Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 7/10/13

Apr. 13, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center

Josh Bailey

(12) handles the puck against the New York Rangers during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Astoria, NY – New York Islanders GM Garth Snow continues to operate from his secret bunker on Long Island—reports have indicated he’s based below the skating surface at Iceworks in Syosset, although that hasn’t been confirmed—making the types of smart organizational signings Isles fans have come to expect from the leader of their team’s front office.

Yesterday Snow inked newly acquired winger Cal Clutterbuck to a four-year, $11 million contract with a yearly salary cap hit of $2.75 million. Clutterbuck is now officially part of the Islanders’ core, a fact well worth noting.

Clutterbuck is 25 years old and plays the type of blue-collar hockey characteristic of the Isles, making him the perfect asset to lock up as a building block for the future. Snow may not have made the flashiest moves so far this offseason, but he’s certainly made some of the most savvy.

The only outstanding items on Snow’s contract to-do list are to re-sign current roster members Josh Bailey and Thomas Hickey to multi-year deals. Both Bailey and Hickey are expected to be part of the Isles continued growth in the coming years, and Snow will likely re-up their deals at bargain prices.

Bailey is expected to command a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.25 or $2.5 million over the course of three years, while Hickey’s next contract may be worth at or above $1.75 million for two years.

Of course, none of those numbers are confirmed. (Stay tuned for updates, though.)

It’ll be interesting to see how quickly Snow can work his magic with Bailey—whose agent is notorious for playing hardball with the Isles front office—as he’s the biggest core piece yet to be re-signed for the upcoming season.

The offseason seems to be moving at a glacial pace, but at least Snow isn’t taking a vacation. The deals he’s managed to swing so far have all improved the Islanders’ roster, which should please even the most negative Isles fan.

-MW (@MichaelWillhoft)

In Case You Missed It

EYES’ own Andy Graziano details the Clutterbuck signing (EOI)

Chris Triantafilis expounds on what the Clutterbuck deals means for the Islanders long-term (Isles Optimism)

Mini Camp Begins for Isles Prospects (New York Islanders)

Islanders’ Top Draft Choice Pulock in a Special Place, Though Far From Home (Newsday)

Isles Bits: Camp Arrivals, Farm Departures (Lighthouse Hockey)

Niedermayer, Chelios and Shanahan are Hall Picks (New York Times)

NHL Sweater Switch 2013 (Icethetics)

Floating Around The Twitter-Sphere

Yet another tweet from a fan in Minnesota displaying the love that Wild fans have for their former winger. If anyone in the New York area still thinks the Islanders gave up too much in the trade for Clutterbuck—or overpaid for his services in his new contract—EOI asks that you search Twitter for responses containing his name; fans in Minneapolis are sad to see him go, which means the Isles are lucky to have him.

A quick clarification from Newsday’s Arthur Staple (re: Kevin Poulin) confirmed that the newly signed goaltender won’t require waivers next season, making it all but impossible for him not to get a shot with the big club. He’s on a “prove it” deal, so he’ll have to earn his roster spot, but it appears that he’ll remain with the organization regardless of how training camp plays out.

Those were the days, amirite? Well, not exactly. The Isles have come a long way from when Chris Campoli, Bruno Gervais and Jeff Tambellini were considered core building blocks on Long Island, much to the approval of the fan base. The new core of the Islanders includes players like John Tavares, Travis Hamonic and Matt Martin, putting the franchise in a much better place today than it was prior to Snow’s “Rebuild.”

The rumors surrounding St. Louis Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak stretch far and wide, and mostly concern a potential trade that would land him on Long Island before the 2013-14 NHL season. It’s unclear if Snow is willing to part with what would likely be a current-roster player and a prospect to acquire the soon-to-be-free-agent netminder, but it’s nice to think about…

Here’s a reminder of what Isles fans can look forward to if the team plays up to its full potential this season. The clip also helps if you’re experiencing severe hockey withdrawal, as I’m sure we all are by this point in the summer.

Presented without context, because trolling New York Rangers fans is never not a good idea. (Also, to the Rangers fans: be careful with that double negative in the previous sentence.)

To any Rangers fans still reading…apologies for the pot shots, but the summer is a desolate place when it comes to hockey news. (We’re just trying to keep things light.) Not that the rivalry needs any more build-up, but the EOI staff and Isles Nation are looking forward to seeing the Islanders take on the Rangers this season, especially at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on Jan. 29 as part of the NHL’s Outdoor Stadium Series. 

As always, thanks for reading us at EyesOnIsles. Keep it right here for all of your NHL offseason coverage and up-to-the-minute Islanders news. 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.