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:
- Walsh/Parenteau have found the Isles parameters thus far unsatisfying, to the point they're willing to accept a trade, or/and
- 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|
|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.|
||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|
"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).