With the Stanley Cup Finals beginning this evening, I decided to get back into hockey mode after a brief hiatus. As you all undoubtedly know, though they battled admirably, the Islanders fell short of this year's Finals.
The "good" news, however, is that the team that sent them packing, the Pittsburgh Penguins, also failed in their quest for hockey's ultimate prize.
The news came out today that the Islanders, fresh off their best season in six years, had traded impending unrestricted free agent Mark Streit.
The move basically concedes that at age 35, coming off a five year contract, Streit's salary demands were going to be too unpalatable for Islanders General Manager Garth Snow.
It is with some sadness and a hefty amount of respect and appreciation that I bid the former Isles captain farewell, and thank him for his years of service. He was always a gentleman in the locker room even after very tough losses and always willing to talk to the media.
Rather than lose him to free agency for nothing in return, Philadelphia agreed to trade for the Swiss defenseman, sending Shane Harper and a 2014 fourth round draft pick to New York.
For the Islanders, it means the end of an era but the beginning of a new one, as nearly everyone expects that John Tavares will be named the 14th captain in franchise history.
With this move Garth Snow has clearly try to start the summer off right, and you can start your summer off right as well by joining the Isles at their annual draft party at Nassau Coliseum.
All seven rounds of the entry draft will take place on Sunday, June 30th, in New Jersey. If you aren't crossing the Hudson River to be there live, why not cross Hempstead Turnpike and get into the air conditioning, as the Isles continue to add to their young core?
If you can't do that either, rest assured that I'll have all the picks as they are selected right on this page.
I wish you all a good summer and will have news/free agent signings if and when they happen.
Congratulations to those of you who have recently graduated, and I look forward to sharing another season of Islanders hockey with you in September! Have a great summer!
As always, thanks for reading!