This post is to determine the needs of this franchise with the current (as of January 28, 2011) roster that is signed for next year. This includes RFAs as they will most likely be retained by the Islanders. This does not include UFAs who are more susceptable to walk or we may find an alternate for their position.
Current signed and RFA roster (positions need filled by "_______"):
1st pair: Mark Streit ____(3)_____
2nd pair: Andrew MacDonald Travis Hamonic
3rd pair: Mark Eaton Milan Jurcina
7th man: Mike Mottau, Bruno Gervais, Jack Hillen
From this list, I have determined that there are 3 spots that need to be filled. The result of a FA pick up or trade acquisition may easily shuffle these lines. Here are some of my proposals for each spot.
-If we acquire a top 6 forward via trade/FA, I could see Nino or Grabner moving down into this position.
-In terms of depth pool - there is minimal talent we have in BP that would be sufficient for filling this spot come opening night 2011.
-In terms of our pending UFAs, PAP could fill this spot. Although Schremp is an RFA at the end of this season I personally don't see his return happening.
-Casey Cizikas could use this spot as his proving ground. I think if he comes to camp and shows a solid effort he may take this spot. This is a bit of a stretch as he is young and will probably need some conditioning/welcoming through the AHL.
-UFA wise - I see Zenon coming back. He was a great acquisition and has proven himself to be an asset in the locker room and on the ice.
-Draft wise - Larsson. If we some how end up with the 6, 7, or 8th pick maybe Jucina moves to this spot and Dougie Hamilton takes the 3rd pairing role. That's a big stretch though, although Hamilton is a 6'4" defensemen who likes to hit. He would most likely take the deHann route with a couple more years of junior hockey followed by AHL time.
-This may be a great spot for a FA acquisition.
-Prospect wise - maybe Jucina bumps up to the 1st pairing with Streit and Calvin deHaan gets his rookie year with Mark Eaton as a linemate.
Please post your opinions. Use this as a forum to debate our future! I am not one to criticize others ideas ...I like to use them as another viewpoint in shifting the culture surrounding my thoughts about the Isles.