Today marks the first day of September, meaning that New York Islanders training camp will be opening up in the next few weeks. This time of year gives the coaching staff an opportunity to observe the types of players they have developing in their system, test out line combinations, and see which prospects are prepared to take on full-time roles in the NHL.
Presently, the Isles have 16 forwards and seven defenseman on one-way contracts, including two legitimate NHL goaltenders who do not have to worry about fighting for their job.
That leaves the Isles with 25 players on their roster.
The 16 forwards is the number that got every hockey expert on the twitter-sphere proclaiming that Garth Snow was absolutely going to trade someone in order to bolster his blue line.
The summer of Snow is upon us. For better or worse, the fate of the New York Islanders rests in the hands of General Manager Garth Snow over the next three months. His goal is simple even if the process is complicated: put the finishes touches on a “rebuild” started six summers ago and create a sustained contender for the last season at the Nassau Coliseum and the future of Brooklyn. (Photo credit: Official New York Islanders/flickr).
Despite the aggressive move made by Garth Snow to acquire Dan Boyle’s negotiation rights prior to the opening of free agency, early reports indicate that Boyle will choose to sign with a new team once he is eligible to listen to other teams on July 1st.
Boyle originally stated that he would have an answer for the Isles by the end of the week. As of today, Boyle's agent George Bazos told Arthur Staple of Newsday that there is nothing new to report since there really isn't a timetable for Boyle to make up his mind (Photo credit: aff ei/Flickr).
Staple notes that the Isles may not be willing to be as patient with Boyle and could look to flip Boyle's rights to another team in order to get back the draft pick they gave to San Jose. You may remember that Snow did the same thing a few years back with defenseman Christian Ehrhoff.
Dan Boyle seems to be weighing his options on whether to sign with the Islanders or not. According to sources he will not play with the Isles like Christian Ehrhoff and Tim Thomas who recently were in similar situations, but his agent says they will have a formal answer by the end of the week.
I could play on his name all day. I’m sharing in the happiness flowing through the fan base.
The Islanders got their goaltender locked up before the 2014 Stanley Cup Champion was crowned. Who would have guessed that it could be this easy?
The Islanders have been spurned by potential candidates for various positions throughout the years but Jaroslav Halak had no problem inking his name on a 4 year/$18 million contract with the New York Islanders. Halak gave fans reasons to be optimistic when they sent a fourth round draft pick to Washington on May 1st by not ruling out signing with the young Islanders. He actually spoke fondly of the Islanders.
In what should end Islander fans' goalie worries, the team announced today that it signed goalie Jaroslav Halak to a four-year contract extension worth $18 million. Halak was acquired a few weeks ago from Washington for a 4th round pick, a price that was a no-brainer then and looks even better now.
The New York Islanders had many reasons for not qualifying for this year's quest for the Cup. One of these issues was lacking a steady force between the pipes. Although Evgeni Nabokov has been brilliant at times throughout his tenure with the Isles, he simply was not a strong enough net-minder to handle the starting role (Photo credit: spotboslow/Flickr).
Throw in multiple injuries and two inexperienced goaltenders, and you have added some major ingredients to the mixing bowl of inconsistency. Both Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson proved this year that neither are close to establishing themselves as full-time NHL goaltenders after posting dismal numbers and records.
Garth Snow is currently holding onto the negotiating rights to Jaroslav Halak, who would indefinitely become the Islanders number one goalie if signed to a new contract. However, Halak would not solve the goaltending issues altogether; the Islanders would still be lacking up a back-up keeper.
Goaltender Anders Nilsson said today that he would no longer report to the AHL and is seeking only a 1 way contract as he enters RFA status this summer. This likely means the end of Anders Nilsson's career not only with the Isles but possibly in the NHL too.
Below is a collection of names that will either be free agents or that could be in play via the trade market. One item to note is that with many of these names, there is a reason why they are available. That is not to say they are bad or wouldn’t represent an upgrade over the current three-headed monster the Islanders have used this year (for a laugh, check out the league’s goalie leaders and scroll to the bottom of the list).