Islanders fans are worn out from watching this teams front office sit around and do nothing.
Last summer was a met with much anticipation after a playoff series with Pittsburgh, which built some serious momentum for the organization moving forward. One or two missing pieces from this puzzle and the Islanders could have gone far.
Yet, Snow sat back as the dog days of August rolled on by and went into the season with the same team, resulting in yet another lottery pick for the Islanders.
Fast forward and after another disappointing season that no one could have predicted, it’s the beginning of Summer 2014 and another chance for the Isles to use the free agent market to their advantage.
The difference being this time around the expectations are low and Islanders fans expect the worst. No one would be shocked to see Snow sit tight once again after everything this team has been through.
The 2014 free agent class has lots talent and as there are no guarantees the Islanders make a splash it is true that they have a prime opportunity to improve their weak areas.
The Islanders have a nice crop of young defenders but as of now there is no veteran leadership on the defensive side or on the team in general. Canadians D man Anderi Markov is set to hit the free agent market if he doesn’t re-sign with the Habs by July 1st.
A witty stay at home defender, Markov brings a powerful slap shot and a leadership personality to the table. He could easily help develop our young core of defenseman while heavily improving our defense by himself. The 12 year NHL veteran has spent his whole career with the Canadians. Markov missed only 1 game last season putting up 7 goals and 36 assists which gave him 43 points in 81 games. That is what Markov will annually bring to the table and his defensive side has been just as consistent throughout his career. He takes little to no penalties and has a ton of postseason experience; something these young guys on the Islanders struggle with even the few who were here for the run vs Pittsburgh. Markov is the overall best defensive package available.
Now shifting focus to our offensive struggles; I hate to say it, but why not try your best to bring Thomas Vanek back to Long Island.
We have the ability to give him a contract offer he wouldn’t be able to say no to. Vanek had the opportunity to play in the playoffs and get a taste of what it’s like to fight through April and May and still be playing come the end of May. Vanek say his stock drop tremendously as he lacked effort throughout the Canadien’s playoff run, even earning himself a demotion to the 4th line in game 3 vs the Rangers. In the 17 playoff games he’s appeared in he has 5 goals and 5 assists, not up to Vanek’s “goal scorer” tendencies.
This could work in the Islanders favor as some teams may see Vanek’s struggles as a major red flag, removing any interest they may have had in the 30 year old.
Why go out and get someone new when we already know that Vanek was a perfect asset with Tavares and Okposo. In the 47 games that Vanek played with the Islanders, as he had 17 goals and 27 assists in 47 games; numbers you would take on your first line any day of the week.
The market is wide giving Garth Snow a lot of options. We can all take guesses on who the Islanders may grab but all we can really do now is to wait and see. Lets hope for the best because as I said a few new guys, some veteran leadership and some winning players and maybe this time next year I can be writing about the Islanders playoff run instead of the offseason.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter here: @JSeus
Article was previously written on Jun 16th