Parenteau’s unlikely return isn’t exactly breaking news to some as earlier this summer an article was published in which Snow declared that he had made a more then fair offer to PA but had it declined. Parenteau’s reason was believed to be that he thought that he could get more money and a longer term on July 1st, however if he doesn’t get the type of deal he’s looking for he will more than likely put pen to paper on Snow’s offer.
One of the teams that are deemed likely to land PA if he doesn’t re-sign are the Montreal Canadiens, looking to bring the Hull, Quebec native closer to home. The offers will also start flooding in once, top free agent, Zach Parise’s faith is decided as GMs will look to Parenteau to fill the remaining hole they have in their top 6.
If the Islanders aren’t able to re-sign Parenteau, they will be forced to find another RW to place on the first line along with Matt Moulson and John Tavares. The player will either come from free agency, trade, or inside the system as several candidates are available in each option.
Through free agency the biggest names are, Zach Parise, Alexander Semin, Jaromir Jagr, Shane Doan, and Dustin Penner. Out of the five the likeliest one to land would probably be either Semin or Doan as the rest are either likely to re-sign with their clubs before Sunday or will be looking to sign with teams that are closer to being legitimate Stanley Cup Contenders.
Via trade the biggest names are obviously Rick Nash and Bobby Ryan. Nash has a NTC (no-trade clause) on his contract and is very unlikely to drop the clause for a team like the Islanders. Ryan however may be interesting, he simply wants out of Anaheim so if the Islanders are willing to maybe slightly overpay for the very talented winger there might be a chance that Long Island is his next stop. However, Garth Snow has never been one to overpay for a player, especially if it interferes with his beloved rebuild so fans should keep their expectations low when it comes to the trade route.
The “inside the system” route is one of the less interesting yet likelier routes as the names are mostly down to Kyle Okposo, as a power forward he would give the line an intensity and physicality its lacking, and also the only player on the team to have also played on the first line before and produced quite well. The other player, and this is mostly just my opinion, is Josh Bailey. Bailey showed late last season that he will produce best a playmaking winger, much like PA, and is the best choice if Capuano chooses to try to fill the hole with another Parenteau type of player. There’s very little doubt in my mind that Bailey would be successful on that line and is the best the Islanders have when it comes to emulating Parenteau’s play and influence on the first line.In other news, the Islanders made their qualifying offers to their restricted free agents today. Offers were made to Matt Martin, Justin Dibenedetto, Mark Katic, Rhett Rakhshani, Mikko Koskinen, Tomas Marcinko, Ty Wishart, and Sean Backman. Tyler McNeely, Tony Romano, Yuri Alexandrov, and Yannick Reindeau were the four players that were released.]]>
The following day, an article started making the rounds in which Visnovsky, in an interview with a European newspaper, stated "I get offers from Russia and I think about them.” Fans were, as to be expected, shocked at these comments and everyone wondered if this was going to be a sort of Evgeni Nabokov repeat, where the player is, in Visnovsky’s case, traded for but doesn’t report to the team.
However, earlier today Arthur Staple of Newsday took it upon himself to personally call the Slovakian defenseman and find out the full story. Visnovsky stated that the famed interview had actually taken place before the trade itself, and he’d been asked about whether he’d play in the KHL or Slovakia in case of yet another lockout. He confirmed to all fans that he would be present at training camp, and stated that “this is my first choice, to play for the Islanders.”
The 35 year old, 36 in August, has a cap hit of $5.6 million, but only a $3 million salary in the last year of his contract. Visnovsky will give a definite boost to the Islanders power play, take some of the pressure off of Islander captain Mark Streit, and also helps the Islanders fill one of the defensive holes as it seems obvious that Mark Eaton, Milan Jurcina, and Steve Staios (now a front office employee of the Toronto Maple Leafs) will not be back next season.
The Islanders will likely fill the other two spots left on the blue line with one free agent signing, and the promotion of one of Matt Donovan, Aaron Ness, and/or Calvin de Haan with Donovan and Ness the likeliest candidates. After said promotion and signing the Islanders defense should look something like this:
A major improvement from last year’s:
The Ferris State graduate spent the 2011-12 season up and down from the AHL and the ECHL, and impressed the Islander organization with his grit. In the 55 games he’s played for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Riley had seven goals and four assists for a total of eleven points on the season, with a -3 +/- and 77 PIMS.
While the signing isn’t exactly the biggest signing of the market, it’s good to remember that a team isn’t solely made up of superstars and depth signings are also necessary to a good team.
When interviewed about his first professional contract by the Connecticut Post, Riley had this to say:
“I got an opportunity there to show what I could do at the American League level, an opportunity to take a step forward… I’m very comfortable going to camp, knowing a bunch of the guys, and with the staff. They know what to expect from me.”]]>