By the Allstar Game we will know where the Islanders stand with this season, because the next 7 of 8 games are against our Conference. If the Islanders do not take 10 out of a possible 14 points in the Conference games this season for all intents and purposes will be done. On that note again the Islanders are looking at a another top 5 pick. There will be numerous roster changes, most of us know who they will be:
Nabokov (more than likely traded before deadline for a 3rd round pick)
Reasoner (no trade value)
Rolston (no trade value)
Pandolfo (no trade value)
Wallace (no trade value)
Eaton (no trade value)
Mottau (no trade value)
Staios (no trade value)
All of the above players besides Nabokov, whether we get 6th or 7th round picks, release, or just not resign them, will not be on the roster. The Islanders, just like this season, going into next season have 2 major needs, legit Vets in their prime, a top 4 winger and a top 4 defenseman. This is not going to come by FA, as we all know it will need to be a trade either at the deadline or at the draft. The Islanders will have to give up a talented young player and a draft pick to get the Defenseman or Winger that they target. It also will not be both so I would prefer a Defenseman. We will find out real soon if Snow is up to it, to be honest I doubt it is going to happen I have no faith in him at all. So more than likely the Islanders are going to be using the current roster and what we have in the system developing. Here is what I see as our roster:
1st Line - Moulson-JT-Okposo
2nd Line - Grabner-Strome-Nino
3rd Line - Martin-Bailey-Parenteau/DiBe/Citzkas
4th Line - Ullstrom-Neilsen-Haley
1st Pair - AMac-Hamonic
2nd Pair- Striet-CDH/Vet
3rd Pair - Jurcina/Reese/Wishart/Katic/Donavan
#1A - Montoya
#1B - Poulin
IR - DiPi
If by some miracle Snow can pull of a trade for a Vet Defenseman he will need to give a combination of our #1 Pick and legit player. As has been proven NO FA WANTS TO COME HERE. There are 3 players that come to mind:
Bailey - Not Sure what he is worth on the market
Parenteau - It would need to be at the deadline or it would be a sign and trade.
Neilsen - We know on the Island he is worth it but not sure what the rest of the NHL thinks.
Using the above logic I could see the Islanders putting a package of Nabakov, Parenteau, and our 1st pick for the TOP 4 Defenseman if not the Islanders will resign Parenteau.
1st Line - They are coming together just like they did JT's and Moulson's first season when Okposo played on their line. The line is more balanced than with Parenteau.
2nd Line - To me putting Strome (an elite puck handler with speed) and Grabner together would be a dangerous pairing with the added bonus of Nino as the power forward.
3rd Line - If Parenteau is not traded I see him wth Bailey and Martin if he is traded this will give DiBe/Citzkas/Kabanov a chance to see what they have. I would love for them to get their chance after the Allstar game but we will see. This line COULD be a nice 3rd line IF Bailey continues to play like he has played lately
4th Line - This is our defensive specialist PK line. This is what Neislsen does best.
Defenseman are very weak again, but there is talent SUPPOSEDLY there. I pray to GOD that Snow can make a trade happen but the odds are against that happening. AMac and Hamonic are solid and I hope Streit can at least hold his own next season with a straong partner. If the trade does not happen I can see CDH being babysat by Streit. The 5th and 6th defenseman is totaly up for grabs.
Goaltending should not be an issue as long as DiPi gets hurt and only plays 0-10 games.