NHL Free Agency: New York Islanders sign Dwayne Roloson, [update] miss Mike Komisarek

The "big" goalie 1A news fell flat among some of us: Dwayne Roloson, who turns 40 in October -- Garth Snow turns 40 in July -- gets a $5 million, two-year commitment. As far as whether that's a positive move, there's a healthy debate/airing of opinions in the morning post (which you can still add to). But the reality is a marriage of convenience for both sides.

Meanwhile, Mike Komisarek is reported to be in the sights of 10 teams -- yet is still considering the Islanders.

[Update: It's being reported that Komisarek went to the Leafs. Interesting move; can't wait to hear the term.]

That tells me either that he's wielding the threat of a hometown return as leverage, or that the Isles are offering him long-term while others might be scared by last season -- or that he really does like the idea of helping the Islanders rebound. (Or all of the above?) While I've been reluctant to go whole-hog for Komi, if a package really is only around $4 million, that would get me more into it. But that sounds like a stretch, considering the number of wooers. [If news breaks, feel free to update in comments or a FanShot ... otherwise, consider this the free agency thread for the evening.]

http://cdn1.sbnation.com/images/hub/nhl/freeagency-button.png

Back to the Roloson decision:

Picture yourself as a free agent goalie looking to get starter's minutes: The Islanders present an opportunity on last year's last place team to maybe get those minutes while DiPietro recuperates, and then shove off when he's healthy. Is that the gig for you? Remember that DiPietro is an untradeable contract. So this isn't like Colorado (where Craig Anderson signed to become #1); it isn't like Florida (where Scott Clemmensen signed, but Tomas Vokoun is the occasional subject of trade rumors); it isn't like Ty Conklin's signing in St. Louis, which dumped its starter last year and has starter Chris Mason heading to UFA this summer. There's not a very promising long-term goaltending opportunity on Long Island -- not yet.

Meanwhile, Roloson thinks he has two years left, and he just wants to get paid for it -- he wants that commitment. Competitive concerns aside, he jumped for the Islanders' offer. And though he's old (funny that Edmonton just signed his replacement, Nikolai Khabibulin, through age 40), and he's had some injuries, Roloson had a strong season last year on a weak team.

In fact, his play in the second half basically kept the Oilers' playoff dreams afloat, he was named team MVP, and he didn't slow down at the World Championships.


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008-09 - (EDM) Dwayne Roloson 63 3597 28 24 9 4 166 2.77 1953 1787 .915 1

His age, of course, is a concern. It's silly to think he won't spend time on the shelf this season or next. But for who was available and what the Islanders were offering -- not in money, but in status -- this is a good fit.

The Size Question

Now, just about everyone is talking about the need for size, physicality, and protection for not only the Islanders' young guns but their feeble goalie crew, too. Have they addressed this? No. Does a fantacized Komisarek acquisition address this? Not quite. But if Tim Jackman, Brendan Witt, Andy Sutton, Joel Recklicz, and the former Hab (play along, now) are healthy, I have a feeling they'd step up. That said, another winger who likes to fight is probably in order, considering the moves by the Rangers (Donald Brashear), Flyers (Chris Pronger O'Elbows, Ian Laperriere -- who I forgot was free and really wish the Isles had signed) and even the Penguins (signing former Devil Mike Rupp).

That's where we are as of the end of the afternoon. Depending on news tonight, I'll have a deeper look at all the goalies (who were) on the market for tomorrow. Meanwhile, keep the discussion going here or there at your leisure -- or start your own thread as news warrants (but help each other out by dropping a link in comments). Unfortunately I'm "working" today, because this is the best non-game day of the year, in my book -- thanks for pulling up to the bar and joining in.

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