The Islanders have all sorts of cap space, and in fact need to spend money to get to the cap floor. And they have a bunch of good young players who could eventually be a core of a terrific team if they could plug holes with elite free agents.
GM Garth Snow is now saying they’re in it for Ilya Kovalchuk. Maybe they are one of the few, if not only, teams who could afford Kovalchuk’s $10M-per asking price. But could anybody imagine Kovalchuk leaving Atlanta to go there?
There was a story written by my buddy Arthur Staple in Newsday today about how bad the Nassau Coliseum is for attracting potential free agents.
In it he says that the Islanders offered both Paul Martin and Dan Hamhuis more money than Martin got from Pittsburgh (five years, $25M) and Hamhuis got from the Canucks (six years, $27M). Martin reportedly asked Snow about Nassau Coliseum, and the Lighthouse project, which is still just a proposal.
“Garth was honest with him,” Ben Hankinson, Martin’s agent, told Newsday. “Garth said the team was there for five more years. And I could just see it in Paul’s face . . . That building is going to be a huge hurdle for Garth to overcome with free agents like Paul.”