Conditions: No big name free agents are signed or big trades made. Assume the kids we draft this year are not making the team.
Need 4 Lines, 6 Defensive pairs, 2 Goalies
1st line - Moulson - Tavares - Okposo
2nd line - Grabner - Bailey - (Kabanov) Parenteau
3rd line - Comeau - Neilsen - Nino
4th line - Martin - Konopka - Haley
1st Pair De - Streight - Eaton
2nd Pair De - MacDonald - Hamonic
3rd Pair De - Jurcina - (De-Haan) Mottou
Goalies - (Nabokov) Dipi/Poulin and Montoya
All the players I have in Parenthesis are what I would love to see but not a good chance of it happening.
Okposo - The problem with the 1st line this year is they are not very good in there own end. By adding Okposo back to the 1st line might solve the problem. But he must take his game to the next level this year, or become a very good 3rd line player and maybe Neisens perfect partner.
Bailey - Must turn the corner this year. He must prove he is good enough to be a 2nd line center in the NHL. I want to give him 1/2 of next season to prove he is worth it with no pressure on him. I want Grabner and him paired. I think with Bailey's playmaking ability and Grabner's speed and finishing theycould be a dealy combo. But if it does not work out they need to trade him.
Parenteau - He was a nice pickup last year but I do not see him as part of the long term solution. I believe he was a nice stop gap but nothing more.
Nino - The reason I put him on the 3rd line is I would like to ease him into the lineup and by putting him with Neilsen he could learn how to play both ways and be a more complete player.
Kabanov - Looks like he turned a corner this year in maturity and skill and I would love to see him make the team out of camp. He could start the year in bridgeport not like Nino who would have to go back to juniors. I know it is a long shot but it would be huge if it happened. But my gut reaction it would be 99% chance it would not happen and Parenteau would be on the 1st or 2nd line depending on where the Islanders put Okposo.
DeHaan - It would be nice if he made the jump in training camp and beat out Mottou,Hillen and Wishart, but like Kabonov I give a 1% chance of happening. I would rather give it to Wishart than either Hillen or Mottou but I truly believe it will be Mottou if healthy. With Hillen, Wishart and Dehaan in Bridgeport to be called when needed. Gervais I never want to see in an Islander uniform again. Martinek I would not resign.
Nabokov - I was happy that Snow had the guts to toll his contract next season. I think it would be a great tandem next season with him and Montoya. It would give Poulin another season in the minors and we would not have to worry about the Dipi problem with 2 legit NHL goalies. DiPi should stay in bridgeport till he can prove he can stay healthy and play at a high calibar.
What would be your lineup?