The New York Islanders play in Winnipeg tonight -- and yes, both Andrew MacDonald and Thomas Vanek made the trip -- but we know you're probably distracted by other things right now. But do you really think the Isles will pull off a major deal before tonight?
On to the reads.
If the Islanders had been playoff contenders, would Vanek be more inclined to stay?
"I don't know," he said. "It's tough to predict this and that, but I'm sure if we would have, you know, been in the top echelon of it, maybe it makes a difference. But again, for me to stand here and just be like that would make a big difference, I don't know."
- The Islanders occasionally sign someone in the minors you don't know much about to an NHL contract. It seems to be a public service or goodwill kind of thing. Justin Johnson, a right wing who has played 36 games with the Sound Tigers this year at age 32, was yesterday's.
- Bizarre SI "trade matchmaker" proposes Vanek to the Kings and MacDonald to the Sharks for a depth forward. [SI]
- Some fun (and torturous) questions in Islanders Would You Rather? [Islanders Op-Timism]
- The Isles prospect report focuses on Kyle Burroughs, who has been doing quite well with Regina, which is Canadian for "a whale's San Diego."
- Cheers to the Sound Tigers for another year of You Can Play. [CT Post]
- This is more about Chicago than the Isles, but here is a view that the Hawks and coach Joel Quenneville have a way of using players to their strengths, like Peter Regin. [Sun-Times]
- ...of course, Q also uses enforcer Brandon Bollig enough that the Hawks signed him to a three-year deal. [Committed Indian]
- Pat LaFontaine signed a non-disclosure agreement on his parting with the Sabres. So I'm sure there was no discord there. [Die by the Blade]
- Bucky Gleason gives the whole Buffalo mess the columnist treatment, with all the possible angles. [Buffalo News]
- Should the Kings, who have reportedly inquired about Thomas Vanek, be in on Ales Hemsky? [JFTC]
- But every time the Kings go after offense, the acquisition forgets how to score. [Royal Half]
- Dmitry Orlov is suspended two games for a really dumb hit. [Japers' Rink]
- Habs Eyes on the Prize predicts, and fears, that Marc Bergevin will go after "CHaracter."
- Deadspin on Detroit: Detroit Scam City: How The Red Wings Took Hockeytown For All It Had
- Ryan Miller is "very open" to signing with the Blues. Like in a more-than-Vanek kind of way, maybe. [Post-Dispatch]
- Anyone can ruin a fantasy draft. Don't be that anyone. [SB Nation]
Oh yeah, about tonight's game. Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here.