01 July 2010
There’s no question that if there is one remaining gaping hole in the Islanders’ roster, it’s Defensemen. After losing names like Witt on waivers, Sutton at the trade deadline, and Meyer becoming a potential UFA later today, all the pressure is left on the likes of Mark Streit and Bruno Gervais. And now that the Free Agent “Frenzy” is in full swing, it’s a perfect time for Isles’ GM Garth Snow to snag some UFA gold to boost the team’s blue line. Here’s a look at four, big name D-men who should be under the radar.
SERGEI GONCHAR (PIT): Sergei is a great passer at the blue line and a premier puck carrier, most of all, he’s a free agent at Noon today. This being a result of the Penguins halting negotiations with him over a new contract. So unless something changes quickly, Sergei’s up for grabs.
PAVEL KUBINA (ATL): The Atlanta Thrashers have failed to come to terms with Pavel Kubina, so he’s likely to become a UFA very soon. Pavel’s 09-10 salary was $5 Million and he says he’s looking for a “fair deal”. More likely than not, he’s looking at a pay cut for this year. Hopefully, the Isles’ can fit him under the salary cap without selling the Coliseum jumbotron.
ANDY SUTTON (OTT): Andy is a hard-hitting, all guts defenseman. Islanders fans should know that better than anyone; he played here for the last two and a half seasons before being dealt to Ottawa at the trade deadline last season. The Sens’ front office has yet to reach any sort of agreement with Andy, so he’s most definitely on the market for a homecoming to Long Island.
PAUL MARTIN (NJD): Paul has noted that he hasn’t completely shut the door on New Jersey. However, he’s interested in finding out his “market value”. So when the clock strikes 12, he’s headin’ for the market. Paul Martin made a solid $4.5 M last year, he’s a smooth skating, puck moving D-man, but he knows he’s not getting LeBron money. So Garth Snow should definitely reach across the Hudson to snag this Free Agent gem.
“Now, what exactly is the Salary Cap, and who gets to wear it?” - Stephen Colbert