The New York Islanders suffered a serious blow over the weekend, losing star defenseman Mark Streit for up to six months to a shoulder injury sustained during a scrimmage.
Almost as soon as the news was reported on Streit’s injury speculation began linking the Islanders to Edmonton Oilers blueliner Sheldon Souray or New York Rangers defenseman Wade Redden.
Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank quickly dismissed that talk, pointing out the salaries of Souray ($5.4 million) and Redden ($6.5 million) were too costly for the Isles to absorb.
It appears for now Islanders management will evaluate their young defensemen in hopes one might earn a roster spot, though none are capable of replacing Streit’s skills, production and leadership. The team did however add veteran depth by signing former Devil Mike Mottau to a two-year, $1.6 million contract.
If the Isles do opt to go the trade route, they’ll likely look for more affordable options and if they’re interested, power play specialist Marc-Andre Bergeron - who netted 34 points in 60 games with the Canadiens last season - is still available.
The news got worse for the Islanders later in the week as promising young power forward Kyle Okposo was also sidelined by a shoulder injury, though he’s expected back by December. Currently there’s been nothing to suggest the Islanders will look for a veteran replacement.
AVALANCHE TALKING TO DEVILS?
The Colorado Avalanche continue to explore their roster options for replacing left winger Peter Mueller, who’s out indefinitely with a concussion. These options include promoting David Jones, Brandon Yip or rookie Ryan Stoa to Mueller’s spot.
It has also been reported Avalanche management may consider a trade and target the New Jersey Devils, who need to dump at least $3 million from the payroll to get below the $59.4 million salary cap before their season opens next week.
The Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti reported earlier this week that a source said the Avs might be interested in right winger Jamie Langenbrunner if the Devils are willing to move him.
Langenbrunner, however, holds a no-trade clause, so he’d have to be willing to waive it for a deal to happen. He’s previously acknowledged he is a potential trade candidate, but has expressed his wish to remain with the Devils.
Another Devils forward mentioned as a trade candidate is gritty forward David Clarkson, who recently re-signed with New Jersey.
Like Langenbrunner, Clarkson acknowledged the speculation, but while he claims he’s not losing sleep over it he understands it’s something he has no control over. He also expressed his wish to stay put.
It’s believed GM Lou Lamoriello doesn’t want to part with players like Langenbrunner or Clarkson, preferring instead to shop center Dainius Zubrus, who lacks a no-movement clause, but whose $3.4 million per season salary is likely too rich for the Avalanche to take on.
FEELING WILD ABOUT THEODORE
Agent Don Meehan confirmed earlier this week he’d spoken with Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher regarding client Jose Theodore.
Fletcher is considering his options after losing backup goalie Josh Harding to a potentially season-ending knee injury and Meehan informed the Wild GM Theodore would be interested in playing for Minnesota.
Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune suggested Theodore would have to accept a salary of around $1 million to come to Minnesota. That’s well below the $4.5 million he earned last season, but at this point beggars can’t be choosers.
Fletcher, however, will consider other options first as he’s confirmed he’s received phone calls from several GMs offering up second- or third-string goaltenders.
San Jose’s Thomas Greiss and Edmonton’s Jeff Deslauriers or Devan Dubnyk may have been put on the table by their GMs as the Sharks and Oilers have an excess of netminders.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.