Summarizing New York Islanders Offseason; Predicting Lines for 2011-12 Season
The Islanders offseason wasn't too busy, but they said goodbye to veteran and captain Doug Weight, Trent Hunter, Radek Martinek, Zenon Konopka, Bruno Gervais, Jesse Joensuu and Jack Hillen.
Finally, Joensuu opted to play in Sweden.
But the Islanders were able to acquire veteran forward Brian Rolston in a trade with the Devils. Rolston will help out with his leadership and be a powerful voice in a young lineup.
The Islanders also signed Marty Reasoner, who will center the fourth line. Reasoner had a solid season for the Florida Panthers, as he scored 14 goals and 18 assists in 82 games.
The Isles also welcome back Mark Streit, who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. He'll be a huge boost to the Isles defense.
With the arrivals and departures, here's what I think the lines may look like in the upcoming season.
I can see the top line staying together. They performed well together last season, as every member scored over 20 goals. Also, you want to spread the talent and put Michael Grabner on the second line.
Frans Nielsen and Grabner, two speed demons, were dynamite together on the second line, and throw Blake Comeau in there, and you have another solid scoring line.
The third line is a bit of a stretch in at least one way. Islander fans may get to see Nino Niederreiter, the Isles top rated prospect in the system.
Normally, Nino is a right winger, but he may be asked to revert to the left wing to play with other talented players Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo, both hoping for break out seasons.
For the last line, Reasoner adds a lot of depth, as he has the potential for 30 points, and Trevor Gillies supplies the tough guy every team has. If not Gillies, then maybe Matt Martin will play left wing on the fourth line. And veteran Brain Rolston finishes up the checking line, a solid fourth line.
With a bunch of talent in the team, and depth in the back, the Islanders believe they can take that next step and reach the playoffs.
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