Thursday, July 16, 2009

RFA Don't Sign there Qualifiers

Jack Hillen, Nate Thompson, and Blake Comeau, all elected not to sign their qualifying offers to the New York Islanders. Nate Thompson has arbitration rights, and is fighting for a one-way deal. The news of Comeau and Hillen was broken by Point Blank.

Here are the stats from all three players. Thompson has a total of 43 games played for the Islanders compiling a whopping 2 goals, 2 assists, for a combined total of 4 points and a plus/minus of a minus 11. I have to say that Thompson is looking for a one-way contract, because he is not going to earn any more money.

Blake Comeau, who ended up playing in Bridgeport the first quarter of the season, had a better year in totaling 7 goals, 18 assists for 25 points. His bright spot is that he appeared in 53 games. His plus/minus was a minus 17, again, I can only see Blake looking for a one-way contract. Comeau though has more upside then Thompson does.

Jack Hillen played in 40 games earning a goal and 5 assists for 6 points with a plus/minus rating of a minus 9. Again, like the other two, these numbers do not favor Hillen getting more money, and also could be looking for a one-way deal.

After reading different views, and looking at the numbers, I've come to my conclusion: This is not a big deal. Comeau right now is slated as the third line winger. If he is signed to a one-way deal, forget about signing anybody in the free agency. If Comeau has a really good year, he could be averaging 40 points a year, which is certainly a third line potential.

Hillen is probably the 7th defenseman on the depth chart of this team. Again he replaces Thomas Pock, which would be an improvemant. A one-way contract may not hurt. He certainly won't get the ice time he needs to fill in those holes of development, but I don't see for now the Islanders signing anyone else.

Thompson is a different story. If Thompson doesn't have a good camp, he could be waived anyways, so it won't matter if he wins arbitration or not, and he will be replaced on the occasion, by the occasional call-up enforcer.

If the following players do want one-way contracts, then a one year deal could keep them happy. However, if they are looking for a longer term deal, then they may have to accept their two-way contracts for two-three years, because the improving prospects will be coming up sooner rather than later, and all three players need to prove this year to the Islanders that they belong. They all want to be Islanders, just not Sound Tigers.

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