Time to take a look at the D-Men who could potentially end up here on the Island:
1. Tom Poti: Poti was a surprise addition to the Islanders last season. With the Isles looking for defensive aid, Poti seemed like a risk worth taking. All in all, most fans would conclude it paid off. Poti lead the team in assists (38, a career record for Poti) and was very effective on the power play early in the season. To take the pressure off Poti, Garth Snow dealt for Marc Andre Bergeron, which certainly paid off for the Isles. Wang's World is trying to keep Poti here. Poti has displayed and interest in staying. Early reports stated that the Isles were working on a multi year deal with Poti, however, later developments have speculated that the veteran will test the market. Poti is rumored to be seeking $4 million a season. The Islanders are more likely to offer Poti no more than $3.5 million for about 3 seasons. If the agreement can't be reached, New York will most likely let Poti walk and try to add a defenseman elsewhere.
2. Corey Sarich: Sarich would add depth defensively, and could be a replacement for Sean Hill. Sarich, who recently won a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay, has expressed an interest in testing the market. He will probably move by the end of the week, seeing as other defensemen have taken up the spotlight. Sarich is a 2nd Tier defenseman, who is valued between $2.5 and $3 million per season. Rumors say that the Isles have shown an interest.
3. Brian Rafalski: Rafalski has been a powerful Blueliner for the New Jersey Devils for quite some time now. He has solidified himself as a power play quarterback, and someone who can really get the puck going. The Isles would consider looking at him in the event that they lose Tom Poti. They would basically be swapping out one quarterback for another. Rafalski to the Isles isn't as likely as some other free agent possibilities, but it is still something to consider.
4. Mattheiu Schneider: Much more likely to be on The Island next season than Rafalski. The aging Red Wing could bring something to the team that he left years ago. He is, again, a puck moving quarterback. Schneider would also add speed to the Islander blue line. He could certainly help teach some of our young, developing defenseman, and be a leader. The question is whether or not the Isles want to take the gamble and sign a 38 year old d-man at a high price. Schneider will probably get $3.5-$4 million on the market. It is also not outside the realm of possibilities that he will get even more than that. The deal will most likely be a one year commitment. This potential deal also depends on whether or not #3 returns next season.
5. Brad Stuart: A name that is certainly drawing Islander interest. Sources have speculated that the Isles are looking to be included in the Stuart Marketplace. Stuart would add verteran leadership and would help spark a little offensive help on. An excellent puck mover that can be signed at a fair price. Wherever he lands, it'll be in the $3-$3.5 range.
6. Scott Hannan: Drawing interest from many teams in the NHL, and the Boys In the Barn are no exception. Hannan would add depth to the Islanders defensively, and would be one of their top penalty killers. Some have criticized Hannan's personal life off of the ice, but most teams will certainly be willing to turn their backs on that. If San Jose lands Drury, then it would be tough to also sign Hannan, who will most likely get a $4-$4.5 million per season deal. It is true that the cap has gone up, but also remember that you need to spread that cap over 20 different heads on the bench. You will need to pay Thornton, Nabakov, Marleau, Cheechoo, Drury (and would certainly like to keep them away from FA); Hannan might have played his last gave with the fins.
7. Sheldon Souray: Only to be acquired if the Isles miss out on any other big free agents. He wants at least $5 million a year, and can probably get upwards of $6 million (Thanks to Philadelphia!). Would add to the team offensively, but take away from the team attitude wise. Certainly not a leader and doesn't totally fit in with the Nolan Style of Play.
8. Roman Hamrlik: GOOD LORD?!?!? HAMRLIK?!??!? I know what you're thinking. It's just someone who has supposedly drawn interest from the team. Unlikely to return, but a name that HAS been thrown into the mix.
*8 Is the least likely one here to end up in an NYI Jersey next season, but his name has been thrown around so he was included.