July 1, 2007

4:26 PM: The Flames did indeed sign Sarich, 5 year deal. The Briere signing is for 8 years, 52 million. Unbelievable. The Isles are going to have to overspend for even some of the second tier guys if they plan on getting any. Bryan Rafalski signed with the Red wings for 5 years at 6 million per year. Still some good players left. At this point, we better hope that Smyth comes back to us. But with the way things have gone so far, we don't look like a team putting ourselves in a position to win.

3:36 PM: Sportsnet reports the Flyers have landed Briere. Don't know the terms yet. Also, sources claim the Flames have signed defenseman Cory Sarich. Another Isles target is taken off the market. Things may look bleak right now, but I am still confident in the front office's abilities to get some nice players in here.

2:53 PM: From TSN:
"Anaheim Ducks sign defenceman Mathieu Schneider to a two-year deal paying him $11.25 million." Islander targets are gradually decreasing. Still some good guys out there, and all of the big names are still there.

2:25 PM: The Florida Panthers make 2 signings, grabbing former Islander Richard Zednik for 2 years and adding Brett McLean for 3 years.
The Washington capitals sign former Islander Tom Poti to a 4 year deal worth 3.5 million a season. It is now clear why the Isles are looking at Stuart and Schneider.

2:12 PM: from The Fourth Period: "It looks like the Islanders are looking for a defenseman, along with a top line forward. Brad Stuart's name has popped up, as well as Mathieu Schneider."

1:53 PM: The Atlanta Thrashers make the first signing, and it's center Todd White. 4 years, 2.25 per year. Nice signing for them.

1:19 PM: Smyth has recieved an offer from a 9th team so far. This was reported on the TSN show. Also mentioned was that Smyth is supposedly going to give the Isles a last chance to top any offers if a team tops their offer. Also sources say that on XM, there was an interview where it was mentioned that Smyth is waiting to see who else the Isles would add and that Garth was heavily pursuing Bryan Rafalski to try to lure Smyth back. Other notes: Iginila is on the verge of signing an extension, believed to be 4 years. Only word on the big 3 so far is there is a possible bidding war going on for Gomez right now between the Rangers and the Flyers; 7 years, 49 million being the offers. Also: Briere has been offered 6 years, 42 million by the Canadians, as per TSN. The Briere race appears to be down to Montreal, LA, Philly and 2 other unidentified teams.

12:52 PM: The Sharks resigned Joe Thornton to a 3 year extension worth 7.2 per year. It doesn't get much better than Thornton, and 7.2 for him may affect the money the big 3 will get. If SJ gets Drury, they may trade Marleau. We shall see. Nothing big appears to be on the horizon yet.

It's Christmas in July! Lot of questions surrounding who will go where today. Most of us are curious as to how our team will shape up in the next few days. Will we make a big splash? Will Smyth look at other offers and come back? Is the reported 5 year, $6.5 million per year offer enough to get Smyth to come back? Who are the other free agents that we are looking at? As we get news, I will constantly update this post, putting the time and the player and where they are rumored to go. Right now we are 30 minutes away. The signing period will probably start off a bit slow, but I expect things to pick up by the end of the day, not necessarily with the Isles. Articles this morning have said that the Islanders are expected to make offers to Chris Drury and Scott Gomez, though both of them are most likely long shots. One rumor had the Isles interested in Bill Guerin, which I can definitely see happening. The Islanders also need to shore up on defence, and to help Witt guys like Hannan or Sarich could be brought in. If the Isles don't bring back Poti, then they need to get a puck mover. If they want to spend big that could be Rafalski; if they want to be conservative then maybe go after Teppo Numminen or Roman Hamrlik.

Once noon hits, we'll see a ton of rumors, and I will keep you all posted when I hear something. At the end of the day, Sean will chime in with a recap and we'll also offer analysis. So keep checking back throughout the day to see whats going on in Islander Country!


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