Howie Rose had a radio interview a few days ago where he made the point the Isles could be looking at the same situtation as they were a year ago where in essence they would have to restock the club if they could not resign their free agents and were constantly stuck in the same pattern.
I felt that judgement was unfair on his part and wanted to review last summer vs this summer for everyone to make my point significant progress is being made here and next summer will not be like last summer at all.
Last summer the Islanders went into July 1st 2007 with the following lines:
Smyth-(UFA)-Silliger (signed)- Hunter (rfa)
Zednik-(UFA)-Yashin(boughtout)- Satan (signed)
Islanders after buying out Alexei Yashin had seven unrestricted free agents at forward and only Hilbert and Simon resigned.
July 1st 2008 Islanders enter free agency with the following lines:
Frans Nielsen was signed for two years on 5/16/06
Blake Comeau was signed to a three year extension 3/22/06
Jeremy Colliton-signed a three year contract 7/28/05
Jeff Tambellini was signed to a mult-year contract extension 12/9/05 to where Dave Taylor gave indications it was longer than three years. At worst he is restricted for Isles entering July which is why I will leave him as a question mark.
We already know on the backline: Campoli, Witt, Martinek, Sutton, Meyer are under contract and Bruno Gervais will likley receive something close to what Chris Campoli got for an offer last summer. Aaron Johnson was not qualified a year ago which is why he was available as an UFA.
So I have to ask how is Fedontenko, Vasicek, Berard and Satan as the only pending UFA on the current roster anything close to the situtation a year ago in any way to say nothing of all the prospects that are playing well and only getting better getting a full opportunity and doing well to say nothing of Bergenheim?
We are seeing the hockey staff's plan and it seems they are in good position entering this July to attract free agents if they want.
This does not even include reports Isles have been in negotiations with the unrestricted forwards.
I hope anyone who thinks the Islanders are anywhere near the same position they were in a year ago reads this because it's simply not true.