02 July 2010
"So the Isles are almost the worst team in the league...And they do nothing today. All of the good free agents are likely to be gone.” - Nick McGuire, IHB.
To say that the Islanders, with their $32M in cap room, had a relatively “quiet” first day of Free Agency would be a drastic understatement; I would describe it as painfully dormant. Garth Snow and the Islanders literally signed nobody in the first day of a market flooded with talented UFAs. However, this first day of signing for our division foes such as the Rangers, Devils, Flyers and Penguins, could be described as a signing rampage of sort.
The Rangers struck quickly in signing Marty Biron, former Islander and veteran netminder, to a two year, $1.75M contract. The Rangers didn’t stop there, signing Erik Christensen, Derrek Boogaard, and bringing back Vinny Prospal for another season at MSG.
Despite losing D-man Paul Martin, the Devils went out and snagged Anton Volchenkov and Henrik Tallinder to solidify their blue line. On the goaltending front, New Jersey ousted Yann Danis and brought in Johan Hedberg to play behind Brodeur.
Philadelphia signed beefy Defensemen Andrej Meszaros, Sean O’Donnell and Braydon Coburn to play alongside Flyers like Pronger and Timonen, sealing arguably the biggest and best defense in the NHL.
The Penguins, despite losing Sergei Gonchar, picked up two new defensemen in Zbynek Michalek and former Devil Paul Martin.
And what did Garth Snow’s Islanders do? Well, we signed a third string goalie this morning.
We’ve got $32 Million in cap room, and all of the league’s best Free Agents are dropping like flies.
I’ve said it many times, our main soft spot is DEFENSE, and it will continue to be until something happens and someone gets signed... you simply CANNOT compete with Philly or Pittsburgh’s defense when yours consists of people like Bruno Gervais and Dustin Kohn. But who is still out there?
-Andy Sutton - arguably one of the toughest defenders in the league, 197 hits and a near-league best 204 blocked shots last season.
-Willie Mitchell - one of the best defensemen in the NHL, despite having his 09-10 season cut short due to a concussion, last week he was declared “symptom free".
-Pavel Kubina - 94 hits and 111 blocked shots, he may be past his prime, but he’s still got an excellent shot and he can be rounded up at a reasonably low price.
-Joe Corvo - he doesn’t fit under the category of “defensive defenseman” with his staggering turnover rate, but he’s a shooting machine, something the Islanders need for their powerplay from a blue-liner.
We need to get into action, now. Or else we’ll be the one team in the Atlantic Division with no defense. A car without wheels.
Think fast, Garthie.
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