Goaltender Anders Nilsson has played in 23 career games with the New York Islanders since he came to North America in 2011, but the 24-year-old has gotten significantly more work in the minors.
He’s scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer and would like to ink a one-year contract after posting a 3.11 GAA and .896 save percentage in 19 games this season. The Islanders aren’t willing to meet that demand, so he will probably sign with a Swedish or KHL club, according to Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
Nilsson reportedly tipped his hand to the Swedish newspaper Expressen.
“I have done for three years in the AHL and I do not think it would be good for my development to play a fourth year in the AHL,” Nilsson said, per Google translate. “That’s what I’ve said to them, since we have not started to go into contract negotiations.”
If this report is true, it would make the Islanders’ goaltending situation is a little more uncertain. The Islanders starting goalie, Evgeni Nabokov, is also scheduled to become a free agent. The 38-year-old netminder had a 2.74 GAA and .905 save percentage in 40 games in 2013-14.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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