Coming into the close of this season, the Islanders were pretty well situated in terms of expiring contracts. They had only two major players whose contracts were up: P.A. Parenteau and Al Montoya. The rest of the expiring contracts could be labeled nicely as disappointments from last season and don't look likely to be re-signed themselves.
Al Montoya started off having a stellar season, but a train wreck with Evander Kane ended his good play and resulted in a concussion. He never really found a rhythm after the incident and his numbers were no where near what we had hoped for. Unfortunately for Al, this may have been a shot in the foot to a contract re-signing. He had become a fan favorite two seasons ago when no one else had given him a chance and he found his way onto the Islanders. In short, the Islanders seem to be looking towards bringing Kevin Poulin up to a backup position next season, leaving little room for Al unless he plans to be in Bridgeport. If he is re-signed, expect it to become a training camp race for the job.
Getting into the meat of this issue is Parenteau. Despite him personally stating that he is committed to re-signing here and being part of this team, we haven't heard so much as a peep out of the organization or his agent (via Newsday). While its not yet time to panic, a little information from the Islanders would be nice.
So how important is it really for Parenteau to play in an Islanders jersey again?
Crucial to say the least, the Islanders have a rich prospect pool, but rushing up young players can be damaging to their growth, and only a few players seem to be ready to make the leap. Pierre's departure would mean the Isles would need to replace his 67 points this season with a free agent or prospect.
Finding a free agent to make up for those kind of numbers will cost a great deal of money; the kind of front loaded contract money that the management doesn't seem willing to spend, and ruining a potential prospect is the last thing that our young players need.
Parenteau has become the quintessential diamond in the rough in terms of the Islanders’ management finding unknown talent. He's the kind of player every GM hopes to find, cheap and solid talent who has become a huge part of his team. He was picked up out of the AHL and was well known to be a future minor league players, but has proven he is much more than that.
His play-making this season was exceptional, many thought once he was taken off the first line with Moulson and Tavares his numbers would decline, but he continued to surprise and excel on the second line as well.
In other words, if they don't re-sign P.A. its going to cost them even more money then it would've to re-sign him for a free agent or perhaps the future of one of the young players on the Sound Tigers.
It is imperative that P.A. re-signs because there's no one who will replace him as a catalyst on this team without it costing more than it's really worth.