DENVER - Jarome Iginla signed with the Avalanche on July 1, but he had time to consider a better offer from the Islanders, who had a four-year, $22-million contract on the table for him. He took three years, $16 million and a bit more peace of mind for his family in Colorado.
"I talked to a few guys who said how much they liked living on Long Island. It had a lot of appeal," he said. "It's a little bit slower pace out here. My family loved Boston, but we definitely don't mind that it's slower out here when it was time to make a change. You think [free agency] is going to be so exciting, but it can be tough to make these choices."
Aside from family concerns, Iginla knew there was lots to like about the Islanders. "We have a good young core here [with the Avs], but so do they," he said. "[John] Tavares, [Kyle] Okposo and now they have [Johnny] Boychuk, and he's a much better player than people give him credit for . . . There's so much that goes into a decision like that."
Kulemin: It was a clean hit
Nikolay Kulemin escaped further punishment from the NHL for his boarding major and game misconduct early in the second period Tuesday, but that was more than enough for him.
"I didn't do anything bad. I think it's a clean hit," Kulemin said of the hit that sent the Jets' Mark Stuart flying into the side boards. "I don't try to hurt people, I think everyone knows. I don't think it's even a penalty and it was bad for the team."
The Islanders gave up two goals during the five-minute power play in their 4-3 loss.
Hamonic getting closer
Travis Hamonic (upper body) skated Thursday morning and Jack Capuano pronounced the defenseman "real close" to playing Thursday night. He likely will return Saturday in San Jose. Josh Bailey (broken hand) also skated but is further away from returning. Capuano said there's a chance Bailey will play before the five-game trip ends.
Halak's even-strength save percentage is .906, which is worse than all but three goaltenders who have started at least six games. But he's in elite company: Tampa's Ben Bishop (.908), the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist (.907) and Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky (.907) are also on the low end of that stat.