P.A. Parenteau Contract Talkus Interruptus; NHL Power Rankings

The mid-day news update -- already a topic of discussion here and even garnering a comment-heavy FanPost -- was Client P.A. Parenteau's twitterific agent Alan Walsh telling TSN's Darren Dreger ... well what was it exactly? Dreger summarizes it like this:

Walsh and his client don't believe it is appropriate to pursue contract discussions at this time, but will listen if the Islanders are eager to negotiate.

That is not an absolute "shelving until after season's end," as the TSN headline stipulates, but rather a negotiating tactic. More specifically, Walsh emailed Dreger in part:

"Now is the time to play hockey, not to discuss or focus on contracts. When the season is over, I'm sure both parties will work diligently towards an agreement."

Unspoken: But of course if the Islanders offer what we want we'll sign tomorrow.

This close to the Game of Chicken's fish-or-cut-bait point, I get it. Few want to make life-changing decisions under duress. (And in fact, psychologists strongly recommend against it.)

The funny thing is, the closer the Islanders get to a playoff position, the more Walsh can call the Islanders' bluff here -- as it would be all the more deflating to trade him with 8th place in sight. Yet as often discussed here, a low-budget team should either sign Parenteau now or trade him at the deadline. Unlikely playoff push or not, the Islanders have to treat the deadline with an eye on the future. The closer Parenteau gets to free agency, the greater the odds he tries to field inflated offers on the open market.

Which means the question for the next two weeks is: Who flinches first? The Islanders (Snow), or Parenteau (Walsh)? I interpret from this public declaration of negotiation-couched-in-"hockey" one or both of the following:

  1. Walsh/Parenteau have found the Isles parameters thus far unsatisfying, to the point they're willing to accept a trade, or/and
  2. They think the Isles playoff push is so real that Snow dare not deal one of his best wingers in the middle of it, for fear of an internal or external PR hit.

It's going to be a fascinating climax. Prediction: Parenteau shall be King.

Media NHL Power Rankings Survey

Here is our weekly roundup of media rankings and commentary, which were compiled before last night's regulation win in Winnipeg.

Outlet Rank Last Week Their Commentary
CBSSports 26 23
Great move to lock up Frans Nielsen, an underrated and extremely valuable part of their young core.
25 24
Evgeni Nabokov is 6-3-0 with a 1.58 goals-against average and .949 save percentage in his past nine games
23 23 That was a gut-wrenching loss to Florida on Sunday afternoon. They needed to keep it going, especially at home.
Sportsnet 29 24 As the Islanders continue their losing ways, dropping home games to Florida and Montreal last week, will Evgeni Nabokov get traded before deadline?
17 16 The Isles sit eight points out of a playoff spot, but could go right up until the deadline before making any decisions on whether they are buyers or sellers. They have seven games before the deadline, including two against eighth-place Ottawa and three against teams outside of playoff spots.
Fox 24
24 The Isles have been playing better despite only one regulation victory in their past 10 games entering this week. Nino Niederreiter (32 games, one goal, no assists, minus-17 through Sunday) has been among the more disappointing of the league’s highly regarded rookies
22.3 "Won't you gentlemen have a Pepsi?"

For reference, here is last week's power rankings post.

Real Power Rankings

And now on to our weekly "real" power rankings courtesy of Mike, or ICanSeeForIslesAndIsles (who is the one you'll find tirelessly compiling FIG picks in the game thread), who conceived and delivers these week after week. They are calculated in true "power ranking" fashion -- i.e. how well teams fare based on their opponents' records.

These reflect figures through Monday's games. The Islanders actually dropped back one since last week, to 25th, but it's Anaheim who is rising with their recent hot play, where a once-gold-lottery-bound team may end up passing the cloud of teams at the bottom of the Eastern Conference (in the overall standings).

1 NSFW 36 13 5 77 0.713 2153
2 St. Louis 34 14 7 75 0.682 2080
3 Detroit 38 17 2 78 0.684 2044
4 Vancouver 35 15 6 76 0.679 2021
5 Boston 34 17 2 70 0.660 1943
6 San Jose 31 17 6 68 0.630 1858
7 Pittsburgh 32 19 5 69 0.616 1831
8 Nashville 32 18 6 70 0.625 1822
9 Philadelphia 31 18 7 69 0.616 1820
10 New Jersey 31 20 4 66 0.600 1793
11 Florida 27 17 11 65 0.591 1768
12 Los Angeles 27 19 11 65 0.570 1730
13 Chicago 29 20 7 65 0.580 1692
14 Phoenix 27 21 9 63 0.553 1681
15 Ottawa 28 22 8 64 0.552 1641
16 Toronto 28 22 6 62 0.554 1636
17 Washington 28 23 5 61 0.545 1631
18 Calgary 26 22 8 60 0.536 1618
19 Colorado 28 25 4 60 0.526 1617
20 Minnesota 25 22 8 58 0.527 1602
21 Dallas 28 24 3 59 0.536 1567
22 Winnipeg 26 25 6 58 0.509 1507
23 Montreal 23 25 9 55 0.482 1497
24 Anaheim 22 24 9 53 0.482 1469
25 NY Islanders 23 24 8 54 0.491 1460
26 Tampa Bay 24 25 6 54 0.491 1459
27 Buffalo 24 25 6 54 0.491 1455
28 Carolina 21 25 11 53 0.465 1426
29 Edmonton 22 28 5 49 0.445 1404
30 Columbus 16 34 6 38 0.339 1026
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