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Meet John Santamaria

Hello everyone, this is an introduction from the newest writer to The Checking Line- Isles Edition. My name is John Santamaria, I am a recent graduate of New York Institute of Technology with a degree in Communication Arts. I currently still attend school there pursuing my Master’s Degree in Communication Arts which I will complete in May 2014. My dream job is to one day become a play by play broadcaster.

I am very excited to be a part of this great team of writers covering the NHL and the New York Islanders and I am looking forward to the upcoming season especially with this new position.

The Isles' New Top Line Winger

The New York Islanders once again will be looking for a new winger on the top line to play with John Tavares and Matt Moulson. It has been a continuous up and down process that has seen several players come and go, and new faces will be looking to fill that void once again as the 2013-2014 season approaches (bridgetds/Flickr).

Moulson and Tavares found chemistry from the very beginning, as they were long-time friends prior to joining the Islanders line-up. But finding a third member to join their two-man wolf pack hasn't been an easy solution.

Snow Storms: Evaluating The GM's Moves For The Islanders

The Islanders were very busy at the start of an off-season that forecasted a flurry of movement from GM Garth Snow. On the agenda was signing a number-one goaltender and top-six forward, both of which took place on July 5th. A few other moves were made to help keep the core intact for many years to come, as well as removing another bad apple from the organization (Photo Credit: Official New York Islanders/Flickr).

After signing forward Peter Regin to what is seemingly a depth signing, the Isles quickly looked to fill the void left in the crease.

The Isles were reportedly interested in goaltender Ray Emery, who ended up signing a contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. This forced Snow to return to his original choice for the crease and sign Evgeni Nabokov to another one-year deal at $3.25 million.

Analysis: Leafs Retain Bozak, Acquire Clarkson

The Toronto Maple Leafs have re-signed Tyler Bozak to a five-year, $21-million contract and locked up free agent David Clarkson for seven years at $36.75-million.

General manager Dave Nonis made it clear that he thought Bozak was a key piece in the Leafs finally ending their playoff drought. While most assumed the 27-year-old would find a home elsewhere, the Leafs think they found a top-six centre they can rely on for five years.

But Bozak’s production as a first-line centre is nothing impressive, and his lack of defensive upside makes this move more difficult to digest. Consider that Bozak ranked 212th in Points/60 (production rate) last season.  His most common li...

The Islanders Are Officially Done With DiPietro

The New York Islanders have officially removed Rick DiPietro's name from their roster after using one of their two compliance buyouts on the former number one goaltender yesterday. The buyout will pay him $1.5 million over the next 16 seasons and makes him an unrestricted free agent in search of a new NHL home (Photo credit: xjowell/Flickr).

DiPietro was drafted by Mike Milbury with the 1st overall pick 13 years ago, making history in the NHL as he was the first goaltender to ever be selected first overall. He immediately began his career with the Islanders before seeing some time with the Isles AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Islanders Acquire Cal Clutterbuck from Minnesota

The Islanders have built the core of their young team through the NHL Entry Draft and this year they looked to continue that trend. GM Garth Snow added one NHL ready player on draft day this year, Cal Clutterbuck. Clutterbuck was not drafted though, he was acquired through a trade with the Minnesota Wild. (Photo Credit: sportsnet.ca)

Leafs Acquire Bolland for Three Draft Picks

The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired centre Dave Bolland from the Chicago Blackhawks for a second-round draft pick and two fourth-round draft picks (one in 2014).

Bolland isn't the first-line centre the Leafs covet, but the 27-year-old played tough minutes on the Blackhawks, with only 46.1 per cent of his faceoffs coming in the offensive zone and ranking third among forwards in Corsi QoC (quality of competition) last season. He's a defensive centre that should solidify the Leafs' third line in terms of shutdown ability, especially with Jay McClement on the fourth line.

Bolland, who has a $3.375-million cap hit before hitting free agency next summer, isn't grea...

2013 NHL Entry Draft: Leafs Select C Gauthier

The Toronto Maple Leafs have selected C Frederik Gauthier 21st overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Gauthier is 6-foot-5 and weighs a whopping 215 pounds at 18 years old. He produced 22 goals and 60 points in 62 games for the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL. He was ranked 18th overall on the ISS' final draft rankings.

Corey Pronman, prospects writer for ESPN and Hockey Prospectus, wrote on Twitter that Gauthier is a "very good defensive center. Took all the tough assignments and draws. Big man who skates very well for his size. He’s not a tremendous offensive player, but Gauthier can make plays with the puck. Has 2nd line potential scoring-wise."

With t...

TCL Flyers 2013 NHL Amateur Mock Draft

On Sunday night, the NHL Draft will take place, finally answering the questions that the fans have been asking.

Will Colorado take Seth Jones or Nate MacKinnon? Will the Flyers draft and develop a future Top 2 defenseman? Who will be the first to take a goalie?

TCL Flyers feature writers Dan MacNeal and Alicia Sprenkle worked together to create the TCL Flyers 2013 Amateur Mock Draft. Here is how they imagine the first round could go down.

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.