Only a few hours remain until draft and I am having difficulty containing my excitement. I didn't sleep much last night but that isn't much of a big deal. I was reading some of the blogs on here, and Eklund who is the one who updates regularly on rumors regarding FA's, UFA's, and possible trades said in his post late last night to keep a VERY close eye on garth snow and the Islanders. Reason being was he anticipates the Isles to open the checkbook to some players, preferably a sniper. 2 name he mentioned were Alexander Frolov of the LA Kings who is due to become a UFA come July 1st, and Brad Richards of the Dallas Stars.
Now these names caught me by surprise most especially Brad Richards since he was the best player on the stars this past season and I would expect them to build around him now that it looks like Modano won't be back in Dallas whether he decides to play one more year or retire. And Richards is still under contract as well since I didn't see him ranked in the top 50 UFA's while I saw Frolov ranked as the 12th best UFA according to Sam McCaig of yahoo sports. So now this leaves us with Frolov, who is not going to be back in LA that is a given. He is expected to hit the market on July 1st and he has gotten interest from a few NHL teams, and as well as the KHL. The Kings can trade his rights on draft day, as we have seen teams do this before with impending UFA's. But even if the Isles take a chance by getting his rights, and give a big package to LA it won't guarantee Frolov would accept a contract from the Islanders. Knowing he would make the Isles over pay him just so he wouldn't test the market. So the chance of him coming to LI is unlikely.
Now don't get me wrong, if we could acquire either one of these talented players without giving away a kings ransom (no pun intended) then I'd be all for it. But garth has maintained that he would stick with youth and build this team from the draft. However we need to sign a free agent who is young and and isn't a hand me down player like the front office has done in recent years. It's like putting a band aide over a serious cut that needs stitches. I'm still hoping we add size and defense by drafting Erik Gudbranson if he is still on the board at #5. This team still needs a lot in both areas, but why not make that big step forward starting today garth. If you feel that this team as it currently is can make the playoffs, then you need a serious reality check sir. We need a strong draft and a good free agent or 2 to move things forward. Enjoy the draft everyone. Let's hope we get the player that we actually want.