Astoria, NY – With the 2013 NHL Entry Draft fast approaching, the league’s offseason has picked up the pace. The Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers essentially traded head coaches, as Alain Vigneault and John Tortorella were recently announced as each team’s new bench boss.
The Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs pulled off the summer’s first “blockbuster” deal, as Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier was swapped for Leafs forward Matt Frattin, goalie Ben Scrivens and a future draft pick. (Although the term “blockbuster” might be a bit of a stretch, considering that it involved one backup netminder being traded for another.)
And of course, the New York Islanders signed Eric Boulton to a one-year contract extension. So there’s that.
Being that the Stanley Cup finals are now over and the Chicago Blackhawks are once again the reigning NHL champions, the most exciting part of the offseason is set to begin. That’s right, hockey fans: COMPLIANCE BUYOUTS.
(Never did I think I’d be using the word ‘compliance’ when describing the most exciting part of anything, let alone the NHL.)
The Philadelphia Flyers have already announced that they will use their second compliance buyout—the first was used on centerman Danny Briere—on much-maligned goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, meaning they’ll pay him approximately $1.6 million per year over the next four years as a means of not having him on the active roster.
Not bad work, if you can get it.
And no, Islanders supporters: GM Garth Snow didn’t call Bryzgalov the minute the buyout news broke. As hilarious as a potential goalie duo of Evgeni Nabokov and Bryzgalov would be from a journalistic perspective, “Universe’s” presence on Long Island would almost certainly do the team more harm than good.
If the Islanders were to follow Philadelphia’s suit and utilize on of their two compliance buyouts this offseason, it would likely come in the form of paying Rick DiPietro not to return to the organization.
Besides, how else are the Isles going to be able to take on Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo’s albatross of a contract? (I’m kidding, I’m kidding. The whole DP-and-a-prospect-for-Luongo trade rumor? Stop. Just stop.)
If nothing else, the 2013 NHL offseason is gearing up to be unusually exciting. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing or whatever.
Islanders Summer Report Card: Mark Streit (EyesOnIsles)
Islanders Questions in Goal: What Are the Answers? (Eyes On Isles)
Was Bruins’ Chara Playing Injured During Stanley Cup Final? (Pro Hockey Talk)
With New Job, Tortorella Vows to Change Ways (New York Post)
Floating Around The Twitter-Sphere
The Bruins blew it: pic.twitter.com/zCt5XbNMwg
— Hockey Memes (@hockeymemes) June 25, 2013
With apologies to all the Boston Bruins fans out there—if they’ve managed to recover from the stunning Game 6 Stanley Cup finals loss to the Chicago Blackhawks—this meme says it all. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a game end quite that way. Bruins fans went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in, yes…about 17 seconds.
If you haven’t seen CBC’s closing playoff montage yet, I highly recommend it: http://t.co/ADk8XrY0OB
— Justin Bourne (@jtbourne) June 25, 2013
The EyesOnIsles staff also recommends the CBC’s end-of-the-NHL-playoffs video montage. Enjoy it one or two or nine times, because the summer is a barren wasteland devoid of the one sport worth watching.
— Matthew Lee (@mslee017) June 26, 2013
No argument here, Matthew. The 1994 Stanley Cup finals between the Vancouver Canucks and the New York Rangers was definitely an all-time great series, one that went seven games and was capped by the Rangers winning their first Cup in 54 years. The shots of Messier jumping up and down on the ice as toilet paper rained down from the crowd—and the shot of him holding the Stanley Cup and laughing uncontrollably—are iconic NHL images for a reason.
— B.D. Gallof (@BDGallof) June 25, 2013
For those who don’t follow BD Gallof on the Twitter machine: rethink the decisions you’ve made in your life that brought you to this point. Once you’ve reorganized your priorities, check out his latest project: HOCK.ly by clicking on the link above. The online hockey magazine debuted yesterday afternoon and focuses on the upcoming NHL Draft. Give it a read; you won’t be disappointed.
— Paul Schiano (@Paulsch55) June 25, 2013
STARS: THEY’RE JUST LIKE US!
As always, thanks for reading us at EyesOnIsles. Keep it right here for all of your NHL offseason coverage and Isles happenings. Be sure to check the menu bar at the top of the page for ways to connect with the EyesOnIsles staff; we’re always happy to talk hockey.