With the list of potential UFA targets narrowing by the day, the Islanders could be faced with another problem approaching this year's free agency period, which begins Friday.
Will this trend of front-loaded contracts be a problem for the Islanders come July 1?
Recent deals have shown players leaning toward front-loaded contracts (see Capitals' Brooks Laich and Flyers' Ilya Bryzgalov) to hedge against a potential rollback or lockout in 2012-13.
Why is this an issue for the Islanders?
The team's two most recent--and substantial--deals have been structured just the opposite.
Both Michael Grabner ($1M, $2M, $3M, $4M, $5M) and Kyle Okposo's ($1M, $2M, $3M, $3.5, $4.5) respective five-year deal have been heavily back-loaded; both were structured as such upon the Islanders' request and the player agents' acquiesced.
Speaking to a few agents at this weekend's draft I found a range of opinions on the topic. Some thought those deals to be downright ridiculous, others simply said that is not how they'd choose to structure a contract.
Will this be a factor in the Islanders' already well-documented difficulty in free agency?
We'll see Friday. And beyond...