Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
After a very quiet three or so weeks in the National Hockey League, the news cycle has certainly been picking up lately. Maybe it is a precursor to a more active August than in years past, a month where hockey usually falls into a deep hibernation only to be awaken from its slumber by the opening of training camp (I am sticking to my conspiracy theory that Gary Bettman purposely told teams to hold off a couple of weeks on announcing anything for that reason. I know it sounds silly and probably way off the mark, but its my article and its summer).
Last week brought us Jaromir Jagr signing with the Devils, the announcement of training camp rosters for the 2014 Sochi olympics and the release of the NHL schedule. That was followed by the story of the New York Rangers possibly getting evicted from Madison Square Garden and news that Detroit citizens would have to fork over the bill for a new Joe Louis Arena even though they are going through the worst financial trouble in the city’s illustrious history.
Yesterday, we were treated to a couple of minor free agent signings. The Carolina Hurricanes made a very shrewd and smart signing by latching onto diminutive winger Nathan Gerbe on a one year, two-way contract at 550k. He will play a big role on the power play and could form 2/3 of a gnat line with Jeff Skinner.
Teemu Selanne (yawn) still has not made up his mind whether to return for another season with the Anaheim Ducks. I don’t know what the holdup here is and its something I have never understood with these types of decisions. You either want to continue playing or you don’t . I get it might not be the easiest decision but seriously, every year with this? In other Ducks news, they signed Kyle Palmieri to a 3 year, 4.4mm deal.
The Toronto Maple Leafs might have to move Cody Franson, who ‘could’ be a very attractive target for Isles general manager Garth Snow. I would not bet on it, but just throw it out there anyway. Everyone knows the Islanders could still use some immediate NHL experienced help on the blue line and Franson would make a real nice 4th-6th defenseman.
Stanley Cup winning coach Joel Quenneville was resigned by the Chicago Blackhawks through the 2016-17 season. Well deserved for Joel, who has become one of the best coaches in the entire league.
Lastly, Blake Wheeler smartly let the market set itself and was rewarded for that patience, signing a 6 year extension with the Winnipeg Jets for 33.6mm. Which leaves only one question……when is the next lockout scheduled?
We have some exciting things on the horizon for Eyes On Isles and we thank you for your continued loyalty and readership. A mailbag Q&A with you, the reader, is upcoming as well as ‘rants and rumblings’ where you will be able to go off on your own quick tangent about anything related to the game of hockey. Shane Blackburn is still working up details for our initial podcast and finally, a very special Q&A is on tap for the end of next week. Eyes is going to be sitting down for an interview with a great friend to the website, a damn good guy and the #1 credentialed source for all things Islanders. Stay Tuned……
In Case You Missed It
- MY top 5 goals in Islanders history (EOI)
- Eric Bordin on the moral dilemma facing Detroit in its funding of a ‘new’ Joe Louis Arena (EOI)
- Dan Friedman of WFAN on the Olympic roster and Isles ties (WFAN)
- Hysterical piece by PGI on this Isles training photo (#5 made me spit out my cereal) (LHH)
- Memories of Doug Weight, Isles assistant coach and new USA HOF inductee (New York Islanders)
- Nicholas Goss highlights the rookie class of 2013-14 (Bleacher Report)
- Nicholas again breaks down the possible line combinations for Team Canada (Bleacher Report)
Two Minutes For Tweeting
- Now that is fan dedication – showing your Isles pride all the way out in California. Well done Mike, well done indeed.
- There is no bad hour to watch an Isles game Paul. When they are on, the clock ceases to exist.
- Agree about Vis Dennis but not about calling Streit a tool. He came to this organization and signed when nobody else would and even though many feel he was not the captain we needed or wanted, he led with dignity and was a stable locker room influence.
- Oh Travis, how we love thee……If it was not for the superlative excellence of a man named John, you would most certainly be worthy of having a ‘C’ stitched on your jersey.
- Now this is a new one – I knew the Isles were in the market for another defenseman but have not heard Hainsey’s name mentioned before. All depends on price – would not go much for his skill set. In my opinion, a call to Toronto about Franson is more of a smart play.