After more than a year of anticipation, the draft is over. Wonder of wonders, we got Nino AND Kirill AND a blue chip power forward in Brock Nelson who is descended from hockey royalty. Would have liked for us to get a few other guys we could have gotten: Troy Rutkowski, Nino's teammate, Teemu Pulkkinen, Ivan Telegin, and Yasin Cisse. All in all, though, it's the feeling you had as a kid after a really good Christmas (or Chanukah).
Now for free agency. The Isles will be looking for a top six, a first tier defensive defenseman, a big tough snarly forward, and a backup goalie. Coyote fans will note that I have us taking two of their guys. Just consider it payback for Jovo's elbow to JT's mouth. Two game suspension? Gimme a break!
UPDATE: Day 1 and already two of my four targets are gone without the Isles making a move. So I am adding two defensemen (Willie Mitchell and Denis Grebehkov), a forward (Alexander Frolov), and a goalie (Wade Dubielewicz).
Lee's had an up and down career. Last year was up, so I am hoping this year will be as well. If he can get 27 goals again from the second line, it should take a lot of the heat off of JT, Matt, and Kyle on the top line.
An exceptional shutdown defenseman who can occasionaly produce a point, Mitchell's main drawbacks are his age and concussion history.
Arron, hardly knew ye. Arron was an Islander from 2002 to 2007. Put up some of the best numbers of his career with us. Had a decent year this year as well, so maybe he can do it for us again. Is on record as saying he'd love to come here and run interference for some of our budding stars. Fine third line banger.
As should be obvious from the accompanying picture, Dubie needs no introduction to Islander fans. He is as good a backup goalie as there is in the NHL and I always thought it was a mistake letting him go. Although the shot is from 2008, it recalls the 2007 game in which Dubie stopped the Devils and secured the last playoff berth the Isles have had. If nothing else, he could be a good luck charm!
Superb size and reach and an excellent two way game are marred by inconsistency in this player that Dean Lombardi surely was frustrated by to no end.
Another former Islander. Never should have been traded. No one will ever match the other Denis whose #5 hangs so proudly in the rafters, but this Denis is still a pretty good two way defenseman who can produce points.