Garth Snow has continued to keep his nucleus intact. No knee jerk reactions with the Islanders GM during any of his free agency periods as a GM. And one should compliment him.
Ilya Kovulchuk? Islander fans went bezerk that Garth didn’t make a serious play for the sniper. “I had to do my due diligence” Garth Snow reported to explain his kicking of the tires with the Kovulchuk camp. I like where Garth has positioned the Islanders in the Cap Era. You should to. He has the Islanders Team right where it needs to be. Even without Ilya Kovulchuk.
Yes, it is extremely exciting to think of Ilya Kovalchuk skating down the ice with John Tavares. But, just think in 2 more years when JT is ready for his next contract (currently 3.75 mil cap hit). Kyle Okposo (1.67 mil cap hit) and Josh Bailey (1.72 mil cap hit) will need renewed contracts at the end of this season. So will Matt Moulson (2.45 mil cap hit) and Rob Schremp (.75 mil cap hit). Yes, I said, also Rob Schremp. Remember, the guy who had one of the contenders for the nhls’s goals of the year, scored confidant shoot out goals, and in only 44 rookie games garnered 7 goals, 18 assists, for 25 points.
In the next year, the Islanders Cap Hit will increase substantially. And the extent will depend on Rob Schremp and Matt Moulson. If Moulson has another 30 goal campaign along with improved play from Okposo and Bailey, you are looking at least at an additional 6 million right there in salary for the following season. That will bring the Islanders from the Cap Floor to only 10 million away from the Cap Ceiling. That’s not including Schremp who I believe has a strong possibility of improving his play and earnings by 2011-2012.
The years following, such as in 2013-2014, will include contracts for John Tavares as well as possible additions of Nino Niedereiter, Travis Hamonic, Calvin De Haan, Kirill Petrov, and Kirill Kabanov. Where will all the money be then? Do I dare say Kevin Poulin? I won’t go there because that is way to far in the future. But I am sure everyone by now gets the point. The Islanders will have many players over the next 4-5 years that will hopefully play well and be paid well.
Garth Snow’s decision to hold on overpaying players for “splash” signings proves to me that he is one of the smarter and patient GM’s out there. For the next season or two, he has kept the Islanders cap space in a spot where it could be leveraged for trades, such as accepting a promising player that doesn’t fit under the cap elsewhere (James Wisniewski from the Ducks), locking up free agents as the Islanders get closer to being a contender, and, most importantly, keeping our nucleus intact to become perennial Stanley Cup contenders.
Stay Cool Garth.