Middletown, N. J - ”Auntie M, auntie M – It’s a twister, it’s a twister!” – The line made famously funny by the slapstick comedy Airplane! is exactly what was running through my head yesterday as free agency opened and general managers all around the league continued to uphold the tradition that has been dubbed ‘silly season’. All except for one however……..
Garth Snow continued his tenure as head man of personnel in the New York Islanders franchise by remaining patient and acting responsibly in shaping the potential roster for the opening of training camp in September. While many were throwing money around like they were power bars during a marathon and handing out term limits and no movement clauses like they were protecting their sister, Snow would not bite. Instead he knows he has an extremely stable base and tried to just add complimentary pieces that would enhance and not overtake.
A fact that goes past most people, especially in the ‘the sky is falling’ world of social media, is that Charles Wang continues to bleed cash under the worst arena lease arguably in sports history. If you are losing a reported 10-20 million dollars a year on an investment, you simply are not going to keep throwing cash at that investment until the revenue stream steadies and turns from red to black (which presumably will be when the team moves to Barclays in 2015). That directly affects how Snow can operate on days like yesterday.
Another stumbling block is the contract of superstar and future captain John Tavares. When the Isles smartly locked up their franchise cornerstone to an extension, it was at the bargain rate of 5.75m per season. You simply cannot sign a player like Jarome Iginla (who’s personal situation drives me mad. What a joke he pulled on the Bruins) for instance to a 6mm contract and have him come in and make more money than your top player. I don’t care what the term is.
Let’s quickly review some of the notable signings from yesterday’s frenzy…
- Jarome Iginla to Boston
- Matt Cooke to Minnesota
- Michael Ryder to New Jersey
- Mike Ribeiro to Phoenix
- Ryane Clowe to New Jersey
- David Clarkson to Toronto
- Stephen Weiss to Detroit
- Andrew Ference to Edmonton
- Rob Scuderi to Pittsburgh
- Mike Komisarek to Carolina
- Daniel Alfredsson to Detroit
As you can see, the names were not earth shattering, and none of the aforementioned players would have made the Islanders Stanley Cup contenders this season. Instead Snow was wise to solve his goaltending issue immediately, signing Evgeni Nabokov to a one year deal, bring in complimentary Peter Regin to replace Keith Aucoin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard to potentially play first line with Tavares and Matt Moulson. His biggest move of the day was when he re-signed restricted free agent Travis Hamonic to an extension that drew raves not only internally but from around the entire league. 7 years and 27 million for a cornerstone young defenseman is the definition of frugality. Not cheap, but responsible spending on what you value the most.
So when you want to sit there and wallow in the fact that Snow did ‘poorly’ on the opening day of free agency; I say crack open a cold one, grab some chips with some salsa and head to the pool. It’s only July 6 after all………..But because I am a glutton for punishment, vote below and let us know what you think.
- Transcript of Eyes initial live event yesterday. Thanks to all who participated! It was a blast! (EOI)
- Official full listing of free agent signings (NHL)
- Travis Betts fills us in on the Isles 2 new additions (Islanders)
- Art Staple on Isles retaining their own (Newsday)
- Ridiculous – Iginla makes a mockery of the Bruins (Boston Herald)
- Holmgren thinks Flyers improved a lot. Really? (NBC)
- Leafs lock up their new toy (MapleLeafs.com)
Around The Twitter-Sphere
— Michael Dam (@MikeUSDK) July 6, 2013
- I never understood how people can slam a guy they have never paid attention to before. Regin is not being brought in as a savior or 40 goal scorer, so let’s not rush to judgement here mmmmk? Plus Frans now has someone to hit the clubs with that can be his wingman and hook a brother up.
#isles screw what every team looks like in July. It all matters in October. Anyone remember we were picked to finish 30th and no playoffs
— Rob Andre (@isles1986) July 6, 2013
- Thanks Rob – well said and something that some of us had to repeat numerous times yesterday. There should probably be medals given or keys to the city, as we saved tons of people from jumping off bridges all around the metropolitan area.
I swear, If Garth Snow had Glenn Sather’s payroll, he’d give it to the NHL with a whooping stick every year. Dude is SHREWD. #Isles
— Vinny Piccolo (@RoseTintedVisor) July 6, 2013
- Along with a bad-a** avatar, anytime someone uses the term ‘whooping’ the tweet must be re-broadcast.
— Michael Mannucci (@MikeMannucci91) July 6, 2013
- The Isles are conforming to the ‘new’ NHL – which is built around speed and transition. Throw in a dose of Clutterbuck and Martin and New York will not be an easy game for anyone next season at any point.
When I asked Alfredsson the biggest factor in returning, he said family. So he uprooted a family with kids aged 10, 7, 5 and 2 for Detroit?
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) July 5, 2013
- Bruce with a gem describing how Alfredsson forgot where he came from right after he left. Do some players actually think they sound believable when they spew stuff like this?
— Michael Willhoft (@MichaelWillhoft) July 5, 2013
- Willhoft is not only our resident werdsmith but has been killing it on Twitter lately as well. The man is on fire – must be all that grilled meat.
What’s your zombie apocalypse weapon of choice? Dire situation and full time.
— Kevin (@kevinakopf) July 6, 2013
- Not hockey related, but something everybody should think about. The zombie takeover is imminent and everyone must be prepared…I suggest watching ‘Zombieland’ and playing ‘The Last of Us’ on PS3 to acquire some serious survival skills. If you don’t, Eyes cannot responsible.