07 June 2010
The NHL Draft is16 days away andthat means that free agency is right around the corner. With that in mind here are five defensemen that theIslanders should look to sign when the market opens in July.
Dan Hamhuis: Selected 12th overall in 2001 by the Nashville Predators, Dan Hamhuis has evolved into a solid defenseman that could be very productive on the Islanders blue line. The 27 year old durable defenseman racked up 5 goals, 19 assists and 26 points over 78 games and finished the season a plus 4. Averaging 18:54 ice time last season, Hamhuis can come in to take over some of the work load for Mark Striet or Freddy Meyer who are climbing in age.
Pavel Kubina: After have back to back 40 point season, Pavel Kubina came two points shy of making it three years straight. The 33 year old defensemen put up 6 goals, 32 assists, and 38 points in 76 games last season. Ending with plus/minus 0. Kubina also was a member of the Czech Olympic team.
Sergei Gonchar: The Russian Olympian and owner of a Stanley cup championship ring only participated in 62 games this past season. He posted 11 goals, 39 assists, and 50 points in the regular season, however he finished minus 4. Gonchar's age ( 36) and his health will both be factors in consideration though. He's missed 45 games over the last 2 seasons. But Adam Gretz still considers him to be one of the best power play quarter backs in the NHL.
Aaron Ward: The 37 year old defenseman is no spring chicken, but still has the veteran leadership and skill that would be useful for a very young Islanders defense. In 60 games with the Carolina Hurricanes, Ward put up just 1 goal, 10 assists and 11 points with a plus/minus rating of minus 17. Talks of Ward joining the Islanders through a trade at the trade deadline ended when Carolina sent him to Anaheim where he finished the season up 0 goals, 2 assists and 2 points with a plus/minus rating of plus 2.
Dominic Moore: Moore spent a good part of the 2009-2010 season in the Florida sunshine, before the Panthers sent the 29 year old defense up north to Montréal. Moore had combined 10 goals, 18 assists, and 28 points, finishing the season a plus 4. Then helped lead the charge in the playoffs scoring 4 goals with one assist and 5 points for the Habs. Moore is still young and could be a added asset to an Islanders blue line that was very small and out matched last season.