Latest on the Islanders, Canadiens and Oilers.

Looking ahead at possible off-season moves for the Islanders and Canadiens, plus Linus Omark has earned a shot with the Oilers or elsewhere.

Will the Islanders re-sign Mark Streit?

Will the Islanders re-sign Mark Streit?

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports NY Islanders RFAs Travis Hamonic and Josh Bailey are “almost certain to return”, but the future is less certain for Mark Streit and Evgeni Nabokov. Streit was seeking a three-year, $16 million contract before the trade deadline, which was too expensive for Isles GM Garth Snow, while Nabokov struggled at times during the Isles series against the Penguins. Staple suggests Snow might see what’s available via the trade and free agent market before committing to Nabokov for another season. Staple also believes pending UFA winger Brad Boyes could return for a reasonable price.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hamonic and Bailey will return, as could Boyes, but it remains to be seen what happens with Streit and Nabokov. It’s possible Nabokov could be re-signed for another season and Snow shops for a younger starter. As for Streit, if he doesn’t lower his asking price, he could depart via free agency, leaving Snow scrambling to find a suitable replacement.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports Canadiens defenseman Tomas Kaberle is expected to be bought out of the final season of his contract. RFA blueliner Yannick Weber was encouraged by his exit meeting with GM Marc Bergevin but knows there’s no guarantee he’ll be back with the Habs next season. UFA center Jeff Halpern said he’ll sign with the first team that calls him, while Colby Armstrong hopes to re-sign with the Habs. UFA Michael Ryder, acquired at mid-season, isn’t expected to be re-signed.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis recently suggested Linus Omark’s performance this season in Switzerland has earned him another shot at the NHL, either with the Oilers (who own his rights) or another NHL team. Willis expects Omark’s rights could be shopped this summer, and wondered if the Detroit Red Wings might have interest, as Omark had terrific chemistry with Henrik Zetterberg and Damien Brunner during the lockout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings interest could depend upon how much cap space they have after re-signing their key free agents, and how active they might be in the UFA market this summer.


  1. Personally I think Halak or Emery would be a perfect fit in Long Island if one or the other can be obtained, preferably Emery through free agency which would allow the Islanders to focus on getting that shutdown D they are looking for via the trade route if one is available. I think that this year is a good year that the Islanders can safely shop their 1st round pick and maybe pray off some teams that are looking to dump some salary in the offseason or at the draft.

    • Perfectly said JJB. My thoughts exactly.

  2. Oilers won’t want Omark back. They have enough small skilled forwards for the top six. Omark doesn’t have the grit for bottom six. He also lacks the ‘win at all cost’ attitude that the Oilers need to instill throughout their squad. Hopefully they can get a draft pick for him.

  3. Isle’s should re-sign Boyes and i agree with JJB regarding Emery or Halak.

    I just don’t see Omark being NHL compatible. He can’t fit in this league.

    • New Linemates for the first 3 lines:
      Neitterreiter on the top line replaces Boyes.
      Strome on the 2nd line replaces Josh Bailey.
      Andres Lee on the 3rd replaces Keith Aucoin.

      I agree on the goalie assessment.

  4. I have to post this even though there is no Leaf talk because hardly anyone goes to Canadian corner and I want to see how other fans felt.

    At about the 13 minute mark of the third period last night my thought was the Leafs will take game seven IF they can shut out the B’s for the rest of the game. Riemer will then be in their heads as a guy on a roll that they can’t beat… THEN… the bone head move of the series by Grabovski happened and the B’s come back to score on Riemer giving them some much needed confidence that he is beatable. Now I’m not as confident as I would have been if Reimers got a shut out. Completeing the shut out was a little thing that could have turned into a huge albatrose for the B’s in game seven. Every shut out period Reimer played made the B’s grip their sticks tighter. Confidence is everything in this game and Grabo may have totally screwed it up with his selfish play. I don’t know why Cherry defended him at the end of the game you could plainly see Grabo didn’t have a blank moment, he knew exactly what he was doing when he attempted to score on the empty netter. Selfish, selfish, selfish. Let’s see if Grabo makes up for it in game seven like Phaneuf did last night. Here’s to praying to the hockey gods…

    • Interesting! I’m (I think) coming at this from a not-too-biased angle: I’m a Habs fan rooting (somewhat) for the Leafs over the &*$@ing Bruins.

      I hated Grabo’s play last night, but I don’t think it’s a momentum swing for two reasons:

      1. It took the Bruins having 6 guys on the ice to score it, and they know that.

      2. I don’t think the B’s find Reimer to be unbeatable, only that they’re playing like crap and can’t score on him. Besides the ridiculous save on Bergeron in gm 5, Reimer hasn’t looked like a man possessed, simply like a solid goalie who is doing what is necessary. Even the diving save in gm 6 – which was great! – was more because he’d overcommitted on the first save and had to make a spectacular recovery.

      I *love* Reimer, but I think the Bruins probably will continue to squeeze their sticks too tightly (despite Grabo’s play and subsequent goal) because they know they’re not playing well enough, not because Reimer is playing too well.

      I still say the Leafs take game 7. Go Buds!

      • Also, why is anyone defending Grabovski about *anything*? Even his work ethic in game 5?

        He has the worst +/- on the team, made worse by his selfish play last night, so I can’t be impressed by his defense. No goals and one assist in 6 games, so his offense is non-existent. And we’re supposed to say “he’s not so bad, because he is actually skating hard from time to time”?

        That’s what we’re supposed to be happy with for $5.5M these days?

        • Ya because other guys that play against top offensive players to shut them down usually have top offensive numbers too, right?

          • You consider the Lucic-Krejci-Horton line as being shut down? Maybe in the last two games, but not whatsoever in the first four.

            (Hard to tell on a message board – I’m not being pissy here, more just that I feel Grabovski hasn’t done a particularly great job as a checking forward in this series, either.)

            Also, Grabo’s big bucks contract was not to be an “effective, but not Selke candidate” defensive forward with no offense. While his checking is important, there are other forwards with equally good defensive skill but no offense, and they make 1/4 of Grabovski’s salary. He’s paid to put up points, too.

            In the salary cap era: for the money, I’d rather have McClement by a mile.

        • Grabo is not playing THAT bad but he is not worth the $$$ for sure. I also would take McClement anyday……

  5. All the Bruins need to do is show up an play a FULL 60 min start hitting and quite making Reimer look like a vezina winner

    • Fatigue will be a huge factor in this game. If both teams are throwing the body, it could be very interesting.
      The Bruins will need to do more than just show up. If they start taking the Leafs lightly, they will be watching the rest of the season from home.

  6. I don’t think after this years performance that the Islanders will be “scrambling” for a replacement of Mark Streit if he isn’t signed. They have some D in Bridgeport that are ready for the NHL and there will be more interest in the Islanders from more defensemen around the league.
    Streit was not as good as many non-Isles fans think he was. Its time to see what all the years of drafting has provided.