Last week, the Islanders had a rather quiet free agent opening day signing Chad Johnson to solidify the back up goalie position behind the newly acquired Jaroslav Halak. Additionally, they brought in a couple of depth players as well. The lack of activity had most fans frustrated thinking this was going to be another typical summer for the team.
However, the next day that all changed when it was announced that they had signed forwards Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin to 4 year contracts each paying the pair a combined total of 36.75 million dollars. The Islanders finally did something that Garth Snow long said he would never do and that is over pay for mid tier talent.
The acquisition of these forwards caused most in Islanders Country to think, now what? With the acquisition of Grabovski and Kulemin the Islanders will have 16 forwards signed looking to get spots on the NHL roster. With the glut of forwards and the lone item remaining on most fans summer wish lists being improving the defense, most began to speculate about trading one of the many forwards in order to acquire a defenseman. However, some were discouraged the other day when in a radio interview with Joe and Evan on WFAN, Garth Snow didn't seem to hint that a trade was going to happen. It makes sense for Snow to portray that kind of image in public because if he didn't that would hamper his potential leverage in any deal he looked to make.
Should Snow be able to acquire a defenseman to add to his already stellar summer there might be some late spring hockey in Uniondale next year as we say goodbye to the Coliseum.