It’s been a while since the Islanders announced that they had acquired goalie Jaroslav Halak from the Washington Capitals. Many Islanders fans have been patiently waiting for Islanders General Manager Garth Snow to offer up a contract and get the whole signing process done and over with. So here are a few reasons, in my opinion, why Halak has not signed yet:
First, have you noticed that there are also no signings of any teams restricted free agents? That’s because every GM like Snow are awaiting to see what the official salary cap will be. During Gary’s interview with Garth Snow, there was a estimation of 52 million as the possible cap floor, but the GM’s need specific numbers so that they can decide whether to qualify their restricted free agents and make room for future unrestricted free agents or trades. The cap floor should be announced within the next few weeks, so there is still time. For example, Islanders defensive prospect Ville Pokka has not signed an entry-level contract yet and needs to be signed by June 1st. If I were Isles fans, I’d be more worried about that first.
Second, every GM/scout and player agent are scouting. They’re scouting the Canadian Junior Hockey playoffs, the European playoffs, the NHL playoffs & the World Championships. Snow and every GM are by no means watching TV like we are. They have a draft that they are getting ready for and need to improve their respecting franchises and they’re running out of time to watch these players. With players signing long term deals and the unrestricted free agency not as popular anymore, drafting is essential. Agents are scouting. For example: Ever consider the thought that Halak and his agent are evaluating how much he’s now worth on the market with the poor play of Ryan Miller and the benching of Jonas Hiller? On that flip side, if Halak wishes to test unrestricted free agency, the Islanders could go with the now more affordable Miller or Hiller.
Having said all that I believe both Halak and the Islanders need each other and I think that Halak will sign with the Isles. Having said that, my third point: Even if Halak has already agreed to a contract why does Snow have to tell us now? Prime example, in 2009 when the Islanders held the first overall pick, did Garth come out and say he’s drafting John Tavares? No. He made all of the fans wait for months in utter panic, had them pack the Coliseum in the summer time and with the announcement made on draft day was the loudest cheer the Islanders fans have made since the Bates penalty shot. This could be nothing more than Snow making another public relations move to add some drama (there’s that word again for this summer, speaking of drama is Wang really selling? Haha) in a summer that has every Islander fan on edge and on tgheir last nerve.
Again, there’s around six weeks left for Garth to torture you. I’d be more concerned about him signing Pokka and if the Islanders really do retain their first round pick on June 1st. When those are finished, then you can talk about Halak signing. I will say this again, Snow will be active at the draft, so don’t miss out on that. Who knows, maybe he’ll make the announcement at the draft. In the meantime, enjoy the playoffs and get out some more.