Tag:New York Islanders
Posted on: July 22, 2011 2:50 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 3:59 pm

Islanders, Yashin reportedly in talks

By: Adam Gretz

Last week we passed along the report that Alexei Yashin's KHL contract would not be renewed, and the claim from his agent that at least one NHL team was interested. It appears that team is Yashin's most recent NHL employer (and the one that's still paying him): the New York Islanders.

Following a report from Sovetsky Sport on Friday that the Islanders and Yashin were in talks, Katie Strang of Newsday also confirmed that agent Mark Gandler and Islanders general manager Garth Snow have discussed a possible return to Long Island. Yashin's contract was bought out by the Islanders in 2007 and he still counts over $2 million against their salary cap through the 2014-15 season as a result of that buyout. 

Said Snow, via Newsday:
"I've had discussions with both Mark and Alexei," Snow said when reached by phone Friday. "I'd rather keep those conversations private, but Alexei has been skating at our practice rink in Syosset and he looks great. I've been on record saying I'd explore all options and any player that would improve our team and help us make that step."
The news of the Islanders interest has certainly drawn some mixed reviews. Chris Botta at Islanders Point Blank wonders how, with the future of the franchise at stake, the Islanders can contemplate such a move, even if it's to help Yashin's value on the open market at a time when they need 100 percent of their fans support. And the return of Yashin would certainly have the potential to be a polarizing move within the Islanders fan base.

The Islanders are still $9 million below the NHL's salary cap floor with 20 players currently under contract for the upcoming season. It's hard to believe that Yashin, at this point in his career -- he's 37 and coming off a 15-goal season in Russia -- with no other reported interest from any other NHL club, could demand a huge pay day.

Yashin's potential return to the Islanders, as well as the entire Jaromir Jagr saga that unfolded earlier this month, have been two of the more bizarre stories to follow in recent years, and this one might be the craziest.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Category: NHL
Posted on: July 22, 2011 9:51 am
Edited on: July 22, 2011 10:08 am

Daily Skate: Trevor Gretzky signs with Cubs

By: Adam Gretz

GRETZKY SIGNS WITH CUBS: Trevor Gretzky, the son of hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, reportedly signed with the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, according to the Toronto Sun. Gretzky, a first baseman who had committed to play college ball at San Diego State, was a seventh-round draft pick of the Cubs in the June draft. He had until Aug. 15 to sign with the Cubs.

BOOGAARD'S BROTHER FACES DRUG CHARGE: Aaron Boogaard was arrested Thursday on the suspicion prescription fraud/possession of presciprtion pills according to the Star Tribune. Boogaard is the brother of former Wild and Rangers forward Derek Boogaard, who died in May in an accidental drug overdose. Boogard's family issued a statement, saying the charges against Aaron have nothing to do with Derek's death and are part of a larger investigation. According to the report, the date of Aaron's crime is listed as May 13, which is the same day Derek was found dead in his apartment.

WALLACE SIGNS WITH Islanders: Forward Tim Wallace signed a one-year, two-way deal with the New York Islanders on Thursday. The 26-year-old forward spent the past five seasons in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and finished with 20 goals and 17 assists playing in the American Hockey League with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last year.

ENROTH SIGNS WITH Sabres: The Buffalo Sabres signed restricted free agent Jhonas Enroth to a two-year deal Thursday to serve as Ryan Miller's primary backup. Enroth split time last season with Patrick Lalime as Miller's backup. One of the smallest goalies in the NHL (listed at just 5-foot-10, 166 pounds), Enroth appeared in 14 games last season and recorded a 9-2-2 record to go with a .907 save percentage.

BOUILLON SUFFERS SETBACK: Predators defenseman Francis Bouillon, who appeared in just 44 games last season, suffered a setback in his recovery from a concussion, telling Richard Labbe of Cyberpresse (translated link) that he's still experiencing headaches and had to recently stop his training. As Dirk Hoag of On The Forecheck pointed out, this leaves the Predators defense with a lot of question marks because of Bouillon's setback, as well as the offseason moves that resulted in the loss of Shane O'Brien and Cody Franson.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 21, 2011 8:45 am
Edited on: July 21, 2011 11:25 am

Daily Skate: Campoli becomes free agent

By Adam Gretz

CAMPOLI BECOMES UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENT: Defenseman Chris Campoli was originally scheduled for an arbitration hearing Aug. 3, but the Chicago Blackhawks decided to walk away from him Wednesday and allow him to become an unrestricted free agent. According to James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail, because the two sides had already agreed to part ways his arbitration hearing was moved up and he was "awarded" $2.5 million, which Chicago then walked away from. The Blackhawks had recently signed defenseman Sami Lepisto.

CAN 'PREDATOR HOCKEY' WIN THE CUP? Dirk Hoag of On The Forecheck takes an interesting look at whether or not "Predator Hockey" (defensive, low-scoring, not a lot of offense) can win the Stanley Cup, and whether or not it's a recipe that's worked for teams recently in the NHL.

CAPS WAIVE FORMER FIRST-ROUND PICK: The Washington Capitals reportedly placed former first-round pick Anton Gustafsson, the 21st overall selection in 2008, on waivers Wednesday. His career to this point has been filled with injuries, and included him taking a brief break from hockey. According to Katie Carrera of the Washington Post, if he goes unclaimed on waivers, it would allow the Capitals to terminate his contract.

Islanders WORKING ON A MOVE? In recent weeks we've talked about how much work remains for the Islanders to reach the salary-cap floor, and Katie Strang of Newsday argues that right now is the perfect time for general manager Garth Snow to make a move, and perhaps a big move.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:26 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 4:55 pm

Arbitration anticipation: Let the pain begin

By Brian Stubits

Nobody wants to go to arbitration. The next time you hear any involved party is excited for arbitration battles will be the first.

It can be dangerous. It can certainly be ugly. It is always contentious.

The nature of the best resembles part of Festivus with the Airing of Grievances. At least there are no Feats of Strength as an arbiter lays down the decision instead of the sides fighting it out. The involved parties are forced to justify their stance in the negotiations, resulting in teams putting down their own player. Not a desirable stance to have to take.

Because of the combative nature, the process has been known to cause strains in relationships between teams and players. It's exactly why teams try to avoid the process more fervently than someone looks to evade root canals.

For that reason arbitration meetings often times don't happen. It's amazing how much easier it is to strike a deal with a deadline speeding up the negotiations. Always worked that way for me to get book reports done in school; nothing like a deadline of two days away to read the first page.

So it is highly likely only a few of the names headed to arbitration will actually have their hearing. That goes for the two biggest names on the list, Shea Weber and Zach Parise. The Predators and Devils respectively will try and hammer out contracts before an arbiter gets to set the reward. This has happened to three players in the last day as the Jets avoided a hearing with Blake Wheeler, the Ducks with Andrew Cogliano and the Sabres with Andrej Sekera, all reaching new deals.

But there will still be hearings. Teddy Purcell and the Lightning will have their case heard tomorrow, the first day, along with Lauri Korpikovski and the Coyotes. The next case will be Brandon Dubinsky and the Rangers. All of those hearings should happen with the potential for the Rangers/Dubinsky battle to be a tough one seeing as the sides still seem to be pretty far apart.

Or you will have the cases where teams just walk away from the award. It happened last year with Clarke MacArthur in Atlanta and more notably with Antti Niemi in Chicago, the teams electing to let the player find another team than pay them the determined amount. It will happen again this year to a Blackhawks player as the team has already said it cannot afford to bring Chris Campoli back.

Last year in total five players got as far as the arbitration hearing. Three of those players' awards were not matched. Teams are only allowed to walk away in a situation where the player filed for arbitration and the reward is $1.7 million or more. Anything less than that and the player stays put, regardless.

Obviously the most interesting cases are those of Parise and Weber. They are both franchise players and are due for substantial raises. The case of Weber is particularly appealing since the signing of Drew Doughty in Los Angeles seems to be waiting for the precedent set by the future Weber contract.

With all of that as the background, here's a list of all the players who, as of now, are scheduled for their turns in the ol' testy tango of arbitration. Expect names to disappear from this list faster than Michael J. Fox in family photos.

Arbitration schedule
Date Player Team
July 20 Lauri Korpikoski Coyotes
July 20 Teddy Purcell Lightning
July 21 Brandon Dubinsky Rangers
July 28 Josh Gorges Canadiens
July 28 Ryan Callahan Rangers
July 29 Jannik Hansen Canucks
August 2 Shea Weber Predators
August 3 Chris Campoli Blackhawks
August 3 Zach Parise Devils
August 4 Mark Fraser Devils
August 4 Blake Comeau Islanders

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: July 19, 2011 10:13 am

Daily Skate: B's, Marchand working toward deal

By Brian Stubits

MARCH-ING TOWARD A DEAL? Brad Marchand really endeared himself to the folks in Boston with his excellent play as a rookie, in particular his stellar postseason performance. But as of now, he still doesn't have a contract inked for next season as the 11-goal playoffs probably have impacted the negotiations. Marchand isn't worried about it, saying at a premier of the team's championship DVD that "It's been a very busy time for everyone with the Cup and everything. Even though we know we have all summer, we're both confident something's going to get done here soon. I don't think either of us are worried. We know something's going to get done. They know I want to be here. I know they want me here."

OLIE THE GOALIE COACH: Former fan favorite Olaf (Olie) Kolzig is back in Washington to help with the goaltending situation for the Capitals, but as a coach. In a recent interview with D.C. 101 radio, Kolzig goes into depth about the layout of the netminders in Washington from Tomas Vokoun to what Braden Holtby faces in his tough position. Russian Machine Never Breaks (great blog name, guys) has the full transcript.

ROYAL TWINS: Daniel and Henrik Sedin took a call in the middle of the Stanley Cup Final with the Canucks from the royal family in Sweden. What was the occasion? The two were informed they were up for the honor as the nation's top athlete, an award that is handed out every year as part of Crown Princess Victoria's birthday celebration. The last time a hockey player won the award was in 1994 when Peter Forsberg was honored.

LET IT SNOW: It's hard to believe, but this week marks Garth Snow's fifth anniversary of taking over as the Islanders general manager. In that time the Isles snuck into the playoffs once, have gone into rebuilding hibernation since and Snow handed out maybe the most infamous contract in hockey today (15 years, $67.5 million to Rick DiPietro). The GM sat down with NHL.com to talk about his time in the position and brings with him a message to the fans: Stay patient. I think that's something the Islanders fans learned to be a long time ago.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: July 18, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 2:36 pm

Yashin's KHL contract will not be renewed


By: Adam Gretz

Alexei Yashin has spent the past four years playing professional hockey in Russia with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv and (most recently) St. Petersburg SKA. It was announced by SKA general manager, Alexei Kasatonov, that Yashin's contract will not be renewed by the club so it can "embark on the road to a younger squad," according to Sport-Express.

The 37-year-old Yashin scored 15 goals in 52 games with SKA this past season, and added another goal and four assists in four postseason games.

The reports that his contract won't be renewed in Russia has, naturally, sparked discussion as to whether or not he could make an attempt to return to the NHL. James O'Brien at Pro Hockey Talk outlined the positives and obvious red flags that Yashin would present to a potential NHL roster, while Dmitry Chesnokov also passed along the word that Yashin's agent, Mark Gardner, told Sovetsky Sport that he has already received an offer from one NHL team.

He hasn't played a game in the NHL since the 2006-07 season with the New York Islanders when he registered 18 goals and 32 assists in 58 games. In the past, Yashin has publicly stated a desire to return to the Islanders.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 1992 entry draft, Yashin spent seven seasons with the Ottawa Senators, many of them tumultuous, before finally being traded to the Islanders prior to the 2001-02 season for a package that included future Norris Trophy winning defenseman Zdeno Chara, forward Bill Muckalt and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2001 draft, which Ottawa used to select Jason Spezza.

From there, Yashin signed what was one of the first contracts to reach 10 years in length in the NHL, agreeing to a 10-year deal worth more than $87 million.

Considering what the Islanders surrendered to Ottawa, the amount of money they invested in Yashin, and the return they received on that investment (his offensive production declined from where it was with the Senators) it turned out to be a terrible deal for the Islanders in hindsight, even though they did qualify for the postseason in three of his four years with the club (never advancing past the first round) -- something they hadn't done in the seven years before acquiring him.

The Islanders bought out his contract back in June of 2007, and he still counts for more than $2 million against their salary cap, and will continue to do so through the 2014-15 season.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 16, 2011 11:09 pm
Edited on: July 17, 2011 10:22 am

Ryan Strome shows off his shootout skill

By: Adam Gretz

The New York Islanders were one of the many teams holding prospect development camps this week, including Saturday nights Blue and White scrimmage. The night was capped off with a shootout that featured first-round pick Ryan Strome doing, well ... this.

Sure, it's a lot easier to try that in July during a shootout in a prospect camp than it is during a regular season shootout that actually matters in the standings, but come on, that's pretty awesome.

Strome was the 5th overall pick in last month's Entry Draft after putting up huge numbers (33 goals and 73 assists in 65 games) with the Niagara Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League. He's another promising, talented young player added to the Islanders organization in recent years to go along with players like John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Nino Niederreiter, Josh Bailey and Michael Grabner, just to name a few.

(Video via Puck Daddy's Sean Leahy on Twitter)

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.
Category: NHL
Posted on: July 11, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 3:54 pm

Teams still need to reach salary floor


By Adam Gretz

With the increase to the NHL's salary cap this offseason (all the way up to $64.3 million), there was also an increase in the salary floor, which is now up to $48.3 million, a number that is higher than the actual cap was during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. As of Monday, there were still seven teams that needed to reach the floor, according to CapGeek, the best salary cap resource anywhere on the Internet.

Here are the seven teams, the amount of money they need to spend to reach the floor (via CapGeek), and the number of spots they have remaining to fill out a 23-man roster:
  • New York Islanders, five roster spots, $10.44 million
  • Nashville Predators, three roster spots, $7.09 million
  • Colorado Avalanche, one roster spot, $3.79 million
  • Phoenix Coyotes, two roster spots, $2.78 million
  • Winnipeg Jets, two roster spots, $2.45 million
  • Ottawa Senators, three roster spots, $1.20 million
  • Carolina Hurricanes, two roster spots, $591,667
Obviously, the New York Islanders have the most work to do, and Scott Lewis at Houses of the Hockey had a nice look over the weekend at how far behind they're lagging in the race to the floor, and what general manager Garth Snow can potentially do to spend another $10-plus million (the names Mike Komisarek and Brian Rolston are used as possible suggestions. How's that for excitement, Islanders fans?).

The problem for some of these teams will be spending the necessary money on players that can actually make a positive impact, or an impact that will equal the financial commitment. What started as a weak free agent class has already been picked over, and whatever meat is remaining on the bones consists of ... well, let's just say less-than-attractive options.

The real winners in this are the second-, third- and fourth-tier free agents -- as well as the restricted free agents -- that could snag a larger salary than they normally would because these clubs have to spend a predetermined amount of money. Or the team that has an albatross contract it desperately wants to rid itself of (kind of like how the Chicago Blackhawks managed to find a taker -- the Florida Panthers -- in Brian Campbell's contract).

Moving past the Islanders, the Predators still have the most money to spend but also have the biggest restricted free agent remaining of the aforementioned clubs in defenseman Shea Weber. He's scheduled for an arbitration hearing in early August and will almost surely take up a large chunk of the remaining $7 million the Nashville front office is required to spend.

The Predators had a restricted free agency issue centered on the timing of their qualifying offers and needed to work out deals with Cal O'Reilly, Matt Halischuk, Chris Mueller, Nick Spaling and leading goal-scorer Sergei Kostitsyn. They managed to work out contracts with all of them last week to avoid any further complications, including the possibility the players could be granted unrestricted free agency. Those five contracts also helped narrow the gap to the salary floor.

Carolina is less than a $1 million away from reaching the floor with two spots to fill, which should be done with ease. Pretty much any two additions, even if they're minor league roster-filler, will jump the Hurricanes over the threshold, and the team still has to work out a deal with restricted free agent Brandon Sutter, who scored 14 goals a year ago.

The Jets should also have little trouble reaching the minimum as they still have restricted free agents Blake Wheeler, Zach Bogosian and Ben Maxwell. The Coyotes and Avalanche have restricted free agents of their own to sign, while the Senators have to look outside the organization for its remaining $1.2 million.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com