Monday, June 30, 2008

Free Agency Predictions for the Islanders.

Everyone loves a prediction. Right or wrong or indifferent predictions are all over the place right now. Everyone who thought they knew what the Islanders were planning on Draft Day got a smack in the face. We are in a full fledged rebuild people. Everything that happens from now on out is for the sole purpose of building this once proud franchise from the ground up. The only thing that will be recognizable in the next 3 years on the Island will be our goaltender, Rick Dipietro. Signed for the next 13 seasons and like him or not, he is our goaltender. Everything else is up for grabs people.

For the long term looking beyond this coming season the Islanders have merely and handful of players signed to long term deals that are definitely going to be a part of the team's long term vision. In other words they are signed to this season plus at least one more season. They are in no particular order (with the seasons left under contract in parentheses) Rick Dipetro(13) , Trent Hunter(5), Radek Martinek (3), Kyle Okposo (3), Jon Sim (2), Richard Park (2), Chris Campoli (2), Robin Figren (3), Jesse Joensuu (3), and Freddy Meyer (2). Thats 10 players. The team has 10 UFA's this season NONE of them will be re-signed and thats not including Shawn Bates who has already been let go. After this coming season, Bill Guerin, Brendan Witt, Mike Sillnger, Mike Comrie, Andy Hilbert and Tim Jackman will all probably be gone via Free Agency. The only two players that I believe has a realistic chance of resigning beyond next year are Comrie and Witt, but I would list that as unlikely. By this time in 2011, the team will be almost entirely composed of 2-4 year NHL players hopefully blossoming into an NHL power and the new arena should be nearing completion. THAT is the time to sprinkle in a high priced UFA, not tomorrow.

That being said, the team does have to meet the ridiculous new salary floor of 40.7 million dollars. Here come the predictions. This free agent season the Islanders will let go all of their 10 UFA's without so much as an offer. They will sign the following players -

Georges Laraque - (W) They need toughness to stop other teams from taking liberties with the kids. Snow specifically stated they would look for toughness. They do not get any tougher.

Ron Hainsey- (D) He is one of DP's best friends and a decent puck mover. Hey we have got to take it where we can get it and I'll take it. Now all we need is for DP to go and befriend Sydney Crosby and Joe Thornton.

Jan Hlavac - (W) Useless Filler, perfect for a rebuilding team.

Todd Fedoruk (W) Grind Grind Grind.

That is it. The rest of the roster will fill out with kids. We are in a full rebuild mode people, its time to accept the inevitable and hope that Snow's moves in the 2008 draft are remembered as the day the team turned around for good and not a day of missed opportunities. Hopefully if the team is going to stink, they stink bad enough to get us a shot at a 17 year old named John Tavares. If somehow it happens then happy days will be here again.

"What are your predictions for this fight"
"Yes.. Prediction."


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Free Agency is Coming Part 2 - Pipe Dreams, Defenseman and the troubles of attracting players.

We talked about possible forwards that will be available for the team to sign on July 1, and now we will see who might be available on the defenseman side of the free agent pool. Not nearly as as deep as the forward pool defenseman will be tougher for the team to attain this year. Lets dive right in and see what we come up with.

John Micheal Liles - Only 26 Years old Liles has yet to really come into his own in the NHL as of yet. He has a load of potential and there will be teams lining up for his services so this one is a borderline pipe dream, but hes not quite up to that level yet. He took a step back this season only netting 6 goals after scoring 14 in back to back seasons with the Avalanche. He should be at the top of Snow's priorities if possible. What would it take to get him? 5 years 25 million.

*** EDIT - Liles has signed a contract extension with the Avalanche***

Dick Tarnstrom - Now 30, Tarnstrom is another player who blossomed into a decent NHL puck mover and power play point man the second he left the Islanders netting 16 goals and 52 points for the Penguins in 2004. Injuries have derailed the last 2 seasons for Tarnstrom which may remove him from the radar of the top spenders this year leaving him to return to the team he played his rookie season for. What would it take to get him? 2 years 7 million.

Mark Streit - Another borderline pipe dream, Streit is 29 years old and is one of the reasons the Canadiens didn't miss a beat losing Sheldon Souray's 26 goals and booming shot from the point last season. Streit netted 13 goals and 62 points last season and will command a huge raise over his 600K salary last season. What would it take to get him? 5 years 20 million.

Branislav Mezei - Remember him? Still only 26 Mezei was one of the Islanders first round picks back in 1999 and has turned into a bruising defenseman, although some say his slow feet cost the Panthers some goals. Who couldn't use a 6'4" 240 pound bruiser on the back line to take some pressure of of Witt? What would it take to get him? 3 years 9 million.

Jason Smith - I am surprised the Flyers are letting him go to free agency considering the improvement the Flyers made last season. A natural leader in the Brendan Witt mold. What would it take to get him? 3 years 15 million.


Lets be realistic Islander fans. No matter how you feel about the teams job on draft day that has most NHL experts praising Snow, this team is still one arena and 2-3 years away from attracting anyone of significance to sign here as a free agent. I am still smiling over Islanders 2nd round pick Corey Trivino calling the Island a "great city to play in". All players know is the Marriott Hotel and a broken down second rate arena. All of the major free agents have submitted "wish lists" of the top ten teams they want to play for to their agents. Guess how many of them listed the Islanders as destinations at all? --Dean Wermer voice-- ZERO... POINT... ZERO... That's what potential free agents think of this organization, the arena and Long Island. None of these players, unless they have lived here know what life is like on Long Island because all they see is that dinosaur of an arena, a parking lot that looks like a bobm hit it and a hotel. All this being said, money talks. Here are the free agent pipe dreams the Islanders have before them this year and what it would take to lure them to come and play in that "arena" we call the Coliseum.

Marian Hossa (W) - He is the class of the free agent pool this year. Perennial all star and 90-100 point man and at the age of 29 will be looking for his huge payday right now. He also erased the thought that he cant play in the playoffs with his outstanding performance in the playoffs this year. He will draw interest from every big money team out there and I think ultimately and unfortunately the Rangers will be the team that gets him. What would it take to get him? 8 years 70 million.

Wade Redden (D) - Remember him too? At 31 he is a very good 2 way defenseman Redden is going to command a huge salary and a raise over his 6.5 million dollar salary last season. I personally believe Redden is over rated and over blown as the Canadian media likes to do with their home town heroes. I do not believe Redden is worth that kind of a commitment. Hes good, but not that good. What would it take to get him? 6 years 48 million.

Peter Forsberg (C) - If there was a category beyond pipe dream, this would be it. Forsberg may be one of the top 5 players in the world. Problem is he is made out of the same material that China Dolls are made out of. He wants to compete for a cup and the Islanders aren't even close. Hes 33 years old, but his body is 55. His stats are as impressive as he is fragile. What it would take to get him? 2 years 15 million.

Sean Avery (W) - I list this as a pipe dream because of what it would mean to all of the Ranger fans who have adopted him as their own son and new messiah of the team. Avery is 27 years old and we all know the type of player and person he is and what he has meant to the Rangers the last 2 seasons. Talk to any Ranger fan, and he is the reason not Jagr, Gomez, Drury or Lundqvist that the Rangers are so competitive. Is that true? Put him in Islander colors and lets find out. What it would take to get him? 5 years 20 million.

Its fun to dream isn't it? That is something that we have gotten used to in Islander country. Here is something to consider for next season. There is another phenom, another "next one" that is coming to the NHL next season. His name is John Tavares. All you have to do is Google that name and you will see that he is breaking some of Wayne Gretzky's OHL records. He is already projected to go first overall in next years draft. If there is any way the team can even get a shot at him then you know what I will take my lumps this year. Let hope that if the Islanders are going to stink, lets hope they stink enough to net us a shot at John Tavares.

"Hope.. is a dangerous thing inside these walls.. Hope can drive a man insane..."
-Red, The Shawshank Redemption

Dont we all know.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Free Agency is Coming - What do Snow & Co. Have in store for us this time?

With the 2008 NHL Draft in the history books, it is time to look to the next big date on the NHL schedule. The Free Agency signing period starts on July 1. As it stands right now the Islanders actually are going to be forced to raise thier payroll to the new league minimum of..(Dr Evil voice) 40.7 million dollars. How is the team going to spend that money? Here is a look at who on the forward position is out there that the Islanders could be looking at via free agency.

1 - Micheal Ryder (W) - He is still only 27 years old and has proven that he can score at this level. He wanted a 3-5 year deal with the Habs last season and they forced him to take a one year deal at around 2.9 million and he responded with the worst season of his pro career. Whether he was either disenchanted with the contract status or the team wanted to bury him for the way the contract negotiations wen't, Ryder's stock plummeted this last season. What will it take to get him? Probably a 3 year deal at around 4 million per season.

2 - Cory Stillman (W) - At 35 years of age Stillman is still a viable scoring threat. His presence on LW could create a decent veteran top line of Stillman, Guerin and Comrie. What it would take to get him? 2 years, 8 million.

3 - Radim Vrbata (W) Also at 27 years of age Vrbata picked a great time to have his career season entering free agency. The question is wether the 27 goals he scored this past season will wind up being a career high or the launching pad to bigger and better things. What would it take to get him? 4 years 18 Million.

4 - Ladislav Nagy (W) He is 31 and more of an enigma than Vrbata. He has the talent to become a solid performer but injuries and inconsistency have him branded as both unmotivated and injury prone. Think Oleg Kvasha with a bit more talent. What would it take to get him? 1 year 3.5 million.

5 - Sergei Samsonov (W) Now 30, Samsonov placed himself back on the map of relevancy after absolutely bombing out in Chicago last season. No goals and 4 points with the Hawks had him thumped out of town and he found a home in Carolina, netting 14 goals and 32 points in 38 games with the Canes. He has offensive ability and has scored over 70 points twice in his career before inuries took a toll on his career. He seems to be healthy again and is producing. What would it take to get him? 3 years 15 million.

6 - Daymond Langkow (C) At 32, Langkow may be the best kept secret in the NHL. He has put together 6 solid seasons of hockey in which he has averaged 27 goals and 62 points with the Flames and Coyotes. Signing him would give the Islanders 2 good centerman and 2 decent lines to generate offense. He has proven he can be a number 1 guy. What would it take to get him? 4 years 20 million.

***EDIT - Langkow resigned with the Flames along with Eric Nystrom. So much for seeing Nystrom in Islander colors again. Todd Bertuzzi is being bought out of the final year of his contract. I doubt he would come to the Islanders at this point, but hes going to be available.***

Coming next - Defenseman free agents, the endless Mcabe rumors, and some pipe dream free agents.


Monday, June 23, 2008

The Good and the Bad - The 2008 NHL Draft.

Another NHL draft is in the books and much to the dismay of the Islander fan base Nikita Filatov could have been but was not chosen by the team. The Voice is here to break down "The Good and the Bad" aspects of what Garth and Company have done this past weekend in Ottawa. If you have read my last column, you already know how I feel. How do the rest of the fans feel? Here is a breakdown of what I have heard from the fan base since Friday night on both sides of the coin.


1 - Increase the Odds. At best Filatov was one player and a good chance at becoming a franchise player, but now the team has a better chance because Snow turned one player into 4. Like it or not the team now has a better chance of getting quality for their picks just because of the sheer number of them and how deep this draft actually is. You cannot just judge the transactions on Filatov vs. Bailey alone. Its Filatov vs Bailey, Ness, Petrov and Toronto's 2009 2nd round pick. Experts say the system is now chock full of blue chip prospects who have a real shot at being big time players for the Islanders and that is a good thing, a very good thing.

2 - Build through the draft = contender. Ask Detroit, New Jersey, Anahiem, Pittsburgh Tampa Bay and Ottawa if they are happy about their team's success. On the same coin, ask Toronto and the Rangers how all of their big ticket free agents are doing the last 10 years. The bottom line people the only way we will break the 25 year long funk the Islanders are in is to build through the draft and this was the right draft to do it in.

3 - The team now has solid direction. - Hear me out on this one. Stability is key in sports. Players are attracted to it, fans are drawn to it, everything looks better when you have stability. Don't look now but the Lighthouse project is imminent. They are projected to start the long overdue renovation of the coliseum after this coming season. By the time this arena is completed we will know what the team has with its current crop of prospects. We have heard over and over again that the arena is the anchor that is holding the team back from generating income necessary to get the free agents to take us to the next level. The plan is now a 2-4 year plan to build a contender. If at that time the team is still struggling to make the playoffs then that is the time to hang Snow out to dry. Everyone wants to win now and turn the ship around overnight, but there is no clear formula to make that happen realistically. The only direction the Islanders can take is the direction they are in and its clearly pointed towards better times even though its tough to see the goal is at hand.

Time to switch sentiment... Here comes


1 - Snow is to Filatov as Milbury is to Heatley - No matter what happens with the Islander prospects they have chosen in lieu of the Russian phenom people will always equate Snow's success with how good of a player Filatov turns into. If he puts up 35 goals next year for the Jackets, Snow will be crucified by the fans and the media. He will have Mike Milburied himself. Filatov's name will go right next to the names we are all trying to forget that are competing for Stanley Cups every year. Names like Spezza, Heatley, Luongo, Bertuzzi, Mcabe, Redden and Chara just to name a few. Its going to be a long time before we find out what we have with the kids chosen in the 2nd round, but we will know right away if Filatov is the real deal or not. If he tanks, then the fans will turn to see how Colin Wilson, Kyle Beach, Cody Hodgson and Mikkel Boedker are doing. This is almost a no win situation for Snow. Sre time will tell but the problem is no one rooting for this team wants to wait.

2 - Empty seats will stay empty - Short sighted or not, Filatov would have sold tickets and many of them. Instead fans busting for something to cheer for we are disappointed again by the Islander management. Short term prospects are as dim as they ever have been and is bad for business.

3 - Snow & Company smarter than the world? People do not like to be told that someone else is smarter than you. In passing up Filatov and choosing Bailey, Toews and Petrov and telling us that Bailey was the guy you wanted all along is a total reversal of what we were told going into the draft. We were told that we would get the best player at the position we were in and that at number 5 was either Luke Schenn or Filatov. Snow painted himself into a corner by opening his mouth and stating something he had no intention of doing. If there was at least an idea of what was to come maybe the fans would not have emptied the Coliseum like it was falling down Friday Night. Fact is, Bailey was rated by the scouting experts from the 10th best to the 17th best skater in the draft. Snow said he was the one he wanted. Filatov was rated the 3rd to the 6th best skater in the draft. Luke Schenn was rated the 4th to 5th best skater in the draft. Snow said Bailey was the one he wanted. Snow must know something the rest of the world doesn't. For his sake I hope he is right.

There you have it. Let me know what side of the coin you fall on and leave your comments here. I look forward to hearing what the fans have to say and I will respond to all comments.


Friday, June 20, 2008

And the Islanders select with the 5th,,,, 7th.... er 9th Pick.

This is not going to be pleasant. I have just returned from Nassau Coliseum expecting to see something I have not seen the Islanders do in a LONG time. The Islanders do something right. Everyone wonders why the team has struggled in attendance, cant hold onto or lure big ticket free agents, cant ever finish an NHL season with the prospect of being an NHL team who MAKES the right decisions DOOR MAT. Lets face it people. The first round of this deepest NHL draft in years has ended with our New York Islanders drafting the 15th highest ranked player according to Central Scouting. Nothing against Joshua Bailey because I hope he turns out to be great player for the Islanders and makes us all eat a tremendous pile of crow. My problem is that you had the 2nd highest rated skater in Nikita Filatov in your hands. It was done. Then the dreaded words everyone did not want to hear at that point when maligned and hated Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement that there was a trade. Excuse me... WHAT? The Leafs handed the Islanders 2 picks and swapped positions with Toronto, much to the delight of everyone on TSN and in the Toronto area. (I cannot stomach TSN when The Leafs do something because they acted like the Leafs got the incarnate version of God himself on their team) Toronto picked Luke Schenn. Well ok.. we are at 7 now all that has to happen is Columbus doesn't pick Filatov and then we got 2 picks for basically nothing. BOOM. Filatov is picked by Columbus clearing out half of the Coliseum draft party patrons who were just aching to cheer for the sight of Filatov in Islander colors. Well I thought thats ok because there are still 3 outstanding Center prospects left in Colin Wilson, Cody Hodgson and Kyle Beach. Surely at 7 we will get one of them. Right?

Oh My God... The Islanders clear out another half of their draft party by trading down AGAIN to 9 which in my mind is a very good move after making a terrible move trading down the first time. There goes Colin Wilson to Nashville at 7. So much for that theory. Mikkel Boedker goes to Phoenix at 8. He may be as talented as Filatov, and after aquiring Olli Jokinen the Yotes are looking strong for next season. Snow is finally at the podium. Please pick Kyle Beach... of not pick Cody Hodgson. Snow gets up there and picks Josh Bailey. Now dont get me wrong here I have done a bit of reading on the kid and by all accounts he could even play on the Islanders next season. Heres the "but" BUT... Bailey was rated the 15th best player in North America and Snow took him at 9. I really hope this draft is as deep as the Flemish Cap because all Snow did was get more second round picks. Think of it this way - You could have had the 2nd best forward int he draft, but you chose to take the 15th. Great. The bottom line is Snow had better hope that Filatov winds up being the next Sergei Samsonov, and not the next Ilya Kovalchuck.

I said in my column yesterday that if all went as planned and the first 5 picks went as all of the experts had predicted, Filatov would be an Islander. I also said that nothing surrounding the Islanders is ever ordinary other than the talent on the ice. The New York Islanders are currently the NHL punch line. The NHL joke. Every step forward the team has taken over the last 25 years has been met with 3 steps back. Columbus had to laughing their collective tails off when the Islanders traded that pick as they velcroed Filatov's name on their jersey. The Islanders are constantly trying to reinvent the wheel in every capacity from ownership on down. Snow said they would take the best player when 5 came up and what happened? It seems like they are constantly coming up with ways to self destruct, implode and piss off their fan base and they have done that once again by from all accounts blowing another chance at a player that would have put some more people in those empty seats on game nights and bring some excitement back to the old barn. Maybe Josh Bailey and Snow's other 3 new second round picks can do that. The only problem is it will take a few years to find out and judging from the reaction of just about everyone in the arena tonight, they are done waiting.

The Islanders have tested ALL of our devotion to the franchise with horrible move after horrible move. With embarrassment after embarrassment, the franchise has devolved from a dynasty to the laughing stock of the league and after nights like this its not hard to see why. I would love to see my fellow "look forward and not back" Blog Boxers try and put a positive spin on this one. Sorry, but there is not positive spin to this one. This is one mistake that will earn its spot right next to the many other missed opportunities and superstar players around the NHL that either used to be or could have been New York Islanders.

In other news - 2 superstar forwards changed teams today. Mike Camellari and Olli Jokinen were traded. I am sure Snow inquired at some point about what it would take to land either of them, aren't you?

I hope I haven't ended my Blog Box affiliation with this column because right now its how I feel and judging by what I saw at the Coliseum I am in the majority and this, after all is The Voice of the Islander Fans.


The New York Islanders are proud to select with the number 5 pick in the draft........

Draft Day is here and the time for speculation, conjecture and predictions are over. I cannot help but to show my enthusiasm that the Islanders may this once get that player we all seem to think they should. Nikita Filatov, the star Russian winger projected by many to be the Islanders pick in the 5 hole tonight could be an Islander as soon as next season. I am not going to go into why the team should get the kid because there are plenty of sources already around for that. The thing that worries me the most is that around this team the New York Islanders what should happen for the benefit of the team usually doesn't. That highly touted draft pick that goes to someone else or we wind up trading players we have and drafting a new player for the same position, or our top pick has a career ending injury or isn't what the team thought he was.

It seems with sports that its always the thing that isn't rumored, the series of events that nobody saw coming that seems to happen and it happens all the time with big name players as free agents, trades and yes folks at the draft. I can only hope that things for once go as planned in the NHL but seriously when was the last time anything significant surrounding the Islanders went as planned? I don't think I really need to go into details here because anyone taking the time to read this has something in their head that they are laughing or grimacing about just this second. That my friends is what I am worried about. I will go to the Nassau Coliseum and hope to see something go as expected for once.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Random Thoughts Returns... THE DRAFT IS NEAR!

Random Thoughts is one of the most popular columns on The Voice and it returns now that the NHL Draft which means more to us Islander fans than in any NHL City except Tampa Bay. I present 5 Random Thoughts on the current state of the Islanders and then open the discussion up the Millions.... er... Thousands of fans who come here to share your thoughts on our team.

1 - THE DRAFT IS LOOMING, WHO WILL IT BE? - This is it. The most important day in the last 25 years of the Islanders franchise. Am I overstating matters? No I do not believe so because the organization is at a crossroads (again). After a season the Islanders took a huge step backwards after losing Smyth to Colorado and imploding after 60 games and falling out of the race the team needs to (again) reestablish itself in the eyes of the NHL and its free agents to be. Right now, the top 6 players that are going to be chosen in the draft in most mock drafts -

1 - TAM -Steven Stamkos - C
2 - LAK - Drew Doughty - D
3 - ATL - Zack Bogosian - D
4 - STL - Luke Schenn - D
5- NYI - Nikita Filitov - LW
6 - CLB - Alex Pietrangelo - D

If it goes like this I will be one happy Blogger. Filitov has all the gifts to join the team next season, as long as his much ballyhooed immigration problems are straightened out by then. If you ask me this is the way I see the draft actually going, but we are talking about the Islanders here and anything usually will and does happen. Nothing around the Islanders over their years in existence has been ordinary. Lets all keep our fingers crossed that a certain team from a certain city to our immediate west does not trade ahead of us and take him ahead of us as I have heard around the rumor mill in the last week. I will cross everything I can think of June 20th and hope for the best.

2 - Free Agency is next. Is it time to go for the big fish?- After the draft is settled and we are all really pumped about the teams future or we are standing around with that "we just traded Mcabe and Bertuzzi for who?" looks on our faces it will be time for another period of the off season that has not been kind to us.... EVER. When was the last time the Islanders made a free agent acquisition that really turned some heads? Really let the NHL players know The Islanders mean business. Were not just about talk anymore and we WILL spend money when necessary to improve the team. Marian Hossa is a free agent and it will take a boat load of cash to get him here. You get him, and it instantly makes the team look like they are serious. Pipe dreams aside I know its not going to happen, you know its not going to happen... but what if it does? It is not a great year for free agents and the leagues traditional power brokers will be in play for this one BUT...what if this is the year the Islander outbid the Rangers, Red Wings, Penguins, Leafs and Colorado for a player of his caliber?

3 - Now that we have all come back from dream land lets look at some other forward options. There are some other offensive options out there and some of them make good sense. Some are Micheal Ryder who I would love to see here, Cory Stillman, a left wing who brings a world of experience and would fit nicely next to Guerin and Comrie. Avery... don't laugh now... he got skills and a little.. well ok a LOT of attitude to help this team. Picture Avery donning an Islander uniform and then picture what all of the Ranger fans with "16" jerseys and T shirts would feel for that time they realized their new hero was an Islander. How about Pavol Dimetra? Radim Vrbata? Brian Rolston? As you can see, there are some gems out there that can help this team. Getting a few of them, thats the hard part.

4 - Hey FCT, What about our defense? - Good question. There are a few of those gems out there also. Wade Redden.. Remember him? There is your Defense pipe dream. Let's be honest people thats not happening either but how about some other options. Like Dick Tarnstrom, John-Micheal Liles, Brian Campell and Jason Smith. There are options even though its not a dire team need. Lets hope we can land one of them as I would love to see Liles in our colors.

5 - Goodbye Dubie. Its been fun. Hes going to go elsewhere and all I can say is I wish him well, unless he is playing against us.

Let me hear your thoughts on these and any other matters that need to be discussed. Take care and keep on hoping for the best.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Sound the trumpets, play the fanfare, rejoice fans because the Voice of the Islander fans Blog Box will be returning as part of the official Islanders Blog Box again for the coming season! Let the world rejoice!!

OK now that that is out of the way, let's get to some pressing Islanders business, as the business has been slow since the team got the 5th overall pick in this draft. 6 out of the top 10 prospects are defenseman. Let me say this right now - if we choose a defenseman in this draft, This Blog Boxer will be royally annoyed. I want one of two players - either Nikita Filitov or Kyle Beach. Both players have HUGE upsides. Beach has taken a major hit over the last 3 months because it is believed he is a loose cannon. I say a little attitude is what this team needs. A little in your face attitude. Now I can scream and rant and cry all I want about what it is that I want, and its going to get me nothing but upset and a hoarse voice. We need to get behind this and let the team know we need some forwards that not only can help the team in the future but RIGHT NOW!

In other team news Wade Dublewicz will not be returning to the Islanders next season. It was obvious last season that Wade had proven himself at this level and there is nothing more to prove to the Islanders. Any contract offered to him at this point would be nothing more than a backup role to our lifetime goaltender. Any professional in his position would jump at ANY chance to be a number one goaltender and there are a handful of NHL teams that will give him a chance. Look for the Blackhawks, Kings or even Ottawa to give him a shot at winning their number 1 spot. Good luck Wade and who knows, maybe another Islander cast off like Osgood will be competing for a Stanley Cup next season.

Rick Dipetro announced on the Bubba the Love Sponge show yesterday that he had ANOTHER surgery this off season this time to have some damage to his knee repaired. It was minor, but this is the third surgery he has had in the last 2 seasons on top of the concussions. No one will doubt the talent he has but you as an Islander fan HAVE to be concerned about the health of our goaltender. His play is sometimes reckless and opens him up to these types of injuries. He has 13 years left on his contract. How many more games will he miss in that time when we need him to be at his best to compete?

While you are thinking about that let me bid adieu and I will be back to my columns on a regular basis. Please let me know what your opinions are on this matter and lets talk some Islanders Hockey.