Quiet time on the surface for the New York Islanders, but also a waiting game that seems to be a trend around the league.
It's been a very different summer on a lot of levels. The calendar date says 8/13, but in terms of where UFA used to be it would be around 7/13 given the long list of veteran/fringe free agents virtually stuck in limbo with a little more than a month until training camp.
No one is lining up to overpay now that the initial wave of defenders were signed.
The front-loading of contracts combined with salary cap has caught up to the system. It's forced trades, made teams walk away from players in arbitration, and for the Islanders a rare sign & trade helped Garth Snow add a defender.
The landmark arbitration ruling has made Ilya Kovalchuk an UFA again, this changes the CBA landscape in terms of future front-loading until the current CBA expires.
There are a lot of talented players waiting, as many teams are tied up cap-wise or in terms of roster space.
Only Garth Snow knows if he is willing to bring in another forward now, later or not at all, but regardless it seems patience is the best approach. A year ago if the spot designated for Matt Moulson were given to an early veteran signing, there may not have been a spot in camp for him beyond a quick look.
I remember Miroslav Satan working out here for months into last season, how would you feel if the Islanders signed him last September and that landed Moulson in the AHL after a brief look?
I may be the only one but I thought Jeremy Reich before he hurt his wrist was very close to winning a spot.
Do I believe Garth Snow has some trades/signings to make on offense, and especially defense?
Absolutely, however it may take until the end of camp for the right deal or player to become available. What if it turns out Nino Niederreiter or another prospect is the best alternative?
For those worried about the cap floor, spare me.
Brendan Witt could have sat on the Islanders bench like Jeff Tambellini at a three million dollar cap hit, if it were only about reaching the salary floor players like Micheal Nylander, who are cap hits on paper only could have been claimed on waivers last month from Washington.
The only thing this team is limited from doing is offering a big front-loaded contract.
The more I read from Lou Lamoriello after Ilya Kovalchuk's press conference, the more it seemed he knew the league would challenge the contract and win. Bottom line both sides agreed to Richard Bloch as arbitrator, he had a record of being fair in these matters.
Owner Jeff Vanderbeek better find more money, and Lou Lamoriello will have to dump some salary if they want to restructure a contract offer.
As for other current deals, the NHL needed one day to reject Kovalchuk contract, it would be unfair to go after other contracts where players have been signed and paid under their agreement for a year or longer.
What happens from here with Kovalchuk comes down to what the Devils can offer in a shorter term, or if Kovalchuk/Jay Grossman are inflexible and decide to look elsewhere? It would be terrible for the NHL to see him sign with any other team after a press conference was permitted.
Still believe teams have not gravitated spending to the cap as was mentioned six years ago when the CBA was signed? That 39m cap is now at 58.4m, with the floor five million more than the original ceiling.
Given all the 2010 reports of Chicago, Ottawa, New Jersey losing money via their owners or representatives, it may take another lockout because this league cannot be about which billion dollar corporation can write off the most yearly losses.
Generating revenue sounds nice and reads well, however no one is writing or talking about extra finances being spent/overspent to that end.
In short, if you need to spend a hundred million to generate eighty million in return, it's not a business plan that works. Simply writing about x team making y million in revenue is not an accurate picture.
The Bruins rookies coming to Shelton Ct in September to play Islander prospects has been changed here with the two contests being moved to Boston.
Islanders website on 8/13 released the list of projected prospects/invites who will participate, that includes KHL signed player, Kirill Petrov.
Some unsigned draft picks attending, but most notable Kirill Petrov is projected to be in North America for these games at a point the KHL season is underway.
Updated this because did not take a good look at the list earlier.
New York Islander Fan Central Twitter Page