NHL Free Agent News – September 3, 2011.

Islanders forward Frans Nielsen on his plans beyond this season, Manny Legace gets a training camp tryout, and the latest on former NHL defenseman Andrei Zyuzin.

NEWSDAY: Katie Strang recently reported NY Islanders forward Frans Nielsen could be the type of versatile, affordable forward every GM would clamour for if he hits the UFA market next summer, but he would prefer to remain an Islander “for many more years”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For all the dismissal of the Islanders in recent years as a joke, many of the players who’ve come up through their system over this period have expressed a strong desire to stay, especially after last season, the first in a long time where the club appeared to turn the corner following a horrific first half. No, it’s not because misery loves company, but rather, a genuine opinion they’re building toward playoff contention. If Nielsen wants to stay, he shouldn’t be too difficult to re-sign.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Joe Yerdon reports former NHL goalie Manny Legace has accepted a training camp tryout with the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Legace obviously won’t be displacing Roberto Luongo or Corey Schneider in the Canucks goalie tandem, but if he plays well he could be headed to the AHL, where he would provide depth if needed in a call-up role. It’s also possible a strong camp might attract attention from rival clubs.

YAHOO! SPORTS: Dmitry Chesnokov yesterday “tweeted” former NHL defenseman Andrei Zyuzin wants to return to the NHL, but rejected a one-year offer from the San Jose Sharks, apparently because the offer was well below the $1 million he was seeking.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if he’ll get that from another NHL club.


  1. Many times a player/goalie gets a tryout with a club, it’s to showcase himself for everyone, not just the team he’s trying out for. Burke has done this a few times with Jason Allison etal. It can sometimes be a professional courtesy. It’s pretty odvious Legace won’t displace Luo or Schneider.

    I think the Islanders will be a serious threat this year. Not playoff bound, but talented and tough to play against. I can see Tavares coming close to a point per game this year, and Montoya being a beast! They have a plethora of young talented players that will take strides this year and improve on last years performance. I wouldn’t be suprised if the Isle where on par with Winnipeg this year.

  2. The idea is not for Legace to displace either current goalie.The plan is for Legace to back up Schneider after they ship Luongo out.Gillis saw what has happened in several of Luongo’s play off performances.He cant let that happen again. GILLIS SAW THE SAME THING THE REST OF US SAW.BYE BYE ROBERTO.

  3. Spector and Durt,

    I think you guys are missing the bigger possibility with the Canucks. I think it’s silly for the Canucks to hold on to Schneider and let his waste away as a backup. He deserves a shot at being a star in the NHL. In return, the Canucks may pull a healthy return.

    Either way, I don’t think it’s smart to hold on to both of these guys. One should go and Luongo’s contract pretty much assures that it won’t be him.

  4. JDBGiGC, don’t get me wrong, I can see where you’re coming from. But if that where the case, why wouldn’t they have signed a free agent goalie? If replacing a goalie was truely their mandate, then they could have signed Theodore or someone else July 1. That to me would have been a sign of things to come. A tryout doesn’t mean a heck of a lot to me. And considering there isn’t a big market for goaltenders, trading Schneider now doesn’t make sense. But that’s just my 2 cents.

  5. Durt: I think I like where JDB is going with this and in my opinion if I was Gillis I would prefer this route as well. Luongo makes so much a year and plays regular season hockey well enough that its nearly impossible to not have him as your starting guy. I think by making a training camp invite and sign on a guy like Legace you actually take a high reward approach and likely get him on a cheap cap hit. (now this is all based on absolute speculation that Schnieder would be moved.)

    The Canucks are we know are seeking a big top 6 guy to play with Kesler and I think there is still a market for a goalie like Schnieder.
    Phoenix (Smith, Lebarbera)
    New Jersey (Brodeur, Hedberg) – talented but old
    Tampa (Roloson, Garon)
    New York Islanders (Montoya, Nabakov)
    Edmonton (Bulin, Dubnyk)
    Florida (Clemmenson, Theodore)

    There is a handful of teams just off the top of my head who would LOVE a guy with the upside of Schnieder in their system. I think between those teams there are some good guys Vancouver could consider shopping Schneider for. Not saying that anything will or would happen, but I could see the chances of Legace had a good camp and someone that fit their needs was on the table then it could happen. I think someone like Carter, Connolly, Malone, Panik would garner attention out of Tampa that would make sense?

  6. JJB, I’m still holding onto a tryout being more of a showcase. Untill Legace is offered a contract, I don’t see a problem having two awesome goalies. And as much flak as Luongo has recieved fairly or unfairly, Vancouver made it to the finals. They must be doing something right because 28 other teams can’t say the same.

  7. Hey Zyuzin, didn’t you walk out on the Sharks halfway through the season many years ago? You’re lucky any team, let alone the Sharks of all of em, gave you an offer. An offensive defenseman whose career-high at ANY level is 21 points. Take your league-minimum offer and shut up.