Friday, July 2, 2010

Islanders bolster D with Jurcina, Eaton, add 2 more

Following a quiet first day, the Islanders had a strong Day Two adding four to their roster. Garth Snow bolstered the D by adding physical blueliner Milan Jurcina and shot blocking specialist Mark Eaton.

The 27 year-old Jurcina, who's spent most of his time in D.C., got a one-year deal worth $1 million. He should help take care of the front of the net along with 33 year-old vet Eaton, who has always flew under the radar. The former Predator played the past four seasons with Pittsburgh, helping the club win its third Stanley Cup last year. Signed for two years, $5 million, he's solid stay at home defenseman who gets in the path of shots making it difficult on the opposition. In '09-10, he finished with a career high 16 points (3-13-16) in 79 games while blocking 135 shots, which ranked 36th among all blueliners.

Both should bolster an Islander defense that still includes anchor Mark Streit, Bruno Gervais, injury plagued Radek Martinek, youngsters Jack HillenAndrew MacDonald and Dylan Reese. Adding depth to a shaky area is wise. But they also got experienced players who can make the blueline tougher.

Speaking of tough, the club also addressed a need by reaching agreement with former Bolt enforcer Zenon Konopka on a one-year deal. Last season in St. Pete, the rugged 29 year-old from Niagara, Ontario played his first full year achieving career highs in games (74) and penalty minutes with his 265 pacing the NHL, including a league-leading 33 fighting majors. Seven better than Ian Laperriere and eight more than current Ranger Brandon Prust. Team toughness was an issue for the Islanders with teams taking runs at John Tavares. With Konopka aboard, that should no longer be the case.

The Isles weren't done also adding former Ranger P.A. Parenteau. After spending much of his pro career in the AHL including three seasons with Hartford, the 27 year-old from Quebec finally got a shot faring alright on Broadway. In 22 games, the shootout specialist registered three goals and five assists for eight points. Three of the points came on the power play. Possessing decent speed and hands, Parenteau just might be a surprise for the Long Island club. He certainly knows how to finish as evidenced by a couple of memorable shootout winners, including one at Ottawa with his family in attendance. For P.A., it's a chance to show what he can do.

There are rumors that both the Islanders and Rangers may be interested in Alexander Frolov. Our nickname for him is Russian Enigma. Buyer beware.

Kovalchuk Still Deciding: As far as Ilya Kovalchuk, nothing new on the surface. Looks like it's a two horse race for the exciting Russian who overvalued the market. Will it be Hollywood which is much closer to Russia or Newark for the sniper? Much like LeBron in the NBA, we probably won't know until this Fourth of July weekend is out.


Hasan said...

Take it for what it's worth, according to Darryl Sutter Kovy's priced himself too high for 'at least 30 NHL teams'. Clearly even ours and the Kings' offers aren't anywhere near the $100 million and he and his agent probably expected something close.

The wait's gone from intriguing to boring in a very short time, this feels like the Nieds thing all over again although at least he wasn't trying to up his own contract as much as he was extorting a contract extension for Rob :P

Who would have thought LeBron might have a team before Kovy?

Derek Felix said...

Given the way the salary structure is, I can't say I'm surprised. There just aren't any who can afford that. He picked the wrong summer. Plus him having never won a round probably is a factor even if it wasn't really his fault.

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