The Islanders' inability to sign Christian Ehrhoff and subsequent move to flip his rights to the Sabres for a fourth-round pick (a scenario that has precedent in last summer's double Dan Hamhuis flip from Nashville to Philadelphia to Pittsburgh) means nothing gained, little lost.
But the Ehrhoff drama does leave us with a question: What's next, and what can be expected from GM Garth Snow as July 1 free agency beckons?
Obviously Snow tried to upgrade the defense with a pre-emptive move before a(nother) weak UFA class opens for bidding. But was it a "always trying to improve move," or an internal evaluation that the Islanders specifically need an aggressively puck-moving, powerplay defenseman?
As discussed to death here, Ehrhoff's defense wasn't his strong suit, but he brought a special brand of offensive ability to the blueline. That kind of profile is only available in weaker measures on this summer's market in Tomas Kaberle (on the decline?) and James Wisniewski (been there), whose rights Montreal flipped to the Blue Jackets.
Josh Bailey looks to bounce back after "roller coaster" year. [NHL.com]
- Strang on Twitter: "In weak free agent class, Snow said he felt it "imperative" to make a bold move and obtain exclusive negotiating rights for one of top dman."
- Snow did set a 5 p.m. deadline for Ehrhoff yesterday, and then began soliciting a 4th from other teams for the rights: "Was it a gamble to try and make our team better for the short and long term? Yes, but it's a gamble I'd make again given the circumstances," Snow said.
- Staple at Newsday said the offer was six years, $33 million, $5.5 million cap hit.
Michael Fornabaio's insomnia tells us Joel Martin, the Jackalope, is taking his goalie act to Denmark. Frans approves.
- The public info sessions have begun from the County about the Nassau Coliseum plan. We'll have more on this in the coming days. | Meanwhile, Let There Be Light(house): The Numbers Are In
- I confess I don't see front-loaded contracts in free agency as a problem for the Isles [$5 please]. They backloaded Kyle Okposo and Michael Grabner's contract, so their cash outlay is already set to be lower than their cap hit. (I also don't understand how people think the NHLPA will agree to another salary rollback; cap rollback maybe.)
- Dave Volek's son was drafted in the CHL, and Mario Lemieux immediately threatened to take his puck and go home.
- Are you sitting down? Because this will shock you: Jaromir Jagr is acting flaky. I know, right?!
- Are the Rangers' Ryan Callahan and the Coyotes' very good Keith Yandle realistic RFA offer sheet targets?
Paul Kariya officially retires, goes out swinging about headshots. More in the original piece here.
- Hockey This Week " Magazine " St. Paul Serves Up Dose of Reality for Nassau County | Without Coliseum, local economy is doomed | By Sean Cuthbert
- I would like a Vern Fiddler to help out the bottom end, and here's why.
- Pair with Tri ties chosen in NHL draft lottery - Spruce Grove Examiner - Alberta, CA
- On the Chris Drury buyout [Puck Daddy]
- People think the Wings will go after Ehrhoff or Wisniewski, if they're available.
Finally, haven't seen this talked about much here yet [Update: Stupid me. I should actually read our site once in a while!]:
Saturday, July 16th @ 7PM at Nassau Coliseum
Come watch as the New York Islanders top prospects, such as Nino Niederreiter, Calvin de Haan and the Islanders first round pick from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, face-off in the 2011 Blue & White Scrimmage & Skills Competition.
Tickets only $10 with proceeds to benefit the Islanders Children’s Foundation.
Order your tickets from TicketBastard, monopolist home of the finest convenience, service and building charges in all the land.