We're at the end of July and still awaiting the New York Islanders to announce the signing or extension of any NHL players. As the organization has consistently struck out when it comes to big names in free agency, twice, it can be said they've made an impact at the goaltender position when trading for the rights and signing Jaroslav Halak, and signing Robin Lehner. But when it comes to position players, free agency has been a bit of a snooze-fest.
New York Islanders underrated free-agent signing: Miroslav Satan
If you want to look for the last big splash the Islanders' have made during free agency, you have to look back to just after the lockout of 2005-06 when GM Mike Millbury announced the signing of Miroslav Satan to a three-year contract.
"We were looking for a star-caliber scorer to add to our offense, and we have landed one of the best in Miroslav. He's an ideal compliment to the rest of our top forwards. This is a huge signing for us."- Former Islanders' GM, Mike Millbury
Before signing with the Islanders, Satan became one of the league's most prolific scorers in his time with the Buffalo Sabres. In a time when goal scoring was down across the league, Satan was among the best. In his six seasons in Buffalo, Satan was ninth in the league in goal scoring, trailing names like Joe Sakic, Jarome Iginla, Jaromir Jagr, and ahead of Brett Hull.
Maybe Satan's most memorable moment as an Islander came on November 3, 2007. Islanders Head Coach Ted Nolan invited Al Arbour to take the reigns one final time to reach 1,500 games coached. As the Isles trailed by one goal heading into the final period, Satan scored two goals, including the final one with only 2:49 remaining to give the Islanders a 3-2 victory.
When Millbury signed Satan, he was supposed to be the final piece to a three-headed monster along with Alexei Yashin and Jason Blake. Things never seemed to click for the organization with all three in the lineup and the Isles only managed to reach the playoffs once in Satan's three seasons, where they were eliminated in five games to Satan's former team, the Sabres.
Satan managed to put together solid numbers with the Isles, missing only three games in three seasons while orchestrating 166 points (78 goals and 88 assists). His best season came in the 2005-06 season which was comprised of 35 goals and 31 assists.
With most of the big names now signed with new teams this offseason, it looks as if the Isles will go another season without pulling in an impact positional player unless Lamoriello announces to a suspecting hockey world the signing of Nazem Kadri.
But, we may have to wait for a few more months to see if that comes to fruition.