteran center and ditto for Olli Jokinen. Bryan Allen? Jason Garrison would be great, but I think he is staying in Florida.
Have any thoughts? Follow and/or DM me (trolls welcome) on the Twitter at @tobysmithny.
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Happy F.A. Season!