Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Islanders Still In Bad Shape?

The Islanders and Devils are going tonight for their final preseason game before the regular season starts this weekend. The Islanders are going to be auditioning their bubble players for the last few roster spots. The Islanders also updated their roster online to show that there have been some moves already made, including sending down five more players to the minors.

The Islanders, by my count, have 28 guys now on the roster, including injured Rick DiPietro, who is skating but isn't quite ready. The team is already down to seven defenders, so the only roster spots open look to be up front. With 18 forwards currently on the roster, five of them are likely to be cut over the next couple days.

Kyle OkposoMark StreitMartin Biron
Doug WeightBruno GervaisDwayne Roloson
Frans NeilsenRadek MartinekRick DiPietro
Richard ParkAndy Sutton
Trent HunterFreddie Meyer
Josh BaileyBrendan Witt
Blake ComeauJack Hillen
Sean Bergenheim

Jon Sim

Jeff Tambellini

Tim Jackman

Nate Thompson

Matt Moulson

Trevor Smith

Joel Rechlicz

Greg Moore

Jeremy Reich

John Tavares

One of the things that the Islanders wanted to make sure of this summer was that they had plenty of goaltending to get them through the year. When DiPietro went down over the past few seasons, the Islanders were not a team with great goaltending depth to get themselves through the tough time. The signings of both Martin Biron and Dwayne Roloson was out to help them in that department, especially since it sounds like Rick DiPietro is not ready to go quite yet.

Next on the agenda is finding linemates for John Tavares. The early training camp buzz is on Matt Moulson, who has seen a lot of time with Tavares in the preseason. Moulson could end up being a bit of a sleeper this year, if he continues to play with the young centre.

Salary CapThere is a bit of a salary cap issue with the Islanders, as they have to make five cuts and they may end up being below the cap floor by the end of it. With an injured DiPietro, the Islanders have 28 players on their roster at $41.6 million. If the Islanders were to cut five players at $500,000, that would bring themselves down below the $40.8 million cap floor, so there might be a bit of concern there. Will the Islanders be out looking for a deal to bring in another player that would be worth $3 million or pick a player up on waivers to help fill out the team? Stay tuned...

There doesn't seem to be a lot of established depth on the Islanders to start this season. The team is full of potential and some of it may be realized this season, but I'm not going to stick my fantasy neck out on a limb and say that John Tavares is the second-coming (or third, or fourth) and that he'll get 100 points or more. He'll compete and he'll earn a good number of points to make him fantasy-worthy, but I would want to go after him at a more reasonable point level.

As good as the Islanders goaltender depth may be, I am expecting these guys to almost platoon the position, split the starts and share whatever wins they manage to drum up. The goalies on Long Island should be a last resort option this year.

No comments: