What Does Garth Have Up His Sleeve?

Back at the beginning of June, I started the NY Islanders offseason with a piece on the Isles new focus: cap management. Since then, all hell has broken loose as Newsday reported that Kyle Okposo might be made available. I reported that Kyle Okposo is looking for a $7million+ payday when he becomes a UFA after next season. This seems to be in the area of Bobby Ryan’s extension in on the Senators where he averages 7.25 a year. Just so happens, that might not be in line with the Isles thinking and concerns because of their ardent cap focus.


So either Kyle is available or he and his agent are being shaken up by Garth to get that price down. Or a bit of both. After all, this is an inflated market… why not see what you can get?


But what has been forgotten through all of this is Miks Indrasis and Kirill Petrov… both coming to training camp with middle 6 forward possibilities. Now Miks has been a camp invite multiple times. In fact, we can coin him “Multiple Miks” … and if you don’t get that Silence of the Lambs reference, shame on you. 


But Petrov? He’s been seen by Isles scouts for years. Don’t tell me this is just a camp invite. Sure, he needs to earn a spot. So does everyone. But he is here to PLAY.


Has the leaked wrangling over Okposo availability taken everyone’s eyes off the ball?


It seems far more likely that the middle 6 might be blown up. This leads me back to my IslesBeat podcast citation, besides longtime twitter musing, that it is FAR more likely that Frans Nielsen is dealt this summer.


Frans has been terrific over the years, but as the new class rises, he and his stats have been plummeting in 5 on 5 play. Yes, he is still key for the Penalty Kill, but let’s not fall in love with that since the PK was a nightmare for most of the season.


Petrov comes with possession skills and defensive gameplay… much like the skill-sets of either Josh Bailey or Nielsen. Bailey has been nicely on a .5 per game rise with his use on the top line. However, despite his use in the pinch, he doesn’t look like the end-game there by any means. Might he fit better on the 3rd line with Petrov perhaps as wings for Brock Nelson?


We all know Michael Grabner is on the bubble, but good luck in getting anyone to take on paying him $5 million this season. Out of all of them, save Okposo, Frans really has the most value in a trade.


Could he be the main piece to a package that lands a defenseman? 


It has to make one wonder if this is really the NHL draft trade play, and Kyle Okposo just the distraction.


We will find out soon enough. After all, I told you all to pay attention come this NHL draft weeks ago. Now we are almost there!

      Follow your IslesBeat hosts Jon Jordan and B.D. Gallof on twitter during the NHL draft.    



FOOTNOTE: Not long after writing this, comes this tweet from TSN’s Darren Dreger:

Stay tuned for an interesting weekend, folks.