Isles Minus Rolston & Mottau But Otherwise Stay The Same - And That's Okay

Rick Nash won't be donning an Islanders jersey tomorrow night; the Islanders didn't get a first round pick for Evgeni Nabokov and/or P.A. Parenteau; Al Montoya will still be on the bench to back up the Islanders number one goaltender; and the defensive play of Mark Eaton, Milan Jurcina and Steve Staios will still be seen for the rest of the season. 

Staios, despite popular reports from a fake twitter account, was not dealt to the Vancouver Canucks for a 6th round draft pick. 

BUT Garth Snow did manage to rid his team of the putrid play of Brian Rolston and the defensive relapses of Mike Mottau. Both were sent packing to the Boston Bruins for a couple of prospects; Yanick Riendeau and Marc Cantin. 

Riendeau is a 5'10", 178 pound right wing that has played 46 games over the past three seasons with the Providence Bruins of the AHL, scoring four goals and seven assists. Cantin is a 6'1", 192 pound defenseman who has split time between the ECHL and the Providence Bruins as well and appears to fit the mold of a rugged blue liner. (Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr)

Cantin, who appears to be the better of the two prospects, scored 41 points as a defenseman in 61 games with the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors of the OHL in 2010-2011. He hasn't put up any points with the Providence Bruins this year but has scored six points in 16 games with the ECHL Reading Royals. 

At the end of the day, these are not two drop dead prospects that will have Islanders fans drooling all over the floor. Instead, they are two young players that still have potential to develop into something under the Islanders watch. That's a hell of a lot better than watching the play of aging veterans that did more harm than good to the Islanders each night. 

Both Rolston and Mottau's removal will allow players like Casey Cizikas, David Ullstrom and even Aaron Ness, Calvin de Haan or Matt Donovan to get some ice time with the big club. 

My Take

From what I have read on Twitter over the past few days, this is EXACTLY what Islanders fans wanted - the subtraction of some dead weight that will allow the chance for prospects to prove themselves for the rest of the season. The Islanders weren't sellers, nor were they buyers. Garth has stated in the past that he is a builder, and that's what he did. 

Yet still Isles fans complain that Garth didn't get something out of Nabokov or Parenteau, who still could possibly walk this summer. It has been reported that Nabokov and the Islanders are working on a contract extension. Although he hasn't been signed yet, there is no immediate rush to have it done. July 1st is not tomorrow. (Photo Credit: bridgetds/Flickr)

The same goes for Parenteau, who has stated he wants to hold off contract talks until the season is over. He told me in the Islanders locker room that he expects this situation to work itself out. He enjoys playing here and is close with his teammates. He's more focused on making the playoffs and playing good hockey. Although I admit that Parenteau might be Snow's biggest challenge when it comes to locking up his core players, he does have plenty of cap room to make it happen. 

I also have turned my head away from the possible "trade and sign" scenarios. Both Doug Weight and Keith Tkachuk were traded away from the St. Louis Blues at trade deadlines in the past and then re-signed with the Blues in their following off-seasons, but how many other times have you seen that happen? Not often. It's a risk not worth taking. 

The Isles also have to stay above the cap floor, which they are very close to right now. It's simple numbers folks. The Islanders couldn't even be full on sellers if they wanted to shed every impending free agent they had. 

Anyone who expected more fooled themselves; there weren't even significant rumors that indicated big deals were on the horizon. Anyone who is frustrated has legitimate reason. But the important part that has to be remembered from all of this is that Snow has done what he could and has been allowed to do at every deadline. The Islanders are eight points out of the final playoff spot in the East and continue to take two steps back every time they take one step forward. It would be unrealistic of Snow to buy a rental player when the Islanders could possibly miss the playoffs altogether.

Snow has said he wouldn't risk getting rid of his young core that he's built and he hasn't. He's always been open to getting rid of a few bad apples and has done just that. Free agency and contract negotiations with some current players will be his next challenge to steer the course one step further in 2013. And let's face it, this team saw limited change from last year and is the closest they have been to the playoffs since the rebuild began a few years ago.

Today may not have been a great day by some people's standards, but it was an okay one. And that's perfectly fine.

-Rob McGowan 


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Erol Bal's picture

He cut expensive contracts to make room for more cheaper players saving Wang $$$$

Rob, the going market for a player like PA Parenteau is 5.5 million and up. You know there will be a team that will give him Ales Hemsky / Tuomo Ruttu money. Garth will not give PAP 5.5 - 6.5 million a year!!!! John Tavares will make less then he does if thats the case

PAP will walk away and Garth will say "well atleast we tried to sign him" Every off season we hear how no one wants to sign with the Islanders. The only way to secure top talent is then to make trades. Garth did not do his job!!!

I am not asking for a Mike Milbury move.. I am asking for Garth to say hmm ok its time we look deeper at what I can get for KO or Josh Bailey. Who is interested in Kabanov and Petrov, Cizikas. Lets see if we can get a top D Man or Forward in a package deal who is signed for 3 plus years already and we can build around him with JT to attract bigger names in the off season.

Today was not a good day, Today was an indication that this organization has no interest in competing and will do whatever it can to save money. Good Luck trying to get a public funded arena with that attitude.

Dust off your Jason Blake jersey kids because he is coming back!!!

Today Rick Nash demanded a trade.. in 2 years from now dont be surprised if John Tavares does the same!!!

Mike Flannery's picture

Sorry Erol, I disagree big time. I agree with Rob here, Garth has stayed true to his long term plan of player development. Draft class of 2008 has to be one of the best ever in the NHL and their value is just now starting to show. Islanders fans should be more concerned with building the ark than searching for the elusive unicorn. Build them a field, they will come.

Erol Bal's picture

Mike I wont disagree with you on Garth's plan on re-stocking the shelves but sometimes you need to read the label and see the expiration date on some of those prospects. I am not of the mind set that if you build it they will come. I believe if YOU BEAT THEM, they will come. I understand Wang is losing money but during the Yashin/Peca years Nassau Coliseum was thriving again. People were coming to games and attendance increased!

If Wang truly committed to the team years ago and kept them competitive and had the Isles go deeper in the playoffs the August 1st vote would of been entirely different.

What is Garth's plan? To have our current youth develop poorly into veterans to lead the charge for future youth?? You dont win with prospect depth alone!!

His goal is to make the playoffs... Everyone elses is to win the stanley cup! Big Free Agents wont sign here, So you trade for them!! You build around John Tavares and Travis Hamonic. THOSE ARE YOUR 2 STUDS!!!


You make trades for Top Tier or Mid Top Tier talent who are signed long term. (at least 2-3-4 years with a reasonable contract)

You then go Free Agent hunting and players will start to notice that small team out in Long Island is looking good. Instead its Top 5 draft picks and lets dumpster dive in the waiver pool and sign guys who are running on empty.

I am not hating on this team, I want to be proven wrong but I am sorry I have see this one trick poney before and I am not buying it. Next year dont be shocked if our line up includes the likes of

- Jason Blake
- Jamie Lagenbrunner
- Steve Sullivan
- Trent Hunter

and our major defense acquisitions are Sami Salo an possibly Adrian Aucoin

In the voice of the great Mark Streit