Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
Don Meehan, agent for Ryan Symth was just on Leafs Lunch. A once in a lifetime opportunity for Smyth to see what his value is. The Islanders have made an offer, but Smyth wants to see what he is worth on the open market.
Also, cap numbers have been set, Ceiling is $50.3M and floor is $34M and maybe some change.
added 12:57pm, via TSN,
Sources tell TSN that for the 2007-08 season, the salary cap will rise to a maximum of $50.3-million. That is a $6-million increase from this past season when the cap was set at $44-million.
Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, teams must spend at least $34.3-million on salaries next season.
added 1:37pm, Darren Dreger just on Leafs Lunch and said the same thing, Smyth will test the market. Dreger has heard the Islanders have offered Smyth $6.5M per year and that figure may scare some teams off. But Smyth also wants to win and he may question if the Islanders have that ability in the near future.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
As of Saturday, the New York Islanders depth chart didn’t have Jason Blake’s name on it. However, Ryan Smyth’s name was there in big bold letters.
There is a strong sense the Islanders are about to hit the 31-year-old with an offer he may not be able to refuse.
Speculation suggests the Isles are preparing an offer above $6-million per year over a 7 - 8 year term.
from On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
Ryan Smyth’s agent Don Meehan and Islanders general manager Garth Snow talked on Monday and are planning to talk again today, Meehan said last night. The question is whether Meehan and Smyth are using the Islanders to build the pot or whether there is genuine interest in signing up for the long haul on the Island, which probably was among the last places Smyth ever imagined himself going before the trade on Feb. 27.
“We’re having ongoing discussions,” Meehan said yesterday. “Garth is well-intentioned. We’re having good discussions, but it’s complex.”
Asked if there is any possibility Smyth would sign with the Isles before the free agent market opens on Sunday, Meehan didn’t even look at his cards before saying. “It’s too early to tell.”
Have the Islanders made a firm offer? “I won’t discuss negotiations,” Meehan said.
from the New York Islanders,
In their continued efforts to make New York Islanders games the premier destination for Long Island families, the Islanders are offering a season ticket for young fans that will cost just $10 a game.
“The NYI365 KIDS SEASON PASS came about after (owner) Charles Wang made it clear to us in our off-season meetings that our organization has three primary goals,” said Chris Dey, Islanders Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Operations. “Our goals are for Islanders games to be the number one entertainment option for Long Island families, to pack the Coliseum for every game and - it goes without saying - to bring the Stanley Cup back to Long Island.”
continued... Other teams should take note…
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