Well the Islanders surprised many yesterday signing three un restricted free agency on the opening day of free agency.
They signed forward Brad Boyes to a one year deal worth one million dollars. From 2007-2009 Boyes managed to tally a combined 76 goals while a member of the St Louis Blues. However, over the last three seasons Boyes has only managed to tally 39 goals combined. If Boyes is able to retain his form, possibly playing with Tavares then Garth and co will look like real winners in this deal.
Within minutes of the Boyes signing, it was announced that the Islanders had also signed rugged defenseman Matt Carkner. Matt who spent many years toiling in the minors finally was able to get a starting job with Ottawa a few years ago and has been a staple on the blueline since. Matt is just as known for his fighting as he is his defensive play. Sitting at 6'4 230 pounds, Carkner has the rep of being one of the tougher guys in the league. We needed a physical bottom pair defenseman and we got just that in Carkner.
Around an hour and a half later it was announced that we had signed Eric Boulton to a one year contract worth around 550 thousand dollars. To put it simply Boulton is basically the new Gillies.
While they did sign a few people, there were also a few departures. Depth defenseman Dylan Reese signed a one year two way deal with his home town Pens. Fan favorite Micheal Haley signed with the Rangers on a two year deal. Lastly PA Parenteau signed a 4 year 16 million dollar deal with the Avalanche.
While it was upsetting that Haley signed with the Rangers of all teams, the loss that really got to me was PA. I figured that if he was asking for the moon that he would likely not be back and with the way free agent bidding usually is I wouldnt blame him for that. However, if he was asking for a market value contract I figured that he would be back. The fact that he signed a contract that is more then fair market value and wasn't with us is a shame and boggles my mind. As the team with the 27th best offense in the 30 team in the NHL how can your second leading point getter be let go well knowing you probably wont replace his production unless IF Brad Boyes recovers his game. That seems like poor asset management.
Some people say basically good riddance to PA and say that he was a product of Tavares and that Tavares can make any player as good as PA was. I think that couldnt be further from the truth and that is evidenced by the fact that during PA's time on the second line this season he still put up just as good stats if not better then he did while playing with Tavares.