Top Shelf : Islanders Daily : 8/25/2013


Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

While the New York Islanders have yet to make an official announcement, it is widely speculated that we are just 10 days away from rookies reporting to training camp followed by veterans the following week on September 11.

That news can not come as anything but a relief as the dog days of August showed their true colors this season, devoid of anything significant to talk about in the National Hockey League. The signing of Mikhail Grabovski the other day to a one year, 3 million dollar contract by the Washington Capitals was a mere blip on the league’s huge radar.

What Islanders fans can certainly look forward to is something we have not been accustomed to seeing over recent years and that is significant competition for jobs. In the past, it has always been safely assumed who was making the club but not so this year. Ryan Strome, Brock Nelson, Anders Lee and Matt Donovan lead an outstanding rookie class who will all be trying to get their first crack at sticking with the big club ahead of the season opener on October 4 at New Jersey.

Let’s take a walk on this crisp cool morning around the NHL and see what is happening off the Island…..

  • Adam Henrique remains the lone Devil unsigned as we get closer to training camp (I think Lou Lamoriello is still trying to work Damian Brunner into the mix, thus delaying this inevitable signing)
  • Washington has only approximately 2.6 million cap space remaining to sign Marcus Johansson (Caps put themselves in a tight spot and now will have to work out something either by optioning someone to the AHL or making a trade)
  • The Blues and standout defenseman Alex Pietrangelo are still a million dollars apart in contract negotiations (I expect this to get done but it might not happen in time for the start of training camp)
  • Tyler Myers does not like how he performed last season and is determined to rebound (I would safely assume many around the Buffalo organization feel exactly the same way, Tyler)
  • Toronto GM Dave Noonis does not expect David Clarkson to challenge for 30 goals this season (Nothing like setting the bar high for 6 million dollars, hey Dave?)

Today we have part one of staff writer Shane Blackburn’s look at the Eastern conference team by team as he begins with the Carolina Hurricanes. I will be completing an op/ed this week on five reasons why you should watch the New York Islanders this season and our ‘humongous big’ season preview issue is in the planning stages and details being finalized (that line will never get old on me, sorry).

We also have finalized our staff roster for the 2013-14 writing season as Peter McEntee and Reagan King have brought their writing talents to an already outstanding and top notch squad here at Eyes On Isles. So with us being fully staffed, you can expect nothing but the best Islanders coverage this season from top to bottom of this great organization.

Andy (@tazman19)

In Case You Missed It

Two Minutes For Tweeting

  • A gem from Ballantyne, one of the members of the Isles outstanding supporter section 329. Could you imagine a return of Sim to be named captain over John Tavares? And the hashtag to boot. Good stuff.
  • Outstanding memorabilia right there. Can’t get any better if you are a fan of the scrappy Islanders forward.
  • Yep, this happened. Who has the more fluid goaltending situation this season? The Penguins or the Flyers?
  • That’s a good thought Todd and one that is probably shared by many Islanders fans but who gets the boot? There are only so many spots open and right now, my opinion is that we are pretty full heading into training camp.