4/22/13

Bridgeport's 2012-13 Season Concludes...Moving Forward

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/22/2013 07:51:00 AM
The Sound Tigers richly deserved elimination came on Friday night at their own hands.

Not much that can be written that was not in the entry on Scott Pellerin being replaced, even though he is under contract for 2013-14. I would guess unless he has another job in mind, and the Islanders are willing to let him go he will be back.

Perhaps it was the grind of Nino Niederreiter's first healthy full season, combined with injuries to his line-mates?

Nino Niederreiter played his mostly injured NHL season in 2011-12, almost a full year younger than John Tavares did. 

Forgetting the statistics, Nino Niederreiter was not as involved in the play as he was before his agent spoke in January. Still on paper overall he had an excellent first full season.

For Brock Nelson, Matt Donovan this season was a major step forward. John Persson, Johan Sundstrom had an excellent showing. David Ullstrom faces some tough competition moving forward, along with Aaron Ness, who had a much better year than his plus/minus shows.

Kirill Kabanov, who scored in the season finale, will get a pass based on his injury, but he received criticism from Pellerin. Jason Clark was not a success story, nor was Mike Halmo.

Only management in New York knows where Ryan Strome fits in 2013-14.

The Ct Post will release a list of who's restricted/free agent in a day or two. 

Defense: 
We sure have come a long way quickly since Mike Mottau, Steve Staios, Mark Eaton, Milan Jurcina

Depth is a funny thing, you can go from none to plenty very quickly. 

Bridgeport is basically set for 2013-14 in this department with the signings of Pedan, Mayfield, Dalhuisen, with Ness, Reinhart (Juniors or NHL 13-14) Donovan, Cantin or Calvin deHaan.

Ty Wishart seems on the outside in terms of a paper roster with Jon Landry.

Anyone on the outside of this mix likely will not be retained, it costs nothing to qualify Mark Katic in Europe.

To play many of these defenders in a third pairing would not be the best use of their talent which is another problem-see Anton Klementyev. 

The math is not good for Brenden Kichton, who's a big risk if management decides to let that offense re-enter the NHL draft. There are more defenders in college, and CHL who must be signed by summer 2014.

If Kichton is signed by another club, providing NHL-level offense, management will face well earned criticism, this is not losing Jared Spurgeon, who is a descent NHL player.

There is another draft class coming in June, given all the signed defenders in the organization now, plus all the ones due to be signed next summer, there is not enough room.

Yes folks on paper  Brenden Kichton is a better prospect than Pedan or Mayfield, or even Aaron Ness when he signed out of Minnesota, or Donovan out of Denver, he's a mile better than Mike Dalhuisen.

The story of Justin Mapletoft was discussed here already, that's where Kichton is now.


The day will come where Travis Hamonic will get his offer of close to thirty million from hometown Winnipeg if his offense develops, or fifteen million if it does not. Why is he turning that down?  His 2013 RFA summer coming up will tell us part of what's coming.

The days of Andrew MacDonald making 500k are coming to an end, someone's giving him three million plus a year if even if he shows no offensive progression, and much more if he does.

Brian Strait is a happy man with a three year contract, Thomas Hickey (RFA) will likely want even more. Joe Finley is signed for 2013-14.

Good news is if history has taught us anything it's there is no such things as not enough depth, especially in an organization with a long history of leading the league in man games lost.

Goaltending: 
With Miko Koskinen signing in Europe for the next two years, if New York wants to develop a goaltender it has to be Anders Nilsson.

Kevin Poulin (RFA) did not have a good year, but no goaltender did in front of the second highest goals allowed team in the AHL.

Rick DiPietro's progression, cannot come at the price of developing a goaltender unless DiPietro can make the adjustment to being a backup which is asking too much for a goalie who desperately needs to work off rust.

A lot will be decided on if Nabokov returns with Tim Thomas an option.

DiPietro's finally showed his first real sign he is healthy playing eighteen games, there is no working off rust as an NHL/AHL backup or splitting time with another goalie in a league where teams largely play during weekends.

Of course the Islanders can simply keep DiPietro as the full time Bridgeport starter, and not care about developing a goaltender. Many organizations go the same route once they had their NHL starter.

Martin Brodeur, Johan Hedberg took the Devils to the Stanley Cup finals a year ago. Dwayne Roloson the conference finals before that.  Anyone believe the Flyers, with Bryzgalov, Mason or Pittsburgh with Vokoun, or Rangers with former Islander Biron, are playing a huge premium on developing a backup goaltender in their AHL system? 

How would you like to be an AHL goalie in Vancouver's system right now?


Canadian Media Slam Sports