Had a brief chat with Isles GM Garth Snow earlier Wednesday, covering a few topics of interest. Here are some takeaways from that conversation:
-- Snow and Steve Bartlett, the agent for Thomas Vanek, have had some dialogue over the past few weeks and that should pick up in the next couple of weeks. Snow and the Islanders need to know in fairly short order if Vanek is willing to sign long-term. If not, it’s obvious (though Snow didn’t expressly say) that Snow would begin fielding offers for Vanek in earnest, with the March 5 trade deadline on the horizon.
-- There have been no talks with the agent for Andrew MacDonald, Peter Cooney, of late. MacDonald is believed to be seeking a deal in the range of $5 million a year. The fact that there are no discussions between the two sides should tell you what Snow and the Islanders think of that contract request.
-- Travis Hamonic (concussion) is still experiencing symptoms, so he is out indefinitely. Snow did not say, but I believe he has yet to explore in any serious way the trade market for MacDonald, considering Hamonic’s indefinite absence and Lubomir Visnovsky’s still-awaited return. A lot of ifs in there right now.
-- Evgeni Nabokov (quad) will start facing pucks Thursday morning, so I would guess he won’t be activated off injured reserve until after Saturday’s game with the Blues. Kevin Poulin will certainly get the start against the Penguins and most likely against the Blues as well.