With the two-game road trip through the continent's windswept plains this provides some blueline insurance at worst, and at best gives a glimpse at possibilities for next year's blueline, for those of us thinking Steve Staios et al are not long for this place. It's sometimes overlooked in our debate about whether (and when) to trade Evgeni Nabkov and our fretting over whether P.A. Parenteau will be re-signed or traded, but the Islanders do have some pending unrestricted free agent defensemen who might fetch a call from teams looking for depth.
If someone bites on Mark Eaton or Milan Jurcina, that would open up more slots for extended auditions like Aaron Ness and Wishart, even after Travis Hamonic returns from a broken nose. Add to this equation, Marty Reasoner is due back soon from IR.
More on the UFAs, tomorrow's Coliseum development gong show, and other hot topics:
Wang: All Options on the Table?
I haven't seen anyone describe tomorrow's "with or without the Islanders" developers meeting as well as Chris Botta does here, nearly lampooning the "Association For A Better Long Island":
You remember the ABLI, the group that spent a lot of money and influence campaigning against the Aug. 1 referendum.
These gentlemen wanted what’s best for Long Island and now – presto – they want to develop the property. Vincent Polimeni? He lost the bid in 2005 to the Lighthouse Group. Ed Blumenfeld? You got it. He came up way short almost seven years ago. Jan Burman? Another loser to the Lighthouse.
A little bit of discussion on that topic in this FanShot as well. The Islanders aren't participating in tomorrow's meeting.
And while we're talking about arenas and such (Brooklyn? Why do you ask?): A familiar lament that will accompany any venue not surrounded by acres upon acres of parking (and tailgating) space.
Tavares on the Coliseum, Doug Weight, Signing On, Playing Like Playoffs
Puck Daddy's Sean Leahy was at the Coli over the weekend and got some Q&A time with John Tavares, including:
It's funny, everyone thinks how much of a dump the Coliseum is. As much as we're here, you start to call it home, you start to feel comfortable here. I think it'll just be nice just to have the new state-of-the-art facility...
A little FanShot talk of it there.
Garth Snow on Nabokov and the UFAs
With ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:
"We have no intention of moving Evgeni," Snow said. "He’s been great for us. His performance speaks for itself."
There haven’t been any contract talks between the Islanders and Nabokov’s camp, but it’s not out of the question down the road.
"Yeah, we’d consider all options, we’re just not at that point yet," said Snow. "We just finished [signing] Frans [Nielsen] and we obviously have a few other players who are unrestricted free agents in July, so we’ll just chip away at them."
If you missed it over the weekend, Newsday also talked to Parenteau about his pending free agency.
Sound Tigers Hot
More talk of the Sound Tigers latest OT win in Fornabaio's gamer at the CT Post. Of interest in that Fornabaio blog linked at the top is Jeremy Colliton handling the defensive assignments for Bridgeport's playoff push. I mention this not because it's a surprise, exactly, but it's worth remembering if you're hoping Casey Cizikas' scoring (or David Ullstrom, for that matter) translates at the NHL level.
Those guys are likely to have more bottom-six type roles if and when they make the Islanders, not powerplay-type minutes. Which is great -- just, as usual, adjust expectations accordingly.
The Oilers have signed Andy Sutton to a one-year extension at $1.5 million. Copper & Blue not happy.
Finally, Gigantor has been a meme or charm of late around this site, getting ready for games. Mark ran with that to compile this video: