Monday, July 23, 2007

Simon to Whack Out Wins

After the large suspension, the New York Islanders have made the decision that Chris Simon does provide the team with a lot of grit and experience beyond some indiscretions that Ryan Hollweg can atest to. Simon signed a 1-year deal worth $800,000 on Monday morning.

Before his suspension, Simon did manage 10 goals and 27 points in 67 games and could provide a great level of penalty minutes, if your pool counts them towards your point total. It would be a pretty big stretch to see him in a goals & assists pool, but he could make it really deep... maybe. Okay, probably not.

The Islanders scraped their way into the playoffs last season, but when looking at the current state of the team on paper, it looks like they'll be even luckier to make it that close... or close at all.

Bill GuerinMike SillingerMiroslav Satan
Ruslan FedotenkoMike ComrieTrent Hunter *
Richard ParkJon SimShawn Bates
Jeremy CollitionSteve TambelliniChris Simon
Marc-Andre BergeronRadek Martinek
Chris CampoliBrendan Witt
Freddie MeyerBruno Gervais
Rick DiPietro
Wade Dubielewicz

When I look at this Islander line-up nothing really jumps out at me and says, "playoffs!" There really isn't anything there that screams pool wins, unless you can cleverly pick up a guy like Satan in the second or third round. Satan finished 99th in the pool rankings last season with only 59 points and really isn't going to get the kind of service he needs from a centre like Sillinger or Comrie. Unless you find a player in the system that can provide some good centre service to your key wingers, the Islanders will probably not float.

Another concern for the Islanders is the salary cap. They aren't even close to the maximum... rather, they're barely going to scrape the minimum. If you thought Edmonton was going to be a tough place to lure in players, it looks like the crazy house on the island is becoming quite tough. They threw a lot of money at Bill Guerin and Rick DiPietro doesn't have to worry about his savings account for 14 more years, but they really don't have much that stands out salary wise (if the formula is salary = wins). With Trent Hunter still to be signed, he'll probably get handed a big contract to fill the void, but GM Garth Snow should be looking at some free agents to fill some gaps as well. It's a patchwork team as it is, so a guy like Jeff O'Neill, Tony Amonte, Anson Carter or Nils Ekman could surely take a spot on the roster.

It could very well be a long season for all the fans of the Islanders... it's sad to say.

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