The Fighter: New York Islanders Edition
While I imagine anyone who is reading this has already been over to Islanders Point Blank and saw this post by Chris Botta saying that it looks as though the New York Islanders will be bringing back Trevor Gillies and Michael Hayley but not Zenon Konopka.
At first I was pretty outraged about this, because I had just done Konopka’s player review and figured a guy who was a fan favorite and didn’t miss a game would be a surefire fourth liner for the Isles. But then the more I thought about it the more it made sense.
Konopka really didn’t bring much to the table besides his sticking up for teammates. He was a solid faceoff guy but I dont think I really want him on the ice when the game is on the line. I think a player like Michael Hayley can do the same exact thing, and potentially put the puck in the net too.
What I think this all comes down to is flexibility. If the Islanders can sign both Hayley and Gillies to two-way contracts, then this gives them a chance to move players around as they see fit. With Konopka they would have been forced to keep him at the NHL level or risk losing him.
In all honesty these signing will be some of the least important decisions the Islanders make this off-season, as no one is expecting big things or big minutes out of any of them. They are all pretty good fighters and do what they are put on the ice to do very well.