LHinks: Free agency turns sleepy, lens turns to Lighthouse Project

You knew that the excitement (and Snow-managed uncertainty) about the 2009 NHL Draft, followed immediately by free agency, would mean a certain franchise-defining real estate project would lose the spotlight for a bit.

Now that the Islanders are in wait-and-see bargain-hunting mode (a.k.a. B+ grade from Puck Daddy), and the big names are mostly off the market league-wide (check out Mirtle's post on who has money left; keep in mind the Isles' figure is without the inevitable Tavares rubber-stamp entry-level deal), it's time to surf some Isles links, Lighthouse Project and otherwise.

But first: Great signing by the Penguins to keep Ruslan Fedotenko in the fold. At $1.8 million, it's Fedotenko's second consecutive pay cut, which tells me Tenk's competitive priorities are in order. As an Isles fan and Fedotenko fan I'm personally happy for both him and Bill Guerin. But objectively speaking, they both played crucial supporting roles in the Cup run. Can they pull it off again?

Sticking close to the Island, while many are sorry the Islanders couldn't land Mike Komisarek (always a long shot, honestly), his defection from Montreal to Toronto should provide great theater, in terms of the anxiety of torn fan loyalties. I'm not so much looking forward to the next Leafs-Habs game as I am the fan myth-spinning afterward.

Meanwhile, are we going to see a market "correction" for those who didn't land big dollars in the first days of July? We just might. Intuitively it makes sense, as jobs (and cap room) become scarce. But GMs and their money soon part...

Islanders and Lighthouse Project links follow the jump...

Lighthouse Project

In case you missed it between the draft and Free Agent Meat Market opening, Sen. Schumer unsurprisingly pledged support for the Lightouse Project, saying he would seek federal money to improve infrastructure around the proposed development. [Long Island Business News] Newsday also offered editorial support for this plan.

The next Lighthouse meeting is Tuesday, July 7 -- to approve the DGEIS (environmental impact statement) -- but Chris Botta has a helpful list of big dates in the near future. Public hearings, hopefully, in August.

Nick of Let There be Light(house) sees the Town of Hempstead's denied challenge about how to develop the Bellmore Army Base site as a sign of better trends ahead. For me, a non-resident watching from afar, that's out of my department; but Nick's insight on the Lighthouse Project has been essential reading, and his (young) citizen-on-the-ground perspective is always interesting. Nick's end-of-June, State of the Lighthouse post is full of resources, too.

Bloggers React to Islanders Free Agency

That's a rundown of reactions we didn't link to in the preceding days. As always, if we missed something or if you have something that's not on the radar, drop it in comments (or email me, if you're shy). In these LHinks posts, self-promotion is -- like fish paralyzer in the old Kevin Nealon/SNL skit about the All-Drug Olympics -- both legal and encouraged.

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