It's kind of funny reading through some of the few websites reporting on the Islanders off of one Newsday article as it hits sportsnet or other hockey websites around North America.
I almost feel like it's last July again as Newsday's speculation combined with a few comments from the general manager are spun in so many different directions things are almost completely distorted.
This is why other newspapers are needed so badly and why ITV is now so important to the franchise so fans get the full comments. We are practically down to Newsday being the only view point unless the club issues a release.
I cannot tell everyone how many game summaries I have read where only a part of what someone says is quoted and in the next paper you read more of what he had to say to go with the first part and it reads as something completely different.
Which leads us to the latest from Newsday where already we see fiction coming out of fact from other outlets which is no knock on Newsday but just that at times these things take on a life of their own.
Last summer all we read were the players left the Isles in an exodus as if Snow kept making offers down to the final seconds and no player would come back here under any circumstances. Never mind the fact the Isles made it clear last summer they had made final offers to their pending UFA and were moving on with the exception of Ryan Smyth and almost everyone who left said they wanted to sign here.
Here we are already and off the latest article I'm starting to read headlines:
" Islanders to jettison several veterans "
" Isles plan fresh start "
Isles only have about five unrestricted free agents. Only absolute written was the gm said he was going to qualify almost all of his RFA and mentioned them by name.
Where did Garth Snow say he will absolutely not bring back some of his UFA before or after July 1st? He said Dubie rejected his contract offer, the gm again brought up his conditioning and wished him luck which is a likely goodbye but there is no rule here that says Dubie & Snow can still get together on something.
This is what contract negotiations are, sometimes things change, others they do not but there is no absolute here until a player signs elsewhere.
Newsday had a few words from Trent Hunter about a week before he signed that came off as if he could have cared less about re-signing here. A few days later when the five year extension was announced both sides praised the other.
I hope our fans take a minute and separate the speculation from where things are, point being anything can happen. That's not a knock on any publication.
I know folks are not going to be doing cartwheels on this part but the Isles did resign Andy Hilbert after July 1st. Point being one of the pending UFA could be third on the Isles list if they cannot get someone from another club.
Good fact I can give you is Isles need to spend some money to get up to the bottom of the cap right now which means Snow may be able to overpend big to add a front line talent or lock up a Bergenheim-Comeau to a longer term deal.