The New York Islanders seem all but guaranteed to be adding free agent Zach Parise once the signing window opens on July 28. Earlier today, Larry Brooks of the New York Post indicated that the Isles are looking at bringing in both Parise and Suter.
From there it was a parade of insiders and pundits either confirming or agreeing that Lou is in pursuit of both but that Parise is basically a sure thing.
Bringing in Parise, who will surely play on the Isles third line, would essentially push some deadweight off the roster.
New York Islanders deadweight pushed down by possible Parise signing
Leo Komarov, Michael Dal Colle, Kieffer Bellows, Ross Johnston, Richard Panik, even Anatoly Golyshev are all in direct competition for that spot on Pageau’s wing. Bringing in Parise would certainly push all of them down one spot on the depth chart.
With only two spots on the Isles four forward lines (one on Pageau’s left and another on the right side of the top line) not everyone will get a spot. Brining in Parise means one of these players (maybe even two if Lou brings in a direct replacement for Eberle) will have to move on via trade or move down.
And remember half of these guys are under contract. Only Anatoly Golyshev, Kieffer Bellows, and Michael Dal Colle aren’t under contract. All are RFAs. Dal Colle and Golyshev are arbitration-eligible.
Now some of these guys are replacement-level players that should be used as such. Either they’re the 13 forward or they’re playing in the AHL with the Bridgeport Islanders. All of these players are waiver-eligible. Meaning they have to pass through waivers in order to get to the AHL if they’re on the NHL roster. That’s not a bad thing for most of them. If they get claimed the Isles shed more cap space.
I don’t expect that any of these players would be claimed on the waiver wire (except Bellows of course) which then gives the Isles up to $1.125 million in cap space. Signing Parise for what should be $1 million would easily be washed out by any one of these players going to the AHL.
The point I’m trying to make here is that Parise will certainly fit into the squad while pushing down more of the Islanders deadweight. And that’s yet another positive after considering that Parise is certainly an upgrade for anyone he pushes down.
On Bellows and Golyshev
Now deadweight might be a harsh term to use. But I can’t think of a better way to describe guys who aren’t really bringing anything tangible to the team. Guys like Komarov, Dal Colle, and Johnston aren’t giving the Isles anything. They are replacement-level players on this team.
That’s not necessarily fair to someone like Kieffer Bellows who hasn’t really factored at the NHL level or Anatoly Golyshev who hasn’t yet played a pro-game in North America.
I figure Golyshev, assuming he signs, starts the year in Bridgeport while Bellows gets a shot with the NHL roster to start the year and if he can’t make the lineup he might be delt for draft capital.