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Isles Files: A Look Ahead To Free Agency

At most, the 2013 NHL season has two games remaining. The Chicago Blackhawks have the opportunity to send the Boston Bruins home without any new hardware, as a win tonight would make them this year's Stanley Cup Champions.

With that being said, the New York Islanders organization has been preparing for the NHL Entry draft, as well as free agency.

As we jump ahead to July 5th, there are a handful of players that the Islanders might consider for the 2013-2014 roster that may make them a better contending team for next season's playoff run.

To Go Streit Ahead or Trade Streit Away?

At this moment, Islanders captain Mark Streit is sitting and wondering if he will receive a phone call from GM Garth Snow to tell him that he has been traded (Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr).

It was tweeted out yesterday by Darren Dreger of TSN and reinforced by Newsday reporter Arthur Staple that negotiations on a contract extension for Streit have stalled with the Islanders.

The club apparently does not want to trade the 35-year old defenseman and would much rather keep his veteran presence part of the late season playoff push. But unless things change, he will be a UFA by this summer.

Needing Wins The Sound Tigers Offer A Diamond Mine of Entertainment

The Sound Tigers have ten games remaining in their season and while they still have a chance to make the playoffs, the chance is remote. It is likely the team would have to run the table in order to extend the season.

Ten W’s in ten games is a lot to ask of a team whose record in ‘Tweetish’ (140 chars. or less) to date is: ‘#BST-W-W-W-L-W-L-W-L-W-W-W-L-W-W-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-W-L-W-L-W-L-W-W-W-W-L-L-L-L-L-W-W-L-L-L-L-W-W-W-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-W-L-L-W-W-L-L-W-L-L-W-L-L.’ It does not look good for the playoffs, but tables have been run and there are still some compelling reasons to visit the Webster Bank Arena for the remaining games.

The Isles Need To Continue Re-Signing Veterans Beyond This Season

As reported previously this week, the New York Islanders locked up defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky with a two-year contract extension worth $9.5 million.

GM Garth Snow has once again managed to acquire a valuable veteran through the trade market and convince him to stay longer than planned after he previously tried to avoid joining the team (Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr).

The first player that went through a similar scenario was goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, who is also playing in the final year of his contract. However, it has already been reported by Arthur Staple of Newsday that he appears to have an interest with staying with the team.

Phantoms Drop 2-1 in Front of a Huge Philadelphia Crowd

Ever since moving from Philadelphia to upstate New York, the Phantoms came back to Philadelphia once a year to treat their former fans with some minor league hockey.

This year, they hosted the Wilkes-Barre Penguins in front of 19,561 hockey fans. That number was good for the seventh highest attendance ever at an American Hockey League game.

The crowd was loud and boisterous, just like any other Philadelphia crowd at a hockey game.

DiPietro Placed On Waivers, Heading Towards Buyout?

The New York Islanders announced today that they have placed goaltender Rick DiPietro on waivers to be sent down to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and has no intent of calling him back up to the NHL this season.

Islanders fans very well may be seeing the beginning to the end of the Rick DiPietro era.

This doesn't exactly come to many as a surprise since DiPietro has clearly not played up to the standards of an NHL caliber goaltender. Despite only performing in the back-up role, Rick has earned a 4.09 GAA and a .855 save percentage with an 0-3-0 record (Photo Credit: 5of7/Flickr).

Islanders Quarterly Check In

The Islanders are just slightly past the quarter mark of the season after playing their 13th game of the year last night against the New York Rangers. They skated to a 4-3 shootout victory to give them a 5-7-1 record.

With 11 points, the Islanders sit 12th in the Eastern Conference; four points out of the eighth placed Rangers and last in the Atlantic Division (Photo Credit: theseoduke/Flickr).

Five of the Islanders top-six forwards have been producing from the start of the year. John Tavares has 16 points in 13 games, trailed by Matt Moulson with 13 and Brad Boyes with 10. Frans Nielsen has quietly put up nine points in the games that have been played, while Michael Grabner has seven.

Keith Aucoin Is Making An Early Impression On The Island

It's early. The season is only four games old for the New York Islanders, who have come out of the gate with a 2-2-0 record. And although he has four assists on the year, it hasn't been John Tavares who has been scoring the majority of the goals (Photo Credit: MR_53/Flickr).

Keith Aucoin, who is tied for first on the team in goals with Michael Grabner, is slowly emerging as this year's key pick up by GM Garth Snow.

Grabner is expected to be on the score sheet after scoring 20-plus goals over his first two years with the Islanders. But Aucoin has only played 106 NHL games and only had the first two-goal game of his career last night against the Boston Bruins.

Tampa Bay Lightning Early Season Notes And Numbers

 

After three games the Tampa Bay Lightning are 2-1 with four points and are first in the Southeast division. While it is all but impossible to glean much information from such a small sample of games, the Bolts are buying into Coach Guy Boucher’s platform and are showing signs of improvement on defense and in the net. "It’s going to be defense first. That’s our mindset, because we’ve got the offense," said Boucher. (Photo/Susan Ferlita)

Tampa Bay opened the season at home on Saturday night with a well earned 6-3 victory over division rival Washington. Martin St. Louis and Eric Brewer each scored two goa...

Top Isles Prospect Nino Niederreiter Seeking Trade

According to Katie Strang of ESPN, New York Islanders prospect Nino Niederreiter is seeking a trade from the organization.

Niederreiter has currently been playing for the Isles farm team affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers after dressing for 55 games with the Islanders during the 2011-2012 season. While in the NHL, Niederreiter scored one goal and was a -29. He primarily played on the fourth line with Jay Pandolfo and Tim Wallace (Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr).

He has arguably been the best player for the Sound Tigers this year. In 39 games played he has scored 19 goals and 17 assists for 36 points. He also leads the team with 122 shots on goal and eight power play points.