As Arthur Staple has pointed out on Newsday that the Islanders are pretty set in their decisions with the three big unrestricted free agents: Brad Boys, Evgeni Nabokov and now former Islanders captain, Mark Streit as it has been stated that Boyes and Striet will not resign and that there’s a good chance Nabokov will resign before July 5th. So, with that knowledge, especially coming from Staple, we can do a couple of things.
First, we can put aside the Rick DiPietro rumor, at least him being traded for Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo. The Isles may still try to find a way to move DiPietro if they can or he will be buried in Bridgeport for many years to come, or he can retire. Second, if you look at the free agents out there, which I already have, you get three types of players: old, overpaid or both. So if the Islanders are looking to improve on the team, they can do it through a trade(s) during Draft day on June 30th or they can just bring up a few prospects from their AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
It would be simple to do as well. Boyes is a top six winger, so is Nino Niederreitter from Bridgeport. Keith Aucoin, in my opinion a decent third liner for the short season, could be replaced by by another former first rounder Brock Nelson. I would like to add that Nelson was the only Bridgeport player to see time in this years playoffs, that says something. With the departure of Mark Streit on defense, why not replace him with Matt Donovan, one of the AHL’s leading scorers for defensman, also from Bridgeport. Finally, I would also like to put Kevin Poulin in this mix over DiPietro because at this point, Poulin will have the best defense he’s had in front of him since being drafted in this organization and the Islanders need to see what they have in him.
These players may have seen enough time in the AHL that the transition to the big club could be seamless and it’s definitely looking like a win win for all involved. The outgoing free agents may get their raises, the Islanders stay within their plan and budget and finally, the younger players get a chance to prove themselves to show they belong. To start the season I don’t think the Islanders will fall off drastically from these new additions. They may actually improve the team.
There still may be a move or two to be made by the Islanders to help improve the organization, maybe even a splash, but if you’re looking for a big free agent frenzy, you probably won’t see it because there isn’t a need for one yet. The Islanders don’t need an Iginla or Jagr to start the season, they need the maturation process of this organization to continue to see what needs to be done to win the Cup. Signing old, overpaid or both kinds of free agents won’t win you the Cup in July.
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