Lou Lamoriello is still saying all the right things about his team still having a chance for the playoffs (which mean the Islanders on paper still have same chance) however reality is New Jersey, incredibly with veterans on roster, have barely been able to stay ahead of an Islander team with one win since October, and have scored less goals than New York.
That's not easy to do.
For those who don't understand the process with players over thirty five, you sign them at that age, they count against your cap until the contract ends. Brian Rolston has one more goal than Jon Sim, with a far better veteran cast of players, and happens to play the same wing as Matt Moulson, Blake Comeau. (sometimes)
Rolston is claimed (even if he goes on re-entry waivers at some point) and his cap hit is cut in half 2.5m, same thing. He quits, retires, whatever, he is paid and his contract counts against the cap, sending him to the AHL does not change this.
New York needs veteran scoring help. I do not think they need a player who cannot produce with veterans at that age on a team that's going nowhere this season that need to develop their own prospects. This team already has one player over thirty five who has not been healthy very much since December 2008 in Captain Doug Weight.
What they needed was a scoring right wing to replace Okposo, then Hunter. Garth Snow did not/was not able to sign Guerin/Satan, who would have solved nothing, or a better alternative. Parenteau/others so far have not proven to be an answer.
Maybe Snow will put in a claim if it comes down to re-entry, I don't see it and for now Lamoriello is not playing the re-entry card. Character players, well liked are all well and good, but this team needs speed, skill, size and someone to finish.
Rolston comes here and decides to retire at end of season, his cap hit counts against Islander payroll.
What do I want? To see more of Rhett Rahkshani, Joensuu, Martin, Hamonic and a look for Robin Figren. I like Frans Nielsen's defense, his offensive game at five on five simply does not lead to goals. Schremp is scoring enough to merit a spot, Bailey should be back playing his natural position, and Tavares is not going anywhere.
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