Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
The Islanders waited until Day 2 of free agency to make their splash. It was a double cannonball.
After missing out on some top targets on Tuesday, GM Garth Snow landed two quality forwards at once Wednesday afternoon, signing former Leafs wing Nikolai Kulemin to a four-year, $16.75-million deal and center Mikhail Grabovski, late of the Capitals, to a four-year, $20-million deal.
"To me, free agency is like fishing," Snow said. "You put your line in the water and you hope you get some nibbles. We got two big bites today."
Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin have been reunited.
The New York Islanders have signed the two former Toronto Maple Leafs to four-year contracts.
TSN Hockey insider Pierre LeBrun reports Grabovski will receive $20 million over four years, while Kulemin's contract is worth $16.75 million.
Grabovski scored 13 goals and 22 assists in 58 games with the Washington Capitals in 2013-14. He was bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs last off-season.
In 70 games with the Maple Leafs this season, Kulemin scored nine goals and added 11 assists.
from Brett Cyrgolis of the New York Post,
According to sources, the dominos began to fall when free-agent defenseman Dan Boyle shunned the Islanders’ two separate contract offers — one of two years at $5.5 million per season, the other of three years at $5 million per — to take a two-year deal with the Rangers at $4.5 million per.
Snow had traded a fifth-round pick to the Sharks in early June to obtain Boyle’s exclusive negotiating rights. When he was asked if there was regret for making that move, Snow was forthright.
“Knowing now that I didn’t get him? Absolutely,” Snow told The Post. “But I also realize there was zero-percent change of us getting him if we waited to July 1. It was a fifth-round pick that was worth a try.”
According to a league source, the Islanders also sent an offer to Thomas Vanek in the range of four years at $7 million per, which surpassed his three-year, $19.5 million deal he signed with the Wild.
from Daniel Friedman of CBSNewYork,
Are the Islanders doomed to continue living a mediocre existence or will they finally morph into the competitive team that ownership and management have promised is on its way for years and years? Can they finally take that next step and shake their losing perception?
The time to be patient and fix this team through the draft is over. The young core, including those not on the roster yet, is what it is now, and it’s either going to work or it’s not.
The time for refusing to part with any young talent has run out, because by now the Islanders should be able to identify most of their expendable pieces. If they still can’t, that’s another issue altogether.
The time for making excuses has passed. How often has the rationale for failing to make trades to bolster the team been that the right deal just wasn’t out there? At a certain point, you just have to ask: why is the right deal never out there for Snow?
Put simply, the answer is that it’s because he’s a stubborn GM, which is part blessing and part curse.
I RT'd this earlier but I know many KK readers don't use Twitter at all or on a daily basis...
from Christopher Botta of SportsBusiness Daily,
In the five weeks since The Shift reported that the sale of the New York Islanders to Andrew Barroway is in the hands of Charles Wang, the Islanders’ current owner, Wang has not moved to complete a deal. However, specifics of the potential agreement have been confirmed with sources close to the seller, the buyer and the NHL:
• Barroway is seeking to become the majority owner and purchase 80 percent of the team. “He wants decision-making authority and the ability to bring in his own people,” said a source.
• The agreed-upon value of the club is around $400 million.
• Wang’s advisers told Barroway’s group more than a month ago that Wang would like to complete a deal with Barroway this summer.
more on the Islanders and other hockey topics...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Okay, let’s play Islanders general manager for a while because, hey, everybody else is doing it too right? They have huge amounts of salary-cap space, so anything is possible, as long as you’re prepared to cajole players into coming.
Even the guys they’ve got signed – such as John Tavares – are on reasonable deals ($5.5-million through 2017-18 – tip of the cap to Garth Snow for that one). They also have two more years of Kyle Okposo at $2.8-million.
So after Thomas Vanek played so badly in Montreal and Minnesota’s interest in him is waning, why wouldn’t the Islanders circle back to Vanek and make him an offer on July 1? Bet they could outbid anybody for his services – and they might not even have to offer that seven-year, $50-million deal that he turned down.
The Islanders could sign Vanek, bid for Matt Moulson (who liked it there and might consider a return, because his options might be limited as well) and bring back them both back. Put it this way: Without a first-round pick in 2015, which they gave up to get Vanek in the first place, the Islanders better make the playoffs. As they are currently constituted, they have no chance. With Vanek and Moulson in the lineup, they might.
more topic including the Jason Spezza situation...
SAN JOSE - San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has acquired a conditional fifth-round draft selection in the 2015 NHL Draft from the New York Islanders in exchange for defenseman Dan Boyle. If Boyle re-signs with New York prior to the start of the 2014-15 regular season, the draft pick becomes a fourth-round selection in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Boyle, 37, recorded 36 points (12-24=36) and 32 penalty minutes in 75 games played in 2013-14. The Ottawa, Ontario, native tallied 269 points (68-201=269) and 305 penalty minutes in 431 games played with San Jose. He leaves ranking first amongst franchise defensemen in goals, assists and points.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Even knowing their history, the Islanders rolled the dice again in a meaningful way this past week. With the rest of the hockey world distracted by the NHL playoffs, the Islanders notified the Buffalo Sabres that they would use their first-round pick, fifth overall, in the 2014 entry draft and defer until 2015 transferring the first-round they owe them in the Thomas Vanek deal. The Islanders scout players like the rest of the league, so they are aware that not one but potentially two generational players could be up for grabs in 2015 – Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters and Jack Eichel of the U.S. under-18 national development team.
It is the sort of draft that only comes along once in a while, one that can shift the fortunes of a franchise in one fell swoop, one that gets general managers dreaming about ping pong balls and the luck of the lottery draw.
And now, assuming they stay bad for at least one more year, the Sabres will get two cracks at McDavid and Eichel – and wouldn’t it be something if they ended up with both? Hockey in Western New York might never be the same.
The Islanders, meanwhile, are gambling that the return to health of John Tavares and the decision to sign goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a four-year contract, thus stabilizing a woefully erratic position, will make them a playoff team - or if not a playoff team, close enough that the chances of winning the draft lottery and moving into a top-two position are negligible.
more plus other hockey topics like the Washington Capitals and Jeff Carter...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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