Free agency has started and the Islanders have made their first signing Goaltender Chad Johnson. The 28 year olds’ deal is a two year deal worth $2.6 million according to Darren Dreger of TSN. Last year he held a record of 17 wins and four losses, three overtime losses, a goals against of 2.10 and a save percentage of .925. Combine that with Halaks 29 wins and 13 losses and seven overtime losses and that provides the Islanders with a major upgrade in net.
Having a goalie tandem like Halak and Johnson is huge because for so long the Islanders never had a true goalie duo. For so long fans struggled with the teams’ mediocrity and with good reason. Ever since Charles Wang bought the Islanders and then took full control of the team they have sniffed the playoffs just three times. Once in 2001 when they faced the Maple Leafs, again in 2007 against Buffalo and 2012 in the lockout shortened season. Now with a tandem of Halak and Johnson the odds of becoming a consistent contender increases substantially.
The second signing is a bit of a head scratcher. Signing defenseman TJ Brennan to a one year deal worth 600k according to Arthur Staple, was a good depth signing. However, he cannot be the big signing to play top minutes on a daily basis. If it is indeed the big signing then Garth Snow needs to re-evaluate his scouting department. Unless Snow has a trade lined up this is not the signing that was expected for the defense…far from it.
The signing doesn’t make sense for a couple of reasons 1) there is no true top 4 dman on the team and 2) they have seven dmen already on one-way contracts. Brian Compton of NHL.com suggested that since Brennan is a left-handed shot that the Islanders could be up to something…hopefully he means a trade because Brennan cannot be the big dman signee. The question becomes for who? Would Grabner or Bailey be moved or someone completely different? Time will tell.
Cory Conacher became the third signing for the Islanders inking a one year deal worth $600k. While some may look at Conacher as a bad signing he has toughness and plays with an edge. He is a good fourth line player who will fit well with the team. Like I said above the Islanders roster is now inundated with players and trades have to happen at this point.
During the NHL draft last week, after Snow made their second pick he went on live T.V. and complained that the media and everyone “sh*ts on him and that they only care what the fans think.” Well I can tell you if he wants fans to actually care about this team and cut him some slack for once make a deal, make a trade to make the team better. Not once do they take responsibility. Not once do we hear boo from them…except left with silence and heartache. We all know, I have never been a fan of Snow’s but when he goes on national T.V. and curses, I’m sorry, he lost the last remaining respect I had for him….which was thin to begin with.
How does a general manger go on record and say that he will not sit around and watch games slip by the wayside and then do nothing to remedy the situation. I mean really it’s mindboggling. He is inept to run a franchise and Charles Wang is an inept owner. Hopefully, we will learn the fate of the Islanders in the near future and when I say near future in the next month or two. The fans, myself included, should not be subjected to more mediocrity. For the last decade that it is what it feels like it.
The offseason is a go and it’s starting off to be a frustrating one. However, stay tuned and hopefully things turn around.