May 16, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks centerScott Gomez
(23) brings the puck up the ice during second period action against the LA Kings in game two of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
The Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames were active in the world of free agency yesterday, as both teams signed—admittedly—non-headlining players to short-term contracts.
Florida signed former Calder Trophy-winning forward and two-time Stanley Cup champion Scott Gomez to a one-year deal worth a reported $900,000. The rationale behind the signing was that the Panthers are looking for veteran depth to bolster a young roster going into the 2013-14 NHL season.
Calgary inked their former fourth overall draft pick, RFA defenseman TJ Brodie to a two-year contract worth $4.25 million. Brodie recorded 14 points in 47 games for the Flames last season and has an AHL All-Star game appearance to his credit (2011).
The New York Islanders were in the news yesterday as well, announcing that the franchise had officially become affiliated with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL. While the likelihood of the Islanders storing prospects in the ECHL that will eventually see time with the big club is slim, it’s important to note that the Isles are focusing on building through the minor leagues.
As we’ve seen since 2008, the Islanders are content to stockpile young talent until those players are ready to make the leap to the NHL. So far, that plan has worked well for the organization and the talent pipeline won’t dry up any time soon.
Also in Isles news, former Islanders star Zigmund Palffy announced his retirement from hockey yesterday, triggering a series of online posts recalling Palffy’s NHL career, most notably on the Island.
Palffy was undoubtedly one of Long Island’s best hockey players, and Isles fans will always happily recall his time in Uniondale.
And besides, any time we get to see Palffy’s mid-nineties mullet, without having the search the dark corners of YouTube, I’m all for it.
In Case You Missed It
Zigmund Palffy Retires (EOI)
Islanders Host Hockey Clinic (Newsday)
Callahan May Miss Opener, Gomez Signs With Panthers (Toronto Sun)
NHLPA Increases Benefits for Senior Retired Players Fund (Pro Hockey Talk)
Two Minutes For Tweeting
We’re sure the Stockton Thunder’s Twitter account gained a few followers on the east coast yesterday, as the team announced its newfound affiliation with the Islanders.
“Palffy is ‘Euro Trash’” –Mike Milbury, sitting in the front office
“LOLOLOLOL” –Zigmund Palffy, scoring all the goals for the Isles
The guy was a class act and the face of a franchise mired in the depths of poor ownership and a perpetual lack of excitement, but Palffy never quit on the team. For that, Isles fans salute him.
What’s that? You were wondering where you could read a Q&A feature with the great Arthur Staple, beat writer for the New York Islanders? Look no further than this site later today, when EOI publishes our offseason interview with the main source for Islanders news and notes.
Don’t we all. Don’t. We. All.
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.