The Brockalypse is coming as we come down to the wire for Brock Nelson to be signed before training camp (and being sat out for the season). To provide insurance, Garth Snow signed Stever Bernier to a PTO. Bernier is a 3rd line grinder. He can be a short-term power forward who also is capable on the penalty kill. Good energy player and can score (16 goals last year). Could be him vs Kirill Petrov for line 3 IF Brock Nelson is out for the season. And that folks is the BIG IF.
Brock Nelson GAR/WAR analytics score (courtesy War-on-Ice) from last year? 9.49
It was actually down slightly from his previous year: 10.11
Steve Bernier? 5.62
That kind of difference affects the Win column, folks. Even though 5.62 is not bad.
If the team hopes to achieve past 101 points and a deeper playoff run, they will be hard put to match or exceed last year when missing one of those pinions. Ryan Strome, Calvin de Haan, Anders Lee, Nick Leddy, and Brock Nelson are all the pivots to rising past last year, thanks to the lack of additional summer moves due to the team focus of costs/price and cap management (I did warn you all about that).
So if Brock is gone, they lose one of those key people they are depending on. Steve Bernier is just a plug-in for line 3 to grind plus a bit of scoring ability.
The most interesting thing to all this is that Garth Snow DOES NOT have a reputation in low balling players. He is known to be fair. So if there is an issue, it makes one think it is in the Brock camp or his agent. His agent, Tobin Wright, is also the agent for Marion Gaborik and Brent Burns. There is no real history of having hold-outs, either. So what gives?
If we look historically at holdout situations with the NY Islanders during Charles Wang’s “miss the season” policy, it always seems to depict the agent in recent years under Garth’s tenure (Sean Bergenheim, Denis Grebeshkov).
So is Brock Nelson getting bad advice?
Is his camp merely waiting it out hoping for something better?
Brock Nelson last season started off terrific, but fell into a tailspin, actually being slightly below the analytics of the season before it. Is this a situation of trying to cash in on one-half a season? If so, it won’t go well because Garth Snow and Charles Wang will not blink. If Brock misses this deadline, he will miss the season and make far less… and STILL be the Isles property next season, anyway.
Footnote: I have heard the new owners are also in agreement to this policy and are likely to have it continue. So those who are harping that this policy will somehow go away or that Ledecky/Malkin will change it… are much mistaken.