Reply Hazy, Try Again.
Santa brought me my first 'Magic 8-Ball' sometime in the early-mid 50's. It was a wondrous little device that could foresee the future. The best part about it, was that if you were unhappy with the answer given, you could keep asking until you got the answer you wanted. It did have some short comings, however. It lied to me when it answered 'Most Definitely!' after I asked if I was going to meet my favorite Mousekateer, Annette.(flickr/Bark).
It also failed to help me with my homework and did nothing to warn me that my team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, would be moving to the west coast to join Annette in California. Even with these short comings, it was fun and can still be found in stores today. It is now the time of year that it will become most useful. What better source is there to help me predict what the 2012-13 Islanders and Sound Tigers rosters will look like on opening day.
It is now that time of year to start thinking of next years team, trades to be made and draft picks to be selected. What follows is some information about where we stand now. Take a look at where the Islanders stand now, grab a six-pack of your favorite, your 'Magic 8-Ball' and play GM for a few weeks. Have fun with it and see how close you can come to predicting next seasons' opening day roster.
Most of the information in the table to the left was taken from three sources I rely on heavily. First is HockeyDB for any info on minor league and European players. Secondly, I always refer to CapGeek for all information about contracts and salaries. The most user friendly of all my sources for anything to do with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers is Mike Fornabaio who has been covering the Tigers since their inception for the Connecticut Post. Any errors and omissions, and my Magic 8-Ball says there are 'Most Defiantly!' several, are my own and please feel free to point them out to me.
I have listed players currently under contract with the Isles. Highlighted in orange are players that played most of last season with the Isles. (I put Ryan Strome in that category as he may well start there this season and goalie John Grahame for no reason at all.) In blue highlight are players that spent most of last season as Tigers. The 'YRS' column indicates years remaining on an existing contract and 'RFA' or 'UFA' shows a players' free agency status. I show a players age as of July 1, 2012, and somehow missed including Mark Katic's who turned 23 earlier this month.
As you can see, there are several players about to become free agents. Contract negotiations with these players is on going and as settled will be made public. There are also several young prospects who are about to sign their first 'Entry-Level Contracts'. For a comprehensive and well written description of those players I would highly recommend you read John Link's three recent 'Prospect Reports' which you will find at www.TCLIsles.com.
NHL teams can have fifty players under contract.(I have only listed 49 as I think that Jon Persson will be given an offer and saved a spot for him.) From this list plus any prospects that receive offers, next years team will be chosen. There will also be the June 22 draft and any trades made that will complete the roster.
Of interest to Sound Tiger fans will be the future of players with AHL contracts that contributed so much to last years success as a team. That short list includes; Kenny Reitter, Jon Landry, Steve Oleksy, Russ Sinkewich, Brett Gallant, Scott Howes, Jordie Johnston, Kael Mouillierat and Blair Riley. I hope to see several of these players return, we would not own a new banner if not for their contributions.
It promises to be a very eventful and exciting summer for Islander and Sound Tiger fans alike. Enjoy the off-season and don't forget the staff at The Checking Line - Isles Edition will be posting all summer long.