Earlier today, Arthur Staple, of Newsday sent out a string of tweets that indicated that defenseman and captain Mark Streit will not return to the team for the future.
Streit, a pending unrestriced free agent, wanted to return to the Islanders. However, he wanted more then three years and much more than teammate Lubomir Visnovsky re-signed for right before the trade deadline. Everyone saw the steady decreased play in Streits' game the last few years.
Streit signed with the Islanders five years ago to a $20 million contract and at the time I thought that was a great move for the young team. However, that was five years ago and five years in hockey can take a toll on a player and their body.
The last five years Streit was a formidable part on the Islanders blue-line until the latter part of the last year and a half where after sustaining a shoulder injury in training camp, his battle level took a hit.
Whether you like Streit or not he was a great piece to the team the last five years and he will get a chance to continue his career elsewhere.
Another note in Staples article and his tweets were that it is unlikely that Brad Boyes will re-sign with the team before the July 5 free agent period opens. Personally, I thought Boyes played outstanding in his one year with the team, while others would argue he was mediocre. I would agree with that. I did think that Boyes played a more lackadaisical game for a decent part of the season. Having said that though, I thought for the contract he signed, he played well. If he came back one would think it would be another one year deal at around $1 mill type contract.
The last bit of information that Staple conveyed was the possible re-signing of goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. Staple reported that both the Islanders and Nabokov were open to negotiating a one year deal. This is huge because this will probably be his last season and this would be his third season with the team. Regardless of what happened in the playoffs against the Penguins, he stood on his head the whole season and stole games for the Islanders. With Nabokov set to re-sign, the Islanders can start looking to for a reliable back-up who can give Nabokov a rest when needed. Staple mentioned that the team could go with Nabokov, Poulin and Nilsson. However, when you look back at this past season the back-ups only won a handful of games. Come July 5th, don't be surprised if Garth Snow adds another goaltender to the mix. Not entirely sure Poulin and Nilsson are ready for the NHL full time.
We are only a month away from free agency and less then a month from the buy-out period and the draft, I expect it to be busy. Check out my Twitter for any announcements on new upcoming posts. Twitter.com/brettlkaplan