When it comes to the New York Islanders and their pending unrestricted free agents, the writing appears on the wall for forward Kyle Okposo.
For some time now, it has looked like his time with the Islanders is at an end, and he’ll head to the open market.
However, when it comes to Frans Nielsen, the 32-year-old forward and another pending UFA, there appears to be optimism for the Islanders, with July 1 approaching.
“We’re just in a situation with the salary cap that you really have to analyze where you are today and where you’re going to be in five years from now. So there’s always tough decisions,” Snow said. “Kyle’s a great person. He’s been a terrific player for this organization. Wish him nothing but the best.”
Snow was not asked about Matt Martin or Frans Nielsen, but sources indicated that Snow and Marc Levine, Nielsen’s agent, have been in contact on a long-term deal in recent days.
Martin, like Okposo, appears headed for a new team once free agency begins on July 1.
Nielsen, at the end of a four-year, $11 million contract, finished third on the Islanders in points with 52 in 81 games during the regular season, behind John Tavares and Okposo. He also scored 20 goals, fourth on the team in that category.
In addition to solid production, Nielsen was also relied on for special teams, averaging 1:59 of ice time per game on the penalty kill and 2:43 of ice time per game on the power play.
(The Islanders had the fourth best PK in the league during the regular season, but the 17th-ranked power play.)
There could also be something else in the works for the Islanders.
Citing anonymous sources, Arthur Staple of Newsday also reported that the Islanders GM would be willing to part with the 19th overall pick in next week’s draft as part of a package to land an “established NHL forward.”
Two developments worth keeping an eye on in the coming days.