Update: The Islanders have signed Jeremy Colliton to another one-year, two-way deal.
It's cute that, in the dog days of July, there is much Sturm und Drang about how the Islanders have yet to reach the NHL's fairly public but mysteriously enforced salary floor. The question is ... why?
There are still significant unknowns about their salary commitments in the form of two important restricted free agents (three, if you add Ty Wishart to Josh Bailey and Blake Comeau). Even conservative estimates on those pending contract extensions [CapGeek roster generator, with ballpark numbers from WebBard] would push the Islanders very close.
Meanwhile, think about the time of year: Do the purveyors of widespread panic understand that a bushel of NHLers (and their employers) do not yet know what their salaries will be for 2010-11? That not a single arbitration hearing has been conducted? That the Islanders' most expensive addition last summer, cap hit-wise, was a defenseman acquired just hours after his arbitration award was delivered? That several teams will not know how they stack up against their internal budget until those cases are resolved and subsequent adjustments made?
I mention this not as a pro-Islanders stance, but as a common sense stance (though it is funny how, when you argue for restraint you are an apologist, and when you argue for massive overpayments you just "want to win," or you're Dale Tallon): You don't go aggressively buying when your sellers aren't yet in a position to sell -- and that includes the teams who are pushing the cap ceiling with incomplete rosters who will need to dump some bodies by the end of the summer.
Don't make major life decisions after you've just been dumped by your girlfriend. Don't buy a new car (ever, really) after you just watched a flashy TV ad. And don't go making rash asset purchases when you know more sellers will be available -- and pricing to sell -- later in the summer.
- Prospect mini-camp is fun, because fans have visions of sugar plums -- or Ryan Strome centering Nino Niederreiter and Kirill Kabanov -- dancing in their heads. Another cool thing is the local natives who get their chance to skate with some future NHLers:
- Syosset Native to Play at Islanders Mini-Camp - NY Patch and Mercyhurst's O'Donoghue at Isles camp - Atlantic Hockey Online
- Strome on Long Island: Strome trying to enjoy his new home - NHL.com
- Donovan looks to the future - New York Islanders
- Islanders' Calvin de Haan aiming for NHL spot - NHL.com
- And a whole lot of general stuff at the team's mini-camp blog.
- To quote Keith on Twitter, this Jeff Tambellini article should have been entirely written in sarcasm font.
Anders Nilsson and his coaches on adjusting to North American ice. I think they mean it's not covered from circle to circle in ads for chocolates and Saabs.
- Don't get me wrong -- I really wish Nino Niederreiter were Czech, like the Post suggests [as of noon Thursday]. Alas. Says Garth Snow in that article: "I personally don't believe going back to junior will help him on the development side. He's got a big body, hockey sense, he can skate, he's powerful." So, strong like bull. Newsday also does the Nino angle [$5 please] and mobile.
- Blog Box: Gary Harding at Eyes on the Isles talks mini-camp and is looking for additional writers.
Great three-part FanPost series here from our own DP's([joints...]):
- How to Argue with an Arena Skeptic Part 1 -- The $58 Million Tax Myth
- How to Argue with an Arena Skeptic Part 2 – The $17 Shuttered Coliseum Tax
- How to Argue with an Arena Skeptic Part 3 – Wang Is Paying Most (and May Pay All) of the Arena Costs
- Details of plan for Coliseum are no secret - LIHerald.com
- Newsday does the get them to the polls drill for the Aug. 1 referendum.
- Leading to that referendum, I think this IPB post is directed at Rangers fans who might have a vote.
Nassau wants Jets back on LI for training [Newsday] But the Jets don't really want to come. (And yes, we're talking about the NFL, not relocating Winnipeg already.)
- NIFA review of Nassau finances due Thursday [Newsday]
- In which the County and NIFA are friends again: Long Island Business News " Nassau to seek more capacity for NIFA
- The Isles are running a Vote Yes Aug. 1 video contest.
Apparently I follow two of the three most difficult teams to root for in the NHL. The methodology is absolute crap, but I can't say I disagree with the preceding statement. As always, I argue that sports fans are at the mercy of their owners, and my teams are still dealing with the sins of owners' past.
The Preds new jerseys: Smashville 24/7: New home jerseys unveiled. I have long argued for a team to be bold enough to return to yellow/gold, so I need to be fine with this. Some of the design touches are cool (guitar strings in the numbers), but I worry they will feel gimmicky pretty quickly. I am someone who used to enjoy the Lightning's old "charge" font on their numbers and nameplates.
Sophomore Slump Candidates? Bangin Panger: Setting Them Up To Fail | Sophmore Slump Candidates. The writer seems to think Michael Grabner is poised to suffer due to pushing from Kyle Okposo and Nino -- no doubt not realizing Okposo and Grabner played on the same line, and Grabner did a whole lot with a little (ice time) already last year. Any good rookie is a candidate to fall back his sophomore year, but...
Finally, I'm sure you were as shocked as I was to hear Chris Pronger has lingering injury issues.
UPDATE: The Hurricanes agreed to terms with 22-year-old center Brandon Sutter on a three-year, $6.2 million deal that will pay $1.5 million next season, $2 million in 2012-13, and $2.7 million in 2013-14. You know, for your Josh Bailey contract watch.
And here's what he looks like -- and sounds like -- with the mask off: