This is a little different though. This year’s draft was highly regarded and generally considered very deep. Making a move to get into the first round, not once, but twice, seemed like the play in order to grab a couple of solid prospects. Looking over the list of unrestricted free agents this season does not leave one with the same impression.
Now, are there guys out there who could help the Islanders? Sure. It’d be great to bring in a Mike Green or Oduya to provide solid defensive depth, but given the long term contracts for Hamonic, Leddy and Boychuk, the price would have to be right, and I just don’t see the price being right for those guys. Someone is going to vastly overpay them, because the pickings are slim.
So what I expect is for the Islanders to target some reasonably priced guys who might wind up being useful pieces, like a St. Louis, Chris Stewart (though Stewart’s game does not fit the Isles speed game at all), Andrej Sekera, or even Frolik, Fehr, Williams, etc. But there will be a market for those guys and who knows what the price will be. I have my doubts that any of those guys will be worth what they get paid this season. I could also see Garth Snow take a flyer on one or two guys who will probably come cheap and have been productive in the past. Could we see the return of P.A. Parenteau or Brad Boyes, or the attempt to resurrect the careers of Cody Hodgson or Jiri Tlusty?
One things I do know, is that the Islanders are in the market for a backup goaltender, and that Garth will probably do something that surprises everyone. Whether that happens on the 1st, or in September like it did last season, is another question altogether.