The protection lists for the 30 existing NHL clubs were released this morning and amidst all of the screaming about this guy or that guy, the Islanders selections went to an even further extreme.
#Isles protected list: Tavares, Ladd, Lee, Boychuk, Leddy, Hamonic, Pelech, Pulock, Greiss.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 18, 2017
Yes, that is correct. With Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey all vulnerable to exposure, Garth Snow decided that, rather than protect one, he would use his final spot in defenseman Adam Pelech. Needless to say, the Islanders are the only team to protect five defensemen.
To say this is a surprise would be... I mean, come on. Seriously?
WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?— garik16 (@garik16) June 18, 2017
Nelson, Strome, deHaan, Hickey, Mayfield, Cizikas, all should've been ahead of Pelech. Unless some schmuck is coughing up Duchene for him.— Rookie Example (@KeithLHHockey) June 18, 2017
Garth Snow had a year to prepare for this day, ended up protecting an 8th D and (poss.) trading a 1st Round Pick to keep 45 point scorers.— Carey (@HaberMetrics5) June 18, 2017
Leaving De Haan exposed for Pelech... is this Garth Snow's dumbest move yet? Holy shit— Steve Smith (@theysmithonme2) June 18, 2017
I mean, Pelech had a 47% 5v5 CF in 44 games last season (per Datarink.com), and just 10 points on three goals and seven assists. He’s 6’-3” and 22 and fine for a seventh defenseman. But protecting him from an expansion team makes no sense. He’s exactly the type of borderline player that should be available since his loss would either be A. unlikely considering all the other players available and B. eminently survivable from an Islanders point of view.
Last night in Newsday, Staple wrote that the lack of movement before the roster freeze on Saturday might mean they have or could have a deal in place with the Golden Knights to ensure the new team takes (or lays off) specific players. So although Player X was left off the protection list, it doesn’t mean he needs to be fitted for Golden Knights pants just yet.
#Isles leave Nelson, Strome, de Haan unprotected. Would indicate there's a deal in place to keep Vegas away from those three.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 18, 2017
Interestingly, the Islanders protect 5 D and 3 Forwards. Source indicates Isles will give up a 1st round pick to keep Vegas off forwards.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 18, 2017
I’m actually at a loss for words and my brain hurts. The “Garth Snow does his own thing” trope has now gone so far off the beaten path that the Islanders are sinking in quicksand. If the goal is to protect forwards with a first round pick, then why not protect your best defensemen? No offence to Pelech (because this isn’t his fault), but he ain’t one of them. Staple seems believe that de Haan will also be covered under whatever insurance policy Snow and George McPhee have cooked up, but then why not protect him anyway?
That other teams made curious protection choices is little consolation. Welcome to Las Vegas, Peter Mrazek.
If this leads to the Islanders keeping all of their defensemen, then it’ll make sense. But, like anything else with this stupid, secretive team in this stupid, secretive league of this stupid, secretive sport, we have no idea what will shake out before Thursday.
Christ, can’t something just be normal for once?
The Full Breakdown (via Sportsnet):
Josh Bailey (F)
Steve Bernier (F)
Eric Boulton (F)
Jason Chimera (F)
Casey Cizikas (F)
Cal Clutterbuck (F)
Stephen Gionta (F)
Ben Holmstrom (F)
Bracken Kearns (F)
Nikolay Kulemin (F)
Brock Nelson (F)
Shane Prince (F)
Alan Quine (F)
Ryan Strome (F)
Johan Sundstrom (F)
Calvin de Haan (D)
Matthew Finn (D)
Jesse Graham (D)
Thomas Hickey (D)
Loic Leduc (D)
Scott Mayfield (D)
Dennis Seidenberg (D)
Jean-Francois Berube (G)
Christopher Gibson (G)
Jaroslav Halak (G)
Andrew Ladd (F)
Anders Lee (F)
John Tavares (F)
Johnny Boychuk (D)
Travis Hamonic (D)
Nick Leddy (D)
Adam Pelech (D)
Ryan Pulock (D)
Thomas Greiss (G)
Additional bits of Islanders and NHL stuff
- Oh, yeah. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there (and their dads and their dads and so on)! Here’s how the Islanders dad’s guided their sons’ careers. [Islanders]
- The days of the Islanders having one of the best players in the league on a bargain contract are coming to an end. [Adam Gretz at FanRag]
- The Flames got ahead of the goalie market on Saturday and acquired Mike Smith from the Coyotes. Lots of conflicting emotions on both sides here. [M&G | FFH | Sportsnet]
- Winnipeg’s Tobias Enstrom waived his NMC for the expansion draft. What a guy. [AIH]
- So what will it take to get Alex Galchenyuk out of Montreal? Defense. [EOTP]
- Sounds like Patrick Sharp is one of the rare guys who won’t be signing up for a return engagement with the Blackhawks. [SCH]