Middletown, N. J – The free agency frenzy slowed to an absolute crawl yesterday as general managers seemed to attempt to regroup, re-analyze and take stock in what happened on day one.
With names flying around fast and furious, absurd contract terms being agreed to and a couple of big trades thrown in for good measure, maybe it was also best for the fans to be allowed to just enjoy the weekend with their families, kick back and resume their normal Saturday activities free of checking timelines and twitter feeds for the almost non-stop flow of hockey news.
The biggest news yesterday was Derek Roy finding a home in St.Louis, as the Blues picked up the talented centerman at the bargin rate of 1 year, 4mm. A nice solid acquisition for a team that is struggling to find common ground with one of its most important free agents, restricted defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. Some fans took to twitter yesterday, including our very own Rich Diaz, to dream about the possibility of general manager Garth Snow possibly trading for the puck moving D-man’s rights and signing him to play in blue and orange. The safest bet to make on that topic is ‘no’.
Offer sheets are a very touchy subject among the league’s management staff. You are not just ticking off the GM of the team whose player you just signed because they could not, but almost all the other 29 are sure to look at you with disdain as well. Not to mention, after seeing the returns that players like Bobby Ryan and Tyler Seguin fetched, can you imagine what a 23 year old potential franchise defenseman would cost? I am sure it is exorbitant and much more than Snow would be willing to pony up. Think along the lines of Ryan Strome/Josh Bailey or Kyle Okposo and a first round pick for starters. Then you still have to sign him to a long term contract. See where I am heading with this? Exactly……
Onwards and upwards, the Isles have added Cal Clutterbuck, Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard while subtracting Nino Niederreiter, Brad Boyes, Keith Aucoin, Jesse Joensuu, David Ullstrom and potentially Marty Reasoner (almost 100%) ,Radek Martinek and Tim Thomas (seriously?).
Is the team better today than they were at the end of the season? I believe they are. Sure I would love to add another veteran on defense (Joe Corvo?) and maybe upgrade another forward (Mikhail Grabovski, Mason Raymond, Damien Brunner?) but it has to make sense dollar and term wise for the Islanders. And it has to be an UPGRADE. If you are just talking about an even skilled swap, I would much rather go to war as constructed and keep spots open for the cavalry in Bridgeport that is almost certainly ready to assume NHL duty.
Next season in the East is going to much different with new challenges for playoff spots. A full 82 game slate and the Detroit Red Wings now occupying our conference will make things much more interesting and give us more of a realistic barometer as to where the Isles stand in relation to the rest of the National Hockey League.
I leave you with this, thanks to the aforementioned Diaz, who finds a gem hidden within the YouTube jungle….outstanding video to hold us over throughout the summer. I know I will be watching this more than once or twenty times.
- Rich Diaz with a great piece on Manitoba’s own Travis Hamonic (EOI)
- Chris Triantafilis on why the Isles kept Nabby (EOI)
- Art Staple compares NHL amnesty buyouts to the NBA (Newsday)
- Dominick over at Lighthouse reviews Isles activity (LHH)
- Should Dallas worry about Tyler Seguin? (Defending Big D)
- Feel good story about newest Devils Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder (North Jersey)
Around The Twitter-Sphere
— Stan Fischler (@StanFischler) July 6, 2013
- Stan the man with a gem of a tweet about the status of UFA Jaromir Jagr, who is also rumored to have a slight interest in the Islanders.
How do people with beards survive summer? They’re hot, hairy, sweaty, and sometimes covered in honey. Oh sorry. I meant bears, not beards. — Dave Lozo (@DaveLozo) July 6, 2013
- I have said it before and it deserves to be mentioned again….if you are not following Dave, just get off Twitter.
- What do bloggers/writers/editors and hockey fans do in the off-season? Look no further than my man Cap himself, being a good daddy setting up his sons lego’s for what probably is the 100th time.
Maybe the smartest thing you can do is cut out negative influences around you. I’d imagine that goes double if you’re a young hockey player.
— PATRICK WILLIAMS (@pwilliamsNHL) July 7, 2013
- Patrick is one of the true good guys among hockey media on Twitter. Give him a follow. This tweet is right on the money and could be applied in so many walks of life its ridiculous.
Went to Five Guys. I’m order #79. Makes me miss my guy Yashin #Isles
— Glenn Giangrande (@GlennGiangrande) July 7, 2013
- People love to slam the Isles about their relationship with Yashin but go back and take a look. I triple dog dare ya! He actually had a good career in the blue and orange. I will say this 100 times before September – manage your expectations!
I have a man crush on so many #isles…so many sick players on my squad
— Ryan Pavlicek (@Ryan_Pavlicek) July 6, 2013
- There sure is a lot to like Ryan. This team will be difficult to play night in and night out. There will be no easy games on any teams schedule when the Isles pop up and I guarantee they will get on their bus or plane feeling less healthy then when they boarded it in the first place.