Can New York Islanders Compete in 2012-13
The New York Islanders have had an incredibly quiet offseason. The biggest free agency story for the Isles was P.A. Parenteau leaving for Colorado. While speculation abounds as to a resolution for the Nassau Coliseum situation, the Islanders team website is keeping spirits up with video footage of an ice girl working out. Rick DiPietro has resumed hockey-related activities while leading an instructional camp; I assume DiPietro remembers hockey fondly from his days a promising, healthy goaltender.
A quiet offseason isnít necessarily a bad thing. The New York Islanders have young prospects that developed last year. Additionally, Evgeni Nabokov emerged as a solid goaltending option in a position where New York suddenly has depth and skill. The Islanders were good for a few upsets last year, but can they string it together and truly contend in 2012-13?
P.A. Parenteau signed a four-year deal worth a total of 16 million dollars as he left the Islanders in favor of the Colorado Avalanche as a free agent. The New York Islanders made a prudent decision by avoiding a ridiculous contract offer for the 29-year-old winger, but he was one of the more talented offensive players on the Isles last year. Parenteau was one of three Islanders that produced at a high level. Parenteauís 67 points were third on the Islanders behind John Tavaresí 81 and Matt Moulsonís 69 points. 24-year-old right wings Kyle Okposo and Michael Grabner appear ready to assume a bigger role on the wing for the New York Islanders this year.
If Okposo and Grabner have big seasons on the top lines and John Tavares continues to exceed expectations, offense wonít be a major issue for the Islanders. Goaltending appears deep with Evgeni Nabokov returning and Rick DiPietro competing for minutes. Even Anders Nilsson performed exceptionally well in limited action. If Nabokov can repeat his incredible season last year, the New York Islanders will be in games, surprisingly enough, because of their goaltending depth.