Montoya Surgery, Jason Gregoire Going Blake Wheeler Route

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/19/2011 05:38:00 AM | |


Islanders website reported goaltender Al Montoya underwent successful surgery last week to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He was hurt during the World Hockey Championships while playing for Team USA, but the club expects him to be ready for training camp.

NYIFC Comments:
Rick DiPietro may go into camp the healthiest of any goaltender in the organization with Montoya, Poulin, Koskinen coming off surgery and Nilsson perhaps not signing by deadline. I do not discount any alternative but if Nilsson is signed there is no spot for Nate Lawson who is UFA.

Too many injured goaltenders/or potential injuries with questions marks combined with spotty play and inexperience.

Islanders website also reported prospect Jason Gregiore decided to forgo his senior year at the University of North Dakota, opting to turn pro next season via the Blake Wheeler route here.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports via Grand Forks Herald that Gregoire will take advantage of a loophole in the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement that allows him to become a free agent 30 days after withdrawing from school if not signed by the team that drafted him.

“I hold the Islanders in the highest regard, who won’t ink a contract until July. “In no way, shape or form have I ruled them out. I just don’t have all of the information right now to make a decision.

“I think very highly of them and they think the same of me. They know what’s going to happen as far as me keeping my options open. We’ll talk some more. If they are the best option, I will go with them.”


NYIFC Comments:
The archives in early May here had articles on Gregiore perhaps leaving school to sign with the Islanders.

This is the first time I have seen this scenario pop-up with an Islanders prospect, who is apparently going the Blake Wheeler route which means he's testing free agency and not signing with the Islanders before any deadline. I expect the Islanders website to report all information and read little into them reporting this.

Based on his production, there is a good chance there will be competition for his services. Anything can happen but expect a good chance Gregoire signs elsewhere with Moulson, Grabner, Martin locked up on left wing and Comeau coming off back to back twenty goal seasons. Sure there are spots on wing at Bridgeport.

If he cannot be signed there will be a compensatory pick awarded.

The clock is running on Casey Cizikas.

Oilers website: Reports the Edmonton City Council approved the framework for a new arena deal in Edmonton where the city says the deal will keep the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL in the city for 35 years.

The arena will cost $450 million, with the city providing $125 million, the Katz Group paying $100 million and $125 million coming from a user-paid facility fee.

NYIFC Comments:
No public referendum was required in Edmonton for the city to pay 125m, but here political by-partisan football. Nassau can always simply skip the public referendum vote, save the taxpayers the 2m cost and just hammer out an agreement? But that would mean working together for the good of the hockey team.



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