The annual booster club event with New York Islanders season ticket holders provided some of the more direct channels to GM Garth Snow's thoughts on the team, and as usual the blogging attendees did not disappoint.
My favorite -- and most appropriate quote for a GM -- is at the top of the Isles Nation recap:
"I’ll answer some questions, and some I’ll B.S. you."
Among the hottest topics for our readers here, Snow was cagey on goaltending options and forthcoming on how the organization sees Calvin de Haan, who lost all but three AHL games from 2012-13 to injury, with a side note on the preseason waiver claims:
"We haven’t given up on Calvin. Because he’s been out of sight, people put him out of mind. If you ask me where I see him starting, Bridgeport. The competition is good, and I think one thing that picking up 4 guys we picked up off waivers that we had scouted heavily, it created a competitive environment."
"Unlucky" is a fair description as we covered recently in de Haan's entry in our Top 25 Under 25.
Even higher than that on LHH readers' list is who replaces Mark Streit, a player Snow acknowledged is all but gone. Both reported that Snow suggested it's all but Matt Donovan's spot to lose in terms of blueline work.
As for the captaincy Streit leaves behind:
Snow says they have a lot of good options on possible Captaincy, nothing has been decided yet.
Yeah, here's betting those options start with J-O-H-N and end with T-A-V-A-R-E-S.
Other topics ranged from Kirill Petrov (likes being in Russia...obviously -- he's still signed through next season), Anders Lee and Ryan Strome (depends on camp for each), and Nino Niederreiter ("I have no issue with Nino ... and I can't control the agent."), and contract extensions for Josh Bailey and Travis Hamonic, though nothing you wouldn't expect on that front.
The free agency talk was as it has been each year: The Islanders aren't going to go crazy, but they'll look for smart moves (including a goalie) if the right opportunity arises.
Anyway, check those recaps from Isles Nation and Bondi (who blogs here) for much more from the horse's mouth, er, ear. These were comprehensive reports, but we'll add more links to this post if others add coverage.