Islanders Bits: Comeau/Nino Notes; Isles Land in Buffalo

"Talk to me when you can't count your goals on one hand."

Newsday's Arthur Staple caught up with Charles Wang, who predictably offered no comment on the arena situation that lurks in the background of every story about the franchise.

But Staple did get Wang's thoughts on the bad first quarter and how the team will proceed, basically saying this is a journey filled with lessons and adjustments for everyone, from leadership on down to the young players upon whom so much faith rests.

The story also includes thoughts on budget:

"We're not a big-market team that can spend like some teams do," he said. "But I've never said no to what Garth wants to do. If it makes sense for our team, then we'll do it. We've tried to be conservative and make smart decisions..."

Given the team's revenue limits and budget that affects other teams (as we'll see below), I agree conservatism and smart decisions are essential in a de facto small-market environment -- that has to be why they signed the internal extensions they did this past summer, presumably locking guys up at what will eventually be discounts.

But that's also what makes the inability to salvage something for Blake Comeau a tough one (e.g. keep him around for deadline pump-and-dump?), though his 24-goal season and the arbitration-avoiding salary that resulted likely complicated that.

 

When Comeau Hit Waivers, Revisited

Elliotte Friedman's always essential 30 Thoughts column included several notes on the Islanders, including one that paints a different light on the whole "shopping Blake Comeau for picks" thing:

Comeau had a few claims, Minnesota and Nashville among them. The Islanders -- like many teams right now -- didn't want to take on salary, so they dropped him. A 25-year-old who scored 24 goals last season? Seems a tough way to lose a player...

No mention of what kind of salary was offered the other way -- "Let's exchange baggage!" -- but that keeps your general "What if they swapped for Tomas Kaberle?" type of roster-gazing alive. (Kaberle has 3 years at $4.25 million each, which the Canes surely regret and which you figure, if it was even on the table, might be more money and risk than the Isles would want to swallow.)

It's interesting when the league is at the point where people will only offer their problems, not even a pick, or else take their chances on a $2.5 million Comeau waivers.

That Friedman column also touched on budget restraints in Anaheim (who did not put in a claim on Comeau) and the muddied situation in Colorado. Just keeping with the misery loves company theme.

There are notes on Nino Niederreiter too, with an East Conference observer basically saying it's unconventional but in pattern with how Blake Comeau and Kyle Okposo (and now Marty Reasoner) were scratched before him.

 

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