The New York Islanders Have Choices to Make


June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announces a trade between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Penguins for the eighth overall pick at the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

(The latest from contributor Kevin Kopf)

New York, NY–Recently, Islanders fans have a new-found respect for Garth Snow, and they have high hopes for this offseason, and rightfully so.

Credible sources, both surrounding the Isles’ organization and around the league, are speculating and preparing for a hectic and active offseason. And it all starts this Sunday, June 30th.

Many options are presented to the Isles this upcoming offseason, but you have to remember, the Islanders are a cap floor team. But it all may change if the right price comes along, but they’re not known to make a move similar to the Minnesota Wild with Zach Parise and Ryan Suter or the Blackhawks with Marian Hossa.

So curb your enthusiasm, yes?

The Prospects

Apr 11, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Montreal Canadiens right wing Michael Ryder (73) Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Ryder currently plays for Montreal and is 30 years old. This prolific right-wing scorer could be the answer to the gap affecting the Isles’ first line wing position this offseason. The veteran provides a presence the Isles must now address with Mark Streit’s exist, one that will help John Tavares in the process. His price would most likely average between 2.5 to 4M.

April 30, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, this move is a bit of a stretch. But, the Isles did try to pry Ryan from Anaheim’s hands last draft, and they certainly have the assets to try to go after not just Ryan, but also netminder, Jonas Hiller. The package would most likely include Michael Grabner, Nino Niederreiter, a mid-level prospect, and the first round, 15th overall pick. Even though it’s a weak possibility, in less than 30 hours, you could see Ryan is an Islander. Stay tuned.

Apr 22, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Another superstar. Reports have come out that the Isles have inquired about him and/or Ryan Miller, and whether those were true or not are debatable. The Sabres, however, are looking to add young talent and Vanek wants out. The deal makes sense for Vanek, as he is good friends with fellow Austrian Michael Grabner, and was quoted as saying that he’d like to play alongside John Tavares.  His $7M contract expires in a year and he is due for a raise.

Other options are Ilya Bryzgalov, Daniel Briere, and Nathan Horton (far-fetched, I must add).

All these options are a bit risky due to the package being sent back, but is it all worth it?

In Garth we trust.

–Kevin Kopf