The other major one is the case of PA Parenteau, who is having a career year with 11 goals and 37 assists and is making the relatively low sum of $1.25 million this season.
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Parenteau will be looking to at least triple this year's salary, although he turns 29 in March. General manager Garth Snow has had very preliminary talks with Allan Walsh, Parenteau's agent.
"This contract is going to be my only big one left," Parenteau told Newsday recently. "I want to make sure I'll be paid at my value. Having said that, I love it here and I've said all along I'd love to stay here."
Given the distance between the two sides and the trading deadline 15 days away, there's also the chance Snow could shop Parenteau around to a contender in need of some scoring before the Feb. 27 deadline. But the Isles need Parenteau's scoring in order to be a factor in the playoff race down the stretch, so a move seems unlikely unless the Islanders hit the skids.
Parenteau bounced between three organizations (Ducks, Blackhawks, Rangers) before Snow plucked Parenteau out of the bargain bin and the winger scored 20 goals and 53 points on John Tavares' right side last season. His numbers are good this season, although he has played the bulk of his time away from Tavares.
"I've never been in this good a [negotiating] position, so it's tough to think about," he said. "It's in the back of my mind a little bit, but we still have some games to win here and that's what I care about."
Nielsen's contract was finalized a few minutes before the start of Tuesday's game in Philadelphia, but word got to him regardless in this technology age.
Flyers center Scott Hartnell, a players' association rep, got a group e-mail announcing Nielsen's deal and the numbers. The two faced off against one another early in Tuesday's game and Hartnell played journalist by breaking the news to Nielsen.
"He goes, 'Why aren't you smiling? You should be smiling,' " Nielsen said. "I asked why and he said he saw the e-mail and told me it was done. Kind of strange, but it's good news, you know, so I didn't mind hearing it from him."
Kenny Jonsson's induction into the Islanders Hall of Fame Saturday may have struck some as curious, even though Jonsson's quiet Islanders career spanned nine seasons and a captaincy and he's representing an era (the 2000s) that didn't feature much success.
There are still some Isles greats missing from their Hall, with a couple of obvious candidates still not in due to disputes with the organization. Here's five who should be in:
1. JOHN TONELLI
Regardless of the unnamed issues between player and team, he's a dynasty cornerstone.
2. PAT LAFONTAINE
Broke with the organization after the Neil Smith fiasco, but like Tonelli, belongs whether he's happy with the Islanders or not.
3. BRENT SUTTER
He and feisty brother Duane are among the toughest, best Islanders of all time.
4. DEREK KING
A decade of tenure during the slow slide (1986-1997), he's earned his place in the rafters.
5. MICK VUKOTA
Why not have a popular tough guy in the Hall to protect all those talents?