9/10/07

Now or never for Free Agents with Islanders?

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/10/2007 08:01:00 AM
Just speculation on my part but it's impossible to ignore the trends in the organization on Charles Wang's policy of players being in camp day one or not being part of his team.

I know the policy was regarding the club's restricted free agents like with Chara and Isbister his first season and Sean Bergenheim who found out the hard way what it meant last season.

Question here is will it apply to unrestricted free agents like Jason Allison, Anson Carter or any UFA if they are not in the club's camp on a tryout?

Last two years Islanders have used this to bring Richard Park, Mike Dunham and now Bryan Berard among NHL veterans to camp and there have been odd rumors of Allison signing with the Islanders. Many teams invite prospects not signed, Isles invited Justin Bourne and several players will be invited who do not have a contract but again what's important to remember here is these players will be at camp from day one.

Fair to say Michael Strahan's football season would be over if he pulled with his did on any club owned by Charles Wang. Would be interesting to see how Wang would react to Niedermayer's situtation as well.

The question of the day is will Wang allow Snow and Nolan to sign an outside UFA looking for a job if Snow or Ted Nolan feels the alternatives to improve the club are not in the organization or in camp before the season begins?

As I have discussed in earlier blogs, this is a new NHL where the second and third tier free agents really have to scramble for a job and a contract. In some cases gm and coach want to wait to see what their clubs look like in camp and preseason before going shopping for a veteran to fill a need.

Will Charles Wang allow Garth Snow and Ted Nolan to do the same with players who will not be in any teams training camp? This is not a Chris Osgood situtation where he was in training camp with Detroit and the Islanders claimed him in the waiver draft.

For those wondering the waiver draft was dropped as part of the new CBA.

My guess is Mr Wang will see this as different and not tie his gm or coaches hands if there is a player available who can help improve the club, but a topic for a quiet day just before camp opens.

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