Kukla's Korner Hockey
The New York Islanders today signed veteran forward Bill Guerin to a two-year contract worth $4.5 million a year.
Guerin played in 77 games with the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks in 2006-07, recording 36 goals and 56 points with 66 penalty minutes.
The Islanders have acquired Edmonton’s second round pick in the 2008 NHL draft by trading depth defenseman Allan Rourke and a 2008 third round pick to the Oilers. The Islanders now have two second round picks in what is expected to be a deep draft in June, 2008.
“Although it may seem a relatively small deal from a players’ standpoint, this is very good news for us,” said Islanders assistant GM/Director of Amateur Scouting Ryan Jankowski. “Next year is expected to be a stronger and deeper draft than the past few years. In this draft, you can never have enough early picks.”
from On the Islanders Beat,
If Snow made some mistakes this time around, maybe it will be a learning experience for him in his first full year on the job. As I told the angry fan in my earlier reply, Islanders fans are entitled to their feelings of frustration after so many years of poor personnel decisions and mismanagement. But the fact that Snow didn’t panic and compound whatever mistakes he made by throwing money at the wrong players to appease the fans was smart. He didn’t try to paper over his losses.
Snow’s aim is to get players he and Nolan believe are capable of competing for the Stanley Cup. He doesn’t want to make a mistake now that will haunt him for years to come
added 2:10pm, via the NYI,
“I’m very happy to be an Islander,” said Fedotenko, who tied Conn Smythe Trophy winner Brad Richards with 12 goals in the 2004 playoffs. “Last season was a disappointment for me and I’m determined to show the Islanders and our fans what I can do. We have a very good team of talented young players and experienced guys and I really like Ted Nolan’s style of play. I looked at a lot of offers, but I know I’ve come to the right team.”
From Greg Logan at Newsday,
Free agents across the NHL continued to bypass the Islanders Monday on their way to lucrative contracts elsewhere. In some cases, general manager Garth Snow said Monday night, he made a value judgment not to waste money on players who aren’t worth it.
But when it comes to players, such as Ryan Smyth, for whom he was more than willing to open the vault, Snow said one big drawback he keeps hearing is that worn-out Nassau Coliseum isn’t exactly a selling point. If all things are equal, players tend to choose a more modern, exciting environment.
From Greg Logan’s Islander’s Beat,
Shortly after Ryan Smyth’s decision to sign with Colorado became official around 11 p.m. Sunday night, my phone rang. It was a player who had been an Islander for six years, not six minutes. It was Jason Blake.
How was he feeling after signing a five-year deal worth $20 million with Toronto? Silly question.
“Awesome,” Blake said with a little laugh.
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
The opening of the NHL free- agent market yesterday was more like a dispersal draft for the Islanders. After losing leading scorer Jason Blake, top-scoring defenseman Tom Poti and forwards Viktor Kozlov and Richard Zednik to more free-spending teams earlier in the day, they got the worst news of all at the end.
Ryan Smyth, who generated so much excitement after Islanders general manager Garth Snow acquired him from Edmonton at the trade deadline, spurned their five-year offer worth $32.5 million.
Islanders have signed veteran forward Jon Sim to a three-year deal.
The 29-year old Sim scored 17 goals and 12 assists with the Atlanta Thrashers last season.
from Greg Logan at Newsday,
“I talked to Ryan,” Nolan said Saturday. “I know he loved it here. He liked playing for us, but business is business. I just let him know what we could do on the ice with him. I didn’t really get into the ‘come, come, come’ type of thing. I just told him how much we would love for him to be here. He’s a winner.”
Although Smyth turned down the chance to sign with the Islanders before the market opened, Nolan is confident the Islanders’ offer will keep them in the ballgame.
“I’m more than positive it was a great offer,” Nolan said. “But it’s the first time in his career he’s been a free agent. He’s worked extremely hard and paid his dues. So am I surprised? No.”
from On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
Losing Smyth obviously would be a major blow to the efforts of general manager Garth Snow and coach Ted Nolan to restore the credibility of the Isles as a franchise that is serious about winning. But even if they convince Smyth to stay, they have a lot of other big holes to fill on a roster that is likely to bear little resemblance to last season’s eighth-place finisher in the Eastern Conference.
Having bought out top center Alexei Yashin and virtually kissed top scorer Jason Blake goodbye, there’s also a strong possibility they will part ways with top-scoring defenseman Tom Poti, resurgent forward Viktor Kozlov and fourth-line enforcer Arron Asham. They previously severed ties with forwards Richard Zednik and Randy Robitaille, defenseman Sean Hill and goaltender Mike Dunham, and they failed to make a qualifying offer to restricted free agent forward Andy Hilbert…
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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.
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