7/30/07

Too early to grade the Islanders summer

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/30/2007 09:27:00 AM
Usually when we hit August, media people start grading how a club did in the summer and start making their predictions for next season so those prognostications can be published in magazines or websites that have to be released by September or these writers have to do projections for thirty teams and are doing one a day and have to start now to be done by September.

IMHO, this is far too early for grades or projections. This is a different NHL where the top tier UFA are still well overpaid but soon afterward the second-tier players
find themselves shut out where they really have to scramble for the best offer because few teams are able to overpay with a salary cap or have reached their own budget limit.

In the Islanders case we don't know if Charles Wang has Garth Snow on a budget or if this is all they intend to do in UFA. We do know Snow was quoted as saying he can spend on anyone he feels will help the club. It's also possible the next move is a trade of salary/cap-hit for some other players cap-hit to fill a need.

The Islanders have a lot of options here and can go either way. Players like Tambellini and Bergenheim are at the point where they no longer belong in the AHL and the same may be said for Frans Nielsen and perhaps a Blake Comeau, Jeremy Coliton or Petteri Nokelainen.

Do you sign a Michael Peca now, who fits Sillinger's role as a third line center (with less scoring) and not that of a second line center or do you maybe wait and see who becomes available after camp when it's clear or do you limit these kids opportunities for jobs now?

Looking at the roster now with players like Bates, Park, Simon signed and with Andy Hilbert getting a two year extension, there are not many jobs available on this roster anymore.

It's been a wild ride and maybe not the best ride for this club so far. We do know the Islanders had a lot of weaknesses with Smyth, Zednik. Yashin, Blake, Robitaille, Kozlov, Poti, Hill and Asham here and were a limited club but collectively they also helped this club produce a 92 point season and a playoff spot. It's possible the players added address some of these weaknesses, but it's also possible Comrie, Guerin, Sim and Fedotenko struggle badly here and cannot replace the lost offense and defense last year's club showed.

If a game had to be played tomorrow this is where things seem to stand:
Fedotenko-Comrie-Guerin
Hilbert-Sillinger-Hunter*
Sim-Tambellini-Satan
Bergenheim-Bates-Park
Simon-Nokelainen-Comeau-Collition...ect

Martinek-Witt
Bergeron-Gervais
Campoli-Meyer
Johnson ect....

For now we have to wait and see what happens with this roster. for now it could go either way.

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