Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 7/31/13


May 21, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center

Joe Pavelski

(8) against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period of game four of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks re-upped cornerstone centerman Joe Pavelski to the reported tune of 5 years, $30 million yesterday, a deal that will carry a salary cap hit of approximately $6 million.

The move by the Sharks ensures that Pavelski will remain in San Jose through at least the 2018-19 NHL season.

Pavelski was certainly worthy of a contract extension, as he’s flourished as a top-six forward with the Sharks since being drafted by the franchise in 2003 and making his NHL debut in 2006.

Pavelski put up 16 goals and 15 assists in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, as well as 11 points (4G, 8A) in 11 postseason games for San Jose. He’s a 60-point player during an average year, making it a no-brainer for the Sharks’ front office to lock him up long term.

To put the deal in perspective for New York Islanders fans, John Tavares’s current deal is for 6 years, $33 million, but carries a cap hit of $5.5 million. Putting the two deals side-by-side gives insight into how shrewd Isles GM Garth Snow has been when signing his guys to multi-year deals at team-friendly prices.

Snow may not receive the national recognition he deserves for signing players like Tavares, Travis Hamonic, Josh Bailey and Cal Clutterbuck, but the evidence is mounting that he knows what he’s doing at the negotiating table.

The Pavelski deal in San Jose will get the national attention, but Snow recognizes—as Islanders fans should—that media hype doesn’t help a team win. While Pavelski and the Sharks are celebrated for coming to a relatively modest agreement for a player of Pavelski’s caliber, Snow can sit back and say that he’s already accomplished that this offseason.

-MW (@MichaelWillhoft)

In Case You Missed It

Wordplay: New York Islanders (EOI)

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Meet Cal Clutterbuck (New York Islanders)

Rangers Re-Sign Zuccarello (New York Post)

Calgary Flames Finding Rebuild a Selling Point For Young Players (Edmonton Sun)

Report: NHL Pushing for Seattle Expansion for 2014-15 Season (Pro Hockey Talk)

How Bad Has Toronto’s Offseason Been? (Grantland)

Two Minutes For Tweeting

No argument here. As a result of political blockades and a general “don’t-care” attitude, Nassau County officials couldn’t keep Long Island’s only professional sports franchise in Uniondale. The Islanders are looking towards the future, though, which is as bright as any NHL team’s. The move to Brooklyn will revitalize the club by placing it in a new arena located squarely in one of the nation’s top media markets.

Too soon to start checking the 2013-14 NHL standings or nah?

Ah, the offseason-long lineup debate. Throughout the Twitterverse, Isles fans have been offering their choices for line pairings as a method of dealing with the summertime hockey blues. Pairing Tavares with Michael Grabner on the top line may provide the team with a spark, as Grabner’s speed combined with Tavares’s playmaking ability would be difficult for opposing teams to defend.

The league’s most feared playoff beard is back and better than ever, at least on this Brian Strait action figure circa 1992. Wait, what?

Remember to submit your Islanders or NHL questions to the EyesOnIsles staff at to be included in our inaugural mailbag feature. Send us whatever is on your mind as we wait for the start of training camp. Be sure to include your first name and your city so you can reap the benefits of being featured on the site.

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.