UPDATE: Isles' fourth deal of the day is....Tampa Bay tough guy Zenon Konopka...fourth line center who can mix it up and frustrate opponents...led the league with 265 penalty minutes in the 2009-10 regular season
UPDATE: Defenseman Milan Jurcina (1 yr/$1 mil) and former Ranger winger P.A. Parenteau (1 yr/$600k) have both signed deals with the Islanders.
Jurcina, who bounced around last year between Washington and Columbus, finished the season with 1 goal and 6 assists and was limited to only 44 games with a sports hernia injury. The 27-year-old Slovak (6-4, 236) played for Islanders head coach Scott Gordon from 2003-06 while both were with the AHL's Providence Bruins.
Gordon described him as a "huge kid" "He's all muscle. After losing [Andy Sutton] last year, we didn't have that size. For a big guy, he skates well, covers a lot of ice, has a big shot and can help out on the penalty kill."
"Milan was used at times in a shutdown role with Tom Poti [in Washington]," Gordon said. "He can play against some of the better players in the league and he's strong."
"I know Garth had a busy day yesterday, and to not come away with some of those guys was frustrating, but to get what we got today takes a load off our minds. It gives our defense more depth and experience."
Parenteau, 26, a skilled winger with good hockey sense and vision, was an AHL standout (20 goals and 25 assists in 35 games with Hartford in 2009-10) but could never quite stick with the Rangers. However, when up with the big club this season he played well, finishing with three goals and five assists in 22 games and establishing himself as a shootout specialist.
UPDATE: Have just been told that Islanders are closing in on two more deals as I type
UPDATE: Defenseman Mark Eaton to Islanders, 2-year deal worth $5 million...done. The 33-year-old defenseman had 3 goals and 13 assists in 79 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.
UPDATE: Another Long Island guy is off the table for the Islanders as Chris Higgins signs a one-year deal with Florida.
Not doing so hot in my predictions...sigh...
Although, Andy Sutton is still out there...
***The first day of free agency has come and gone, and after failing to land a top defenseman yesterday, GM Garth Snow and his staff will go back to the drawing board.
Although the top five blue-liners--Gonchar, Michalek, Martin, Hamhuis, and Volchenkov-- went quickly, there are still some quality guys out there.
Among the short list of players the Isles may still be interested in? Andy Sutton, Willie Mitchell, Joe Corvo, etc.
Make no mistake about it, Sutton is definitely still a possibility for the Islanders to bring back. The hard-hitting defenseman provides size in the Isles' back end and leadership in the room. Plus, he has expressed interest in returning to his former team.
Another UFA defenseman I wouldn't be surprised to see the Isles bring back is Freddy Meyer. Meyer is a gritty, hard-working guy that plays much bigger than his size. He could definitely return to the team as a depth defenseman.
***Sorry to all of those hoping for a second-generation "Mr. Islander." Eric Nystrom signed a three-year deal worth $4.2 million with Minnesota. He's a guy that fits the teams' needs, but $1.4 million per year was ultimately higher than Snow was willing to pay.
***Also, for anyone interested, Bridgeport winger Jeremy Reich signed with Boston last night.