As Sunday July 1st, comes this weekend, I will be attending my cousin’s graduation parties on Long Island and possibly enjoying some beach time instead of being glued to the television waiting anxiously for any free agent news. If you’re an Islanders fan, I would enjoy the nice summer weather as well because the free agency signing will not be so hot for the Islanders. The Islanders do need to spend more money this summer, but reaching the cap floor will not be a problem. Also I believe since the Islanders are not really on the radars of the major free agents such as Parise and Suter, the Isles may stay patient and look at all their options some more. Having said that, let’s take a look at what the Islanders needs are and what free agents could help with those needs.
The most glaring need for the Islanders offense, in my opinion, is a second line center or a 17+ goal scoring one. Heaven forbid John Tavares goes down with an injury and the thought of Frans Nielsen taking over the number one duties just down right scares me. After looking at a lot of unrestricted free agent options your choices are: Ollie Jokinen, Jason Arnott, Rob Schremp, Alexi Yashin and……Ryan Strome. Don’t get me wrong, my first choice is Jokinen, but I don’t see him wanting to come back to Long Island. Ditto Jason Arnott and the Islanders don’t want to bring back either Schremp or Yashin. Look for Ryan Strome to be the number 2 center.
Now for defense, the Islanders have four players currently under contract. There have been reports that Dylan Reese has been in negotiations with the Islanders and from what I’ve read, a few season ticket holders have been told by Garth Snow that one, maybe two prospects from Bridgeport could make the big club. If Reese resigns, look for only one. That leaves one defenseman needed. I’m not going to insult Islanders fans on what is needed here, I mean, have you seen any other big guy other than Hamonic? Again, what the Islanders need is a big and nasty, crease clearing defenseman: I’ll take a Bryan Allen (first choice), Bryce Salvador, Shaone Morrison, Sheldon Souray, maybe even Pavel Kubina. But these players may not be bought on July 1st.
There is also a possibility that the Islanders make a trade or two to get the type of player(s) Garth Snow wants, now that our prospect pool is loaded, anything is possible. So my advice to all the Islanders fans, go out and enjoy your day on July 1st but keep your smart phones handy, just in case.