Late August has continued to be sloooow on the news front, but we’re now less than a month away from the beginning of the league’s preseason schedule. And while the Islanders continue to hold their widely assumed signing news under lock and key, other teams made some news this week.
Two identical (in max-length and cap hit) re-signings have been announced by division rivals:
- The Flyers signed Sean Couturier to an eight-year extension worth $7.75 million per year.
- The Hurricanes signed Andrei Svechnikov to an eight-year deal with the same AAV/cap hit.
Svechnikov is only 21, so the Canes bought out considerable RFA years when they could’ve leveraged him for less, but at the risk of him punishing them once the leverage swung to him in UFA years.
Couturier, 28, is a different story, as he would’ve been a UFA next summer. Though he’s become arguably the Flyers’ most important player, his cap hit comes in under Claude Giroux’s.
What else is going on? Not a lot, but there are some vaguely Islanders-related things to chew:
- The Athletic’s annual poll of fans puts the Islanders in the league’s top five in terms of “confidence in the front office.” Lou’s ability to navigate this summer’s cap crunch along with two consecutive conference finals will do that. [Athletic]
- Old friend Mikhail Grabovski will coach Belarus at the Olympics. [Empire Sports] Let’s not forget his epic retirement announcement video a few years ago, where he recalled his injury “nightmares” started but he loved playing in front of “the most crazy fans.”
- Weird Frans has left the NHL to sign in Switzerland. [TSN]
- Probable future Islander Zach Parise has a great time helping Special Hockey players. [NHL]
- A timeless Stan Fischler review of the Islanders-Rangers feud, with particular violence and Arbour vs. refs in 1989-90. [Isles]
Tired: Svech should score more goals next year.— Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) August 26, 2021
Wired: Svech is already Carolina's best playmaker. pic.twitter.com/CpakC7IcZl
- Fischler also revisited his archive of quotes from some of the game’s legends. [NHL]
- Old (albeit briefly) friend Derick Brassard is back in the division after signing a cheap one-year deal with the Flyers. He’s going to go for the Metro cycle. [NHL]
- Yet another way of asking if the Leafs can actually get over the hump, or at least one round of humps, this year. [TSN]
- The Panthers have done so much right, and Spencer Knight on an ELC may be the key to their Sergei Bobrovsky problem. [NHL]
- NHL-dot-com panel: Who are the best left wings heading into 2021-22? One suggested Johnny Gaudreau, which is...bold. [NHL]
- Periodic reminder that Pierre McGuire will not be shouting at you this year. [TSN]
- Tuukka Rask is looking for another rich contract, he’s just looking to be healthy at the turn of the calendar and rejoin the Bruins. [NHL | TSN]
Tuukka's loyalty to the Bruins despite half the fanbase inexplicably hating him will never cease to amaze me https://t.co/6jtZ6V0lru— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) August 25, 2021