What moves will Islanders GM Garth Snow look to make to improve the team this summer?
The New York Islanders have been very quiet so far this offseason. But that doesn't mean they are done.
The Islanders still have a few things they need to address to be a serious contender for a playoff spot this season. They are building with a strong group of prospects that look to be future NHLers. But the Islanders need to sign a few more pieces to the puzzle to solve any issues they have.
The Islanders have the money to spend. They are about $10 million under the cap ceiling. It should not be a problem to get another player here to Long Island.
Most of the top free agents were taken on the first day or two of free agency. But, there are still a few players available that the Islanders could use. So let's take a look at the five players who the Islanders should target in free agency.
Bryan McCabe, who was drafted by the Isles back in 1993, would be a the most likely player to be signed by the Islanders.
The Islanders biggest need this off season is a defenseman. McCabe is a guy that the Islanders could use as a physical presence in the defensive end, something the Isles are lacking. McCabe would also be a nice addition on the power play as he has a very good shot. He would be a good fit on the blue line for the Islanders along side a player like Mark Streit.
McCabe is a player that the Islanders could use. He is a power play quarterback and plays a good physical game. This is the guy that I think the islanders will go after the most.
Scott Hannan would be an excellent fit for the Islanders.
Hannan is a shut down defenseman that plays a solid and physical game. Just like what I said about McCabe, the Islanders need a physical presence in the defensive end. Hannan is also a leader for any team he is on and this is something the Islanders could use with all the young player coming through the system.
In 78 games last season with the Washington Capitals and Colorado Avalanche, Hannan scored one goal and finished with only 11 points. But his offensive game doesn't take away from what he does on the defensive side.
Scott Hannah is a player that the Islanders should defiantly consider. He brings everything the teams needs in defensive help, physical play and leadership. He would be a great fit on Long island.
J.P Dumont was originally drafted by the Islanders back in 1996 but never had a chance to play with them. His chance to play with them is not far fetched. Dumont was bought out by the Florida Panthers so he will look to join another club for the upcoming season.
Dumont had a down year last season but he does have the ability to be very good offensively. He has always been a shooter but in the past couple years he's been passing more which probably caused his problems.
Last season Dumont scored 10 goals and finished with only 19 points in 70 games. It was definitely a down0year for Dumont, but Dumont is a guy who has scored 20-plus goals more then once in his career.
Dumont would also bring a veteran presence to the Islanders. The Islanders have been known to add guys that have been written off in the past few years that are now a key part of the team (Matt Moulson and Micheal Grabner are two.) Maybe J.P Dumont could be the next one.
Anton Stralman would actually be a very nice fit for the Isles.
Stralman is a 24-year-old puck-moving defenseman with average offensive ability. Stralman also has good size but is not a physical player. He is a good power play player and has a very good shot from the blue line.
Last season, Stralman was limited to only 51 games last season because of injury. In those 51 games, Stralman scored one goal and finished with 18 points with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Something to think about is that Stralman is only 24 years old. He still has a lot of time to improve his game and develop more. The Islanders said that they want to improve their defense, and if Stralman develops some more, he could be exactly what their looking for.
Sergei Samsonov has struggled some in the past few seasons but he still is able to put numbers up on the board.
Samsonov is a very creative offensive player with good skills. He's not the biggest guy around, but he is hard to knock off the puck. Samsonov has been in decline a little but he is still useful and he tends to play better in a bigger role with more ice time.
Last season, Samsonov scored 13 goals and finished with 40 points in 78 games between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers.
Samsonov could also bring some leadership to the team which is defiantly a need. If he can have a year like last season, he should be fine.