New York Roster Breakdown Entering UFA

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/30/2012 05:36:00 AM |
Free Agency opens at noon 7/1 Est.

How many real job openings are here for Garth Snow to target free agents/trades?

For this entries purposes anyone entering UFA is not coming back. 

Depth Chart: 
Tier One Forwards: Players absolutely on the 2012-13 team barring a trade.
Grabner-Nielsen-Bailey (the Isles see him as a wing despite being a drafted center)
Martin-Reasoner-XXXX   (Reasoner's signed, no buyout so unless he retires he has a spot to lose)           

Tier Two Forwards: Players who could make the team but could also play in Bridgeport/Europe.
Ullstrom-Cizikas-Niederreiter, Joensuu (one-way NHL contract)

Tier Three Forwards: Players who likely need a rookie year in Bridgeport. (or return to juniors) 
(Nelson has been used as a winger) 

NYIFC Comments:
Bottom line are many of the players entering the market a real solution, a stop-gap for the prospects, or a player who forces the departure of a current roster player?

There are size, skating, scoring, physical play, veteran questions with few apparent answers. 

What if someone from group II/III are too good to demote?
Tier One Defense: (see explanation above)
Streit-Visnovsky (if he decides to report which is a huge question)

Tier Two Defense:
deHaan, Donovan, Ness, Ty Wishart (must accept qualifying offer)

Tier Three Defense:
Mark Cantin

NYIFC Comments:
Obviously Snow has an even bigger problem if Visnovsky signs in the KHL or retires. At least one of his tier two defenders have to play on this team or he has to make a big bid for someone with Mark Streit a possible UFA next summer.

Snow also needs to address his depth in Bridgeport on defense by signing some of those defenders he drafted.
Tier One Goaltending: (see above)

Tier Two Goaltending:
Poulin-Nilsson-Koskinen (must accept qualifying offer)

NYIFC Comments:
Injuries with all the goaltenders a question, but the depth seems to be there to a point Snow should stand pat because someone should fill the job in this group. No doubt it's the last call for DiPietro to prove durable. Nabokov must play at the high level he displayed or an AHL goaltender of the month is waiting for a full time job.