Eyes On Isles: GreenLanternJet Edition

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Jan 19, 2015; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) celebrates with the bench after scoring a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Islanders won 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Well, Happy All-Star Break Isles fans. With 63 points headed into the break, the New York Islanders sit at the top of the Metropolitan Division, stunning the league and pleasing their fans. To get some outside opinions on the team, we here at Eyes have reached out to a great contributor towards the Islanders in the media and a die-hard fan just like ourselves, columnist/editor for CBSNewYork/, @GreenLanternJet on Twitter, Jeff Capellini.

So the Islanders currently sit atop of the Metropolitan Division headed into the All-Star Break. What were you expecting after the off-season that general manager Garth Snow had pulled off?


“To be honest I thought they’d be a playoff team, but never did I think they’d have the best record in the conference heading into the All-Star break. Snow made the Isles’ stronger and deeper down the middle, improved goaltending dramatically and added Stanley Cup-winning experience on the blue line. Add that to his excellent draft work over the years maturing and it’s like a perfect storm for this fan base. I figured they could be a 4-6 seed, and may still end up being one, but not if they continue to play like this.”

One of the season’s unsung heroes has been Nick Leddy. What about his game do you like? 


“Leddy has the complete game to one day be in contention for the Norris. He may not be the biggest guy, but he’s a smart defender and he’s able to make up any size deficiencies he has with his speed. He may be the Isles’ best skater, and that’s saying something when you consider this team’s overall strength is how it can skate other teams out of any building on any given night.”

He’s also a restricted free agent this summer. What kind of deal do you see him getting from Garth?


“My guess is Snow will try to lock up Boychuk first because as a restricted free agent Leddy doesn’t have much bargaining power. However, Nick seems to like it here and he gets the ice time he couldn’t get in Chicago, so it makes sense that as long as the Isles are good and he’s a part of making it happen, there’s no reason why Snow wouldn’t try to offer Leddy a Hamonic-type contract, likely for slightly less years and slightly more money annually.”

Speaking of free agents-to-be, another big impact player for the Islanders has been defenseman Johnny Boychuk. Do you think he goes to unrestricted free agency, or does Garth sign him prior? What kind of deal do you see him getting?


“It’s in everyone’s best interest to sign both Leddy and Boychuk long term. This is the toughest scenario Garth will face going forward until next season. The Islanders have most of their core players signed long term, so I would assume he’s going to continue to make signing Boychuk long term his top priority. The problem is it likely will all depend on who is influencing Boychuk. He will probably be one of the top free agents available this summer and his asking price could be insanely high as a result. That only ratchets up the pressure on Snow to get a deal done before the season ends. All indications are Boychuk wants to stay. I think the Isles get this deal done before the playoffs, and I would think he’ll get at least 5 years and at least $5 million per, because if he gets to free agency his list of suitors will be long and distinguished, and I’m sure both he and his agent know it.”

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