Chris Botta reports that fairly popular former Islander Mark Parrish -- who the Isles let go two years ago because other teams would offer him too much money, who the Wild then signed for too much money, and who the Wild bought out this summer because ... yeah, turns out, they paid him too much money -- has signed a 25-game AHL tryout with the Isles' AHL Bridgeport affiliate.
During the summer and preseason, Andy Strickland reported that Parrish did not want to do a training camp tryout with an NHL club. All leverage now lost, I suppose this arrangement is better for him, since a) he's paid (right?), b) he plays games that "matter," and c) it keeps him in shape, with an organization he knows.
But it will certainly be received with trepidation among Isles fans, since at least on the surface, it runs counter to the rebuilding plan.
At this point it would be inaccurate to consider Parrish an Islander-in-waiting. This is a veteran player with close ties to the organization who needed a place to play, and the Islanders were happy to provide it. As a 25-gamer with Bridgeport, Parrish can still sign later on with any franchise that wants him at the NHL level.
So, the move may be a sick trick on fans, to tease us about the earnestness of the rebuilding plan. Or it may be just a favor by Garth Snow to an old friend, to give Parrish a chance to stay in shape and sign an NHL deal somewhere (now wouldn't that be a wee shady?). Or it may be a warning to -- or insurance against -- at least one or two of the Isles' young wingers if they don't start scoring. Assuming ample ice time (i.e. not Ted Nolan's ration to Jeff Tambellini minutes), 25 or so more NHL games could be enough to determine that a few of the youngsters may need more seasoning (glass half full) or aren't cut from NHL cloth (glass very empty).
Regardless, if Parrish scores, and the current Islanders wingers don't and show no progress for the first third of this season, there's an argument for signing Parrish for the sake of the final two-thirds. But at what price?