Kukla's Korner Hockey
Shortly before 1 PM, John Tavares put pen to paper and finalized his six-year contract extension for a total of $33 million. This is a fantastic deal for both the Islanders and for Tavares. Comparing the JT deal with the recent Tyler Myers deal in Buffalo, I think the Isles get a much better value. The cap hit per season for the JT and Myers deals are the same at $5.5 million.
From the NY Islanders Twitter account:
Press conference tomorrow with John Tavares and Garth Snow.
The press conference is scheduled for 1 PM and is presumably to announce a contract extension for JT. Reports have been that the deal is either 5 or 6 years for around $5.5 million per season. Some think that the Isles are also going to be announcing they have named Tavares as captain at this presser, but I don’t think they will. I think they are going to wait until after training camp to announce their captain and I think it will be Mark Streit.
Update: Per Katie Strang at ESPNNewYork.com, Tavares has agreed to a 6 year extension.
According to Newsday and Bob McKenzie, John Tavares is close to signing a big, long-term contract extension with the Islanders. Reports are that the deal will be around six years with an average salary of around $5.5 million. If Tavares does indeed sign an extension, it guarantees that the Islanders core of Michael Grabner, Kyle Okposo, Matt Moulson, and Tavares are all signed long-term. People criticize GM Garth Snow for many things, but one thing they can’t get on him for is wasting any time signing the Isles most important players. Maybe after JT signs his extension, the media across the border will finally stop reporting that he wants off of Long Island and wants to play for the Leafs.
The New York Islanders rookie camp games against the Boston Bruins tonight and tomorrow night will be streaming live on newyorkislanders.com and MSG.com beginning at 7:00PM. Tonight’s game is closed to the public. Tickets for tomorrow night’s game can be purchased here for $10 and all proceeds will benefit the Islanders Children’s Foundation.
Head coach Jack Capuano named Mikko Koskinen the starter in goal tonight for the Isles. Koskinen is expected to play the full 60 minutes. Brent Thompson, head coach of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders AHL affiliate, will be behind the bench tonight and will be joined by assistant coach Eric Boguniecki.
On Tuesday, Katie Strang of Newsday reported that Alexei Yashin skated with the New York Islanders at the team facility in Syosset, New York. There have been many reports surrounding Yashin, the Islanders, and his reason for being in New York. I don’t think the Islanders have anything to lose by bringing Yashin in on a training camp tryout.
While the team has nothing to lose in bringing Yashin in for a tryout, they have everything to lose if he is given a chance to make the team. GM Garth Snow and owner Charles Wang have a long love affair with Yashin, but it will kill the development of the Islanders and what the team has tried to build over the last few seasons if he is given a shot to make the team.
Yesterday, Hockey’s Future named Nino Niederreiter and Ryan Strome to the top of the NY Islanders prospect list. Nino and Strome are very talented forward prospects and, barring some unforeseen circumstance, will be bright spots among the other young, talented forwards on the Islanders for many, many years to come. As stated many times on this blog, I fully expect Nino to make the team out of training camp. I expect Strome to be with the Islanders full-time at the start of the 2012-2013 season.
Over the weekend, the Islanders invited veteran forward Jay Pandolfo to training camp. Can Pandolfo make the team? Yes. Will he? I don’t think so. While I think Pandolfo could provide some veteran leadership to the Islanders young forwards, I just don’t see where he fits in.
Coming into what will be his fourth full season with the New York Islanders, Frans Nielsen is becoming quite a consistent hockey player. After posting 9 goals and 24 assists in just 59 games during his rookie season, he tallied 12 goals and 26 assists in 76 games during the 2009-2010 season. Last season, Nielsen had another consistent, solid season posting 13 goals and 31 assists in 71 games played. These numbers might not blow you away, but they are only a small indication of what Nielsen does on the ice. Nielsen is the third best Islanders forward in the faceoff circle. Nielsen also led the NHL in shorthanded goals last season with seven and is an integral part of the Islanders penalty kill. He has also shown tremendous leadership both on and off the ice.
From Katie Strang of Newsday:
Doug Weight’s retirement this summer left the Islanders’ captaincy vacant, but the 40-year-old veteran expects leadership from the team’s youth regardless of his successor.
“We’re going to need a level of leadership from our young guys,” said Weight, who is now an Islanders assistant coach and Senior Advisor to GM Garth Snow. “They need to take strides verbally, in their work ethic, game in and game out, their consistency.”
The two leading candidates to wear the “C” for the Islanders appear to be Swiss defenseman Mark Streit and 23-year-old forward Kyle Okposo. But, whoever earns the nod will need a strong supporting cast as well.
NHL.com went all access with rookie Ryan Strome at the 2011 NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto. Watch the video. Strome also spoke at the showcase and said that he is enjoying himself with the guys and is having a good time taking a step back from competition before training camp starts.
Strome also took the time to attend a Toronto Blue Jays game with #2 overall pick Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalance. As you can tell by the video, Landeskog needs quite a tutorial on the game of baseball.
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.
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