View Single Post
02-06-2013, 10:05 AM
blinkman360's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lawn Guyland
Country: United States
Posts: 10,058
vCash: 500
I don't think many moves need to be made. There are only two positions I can see this team addressing through trade or free agency, and that would be another PMD and possibly a goaltender if they aren't happy with Poulin and Nilsson. Other than that, I expect this team to fill the holes at forward with prospects. Guys like Nino and Strome are virtual locks to be in this lineup in the near future, and I wouldn't be surprised to see both of them here as early as opening night 2013-14. On paper, there aren't many available spots after that:

Moulson - Tavares - Niederreiter
Bailey/Nelson - Strome - Okposo
Grabner - Nielsen - Ullstrom
Martin - Cizikas/Aucoin - McDonald/Cizikas/Lee

Defensively is where it starts to get interesting. As of now, the guys under contract for next season are MacDonald, Carkner and Strait. Hamonic is an RFA and will be re-signed. So that's four. IF Streit is not re-signed, we will need to bring in another PMD to replace him. Whether that be Yandle or someone else, the fact that every other defenseman we have is defense-oriented makes it a necessity. That would leave one open spot, which I would expect to be given to a prospect. I would expect to see at least 5 or 6 kids competing for it, and my gut tells me it will be Reinhart(we will need more size, since Carkner is our only "big" defenseman but he can't be relied upon in key situations). Having a big defender who is reliable defensively will help in a lot of different areas, especially the PK.

After that is goaltending, which is a huge unknown at this point. I love Nabokov, but I don't know how much mileage he has left beyond this year. Either way, we need to start planning for the future, so even if we keep him for next season I'd like to bring in another guy who we can count on for next season and beyond. There should be a couple of options next offseason.

So all in all, I can see the Isles making a big splash if Streit is not re-signed. Other than that, maybe they will make a move for a lower level goalie with upside(think Lindback with TB) but the rest of the holes I expect to be filled with youth.

blinkman360 is offline