I still think this is a bad dream that we're all going to wake up from soon... the Islanders are apparently in talks with Alexei Yashin about returning to the scene of the league's biggest buyout. But his agent is also quick to point out that they're still talking to KHL teams as well so this might just be a negotiating ploy and we'll believe that he's returning when he actually signs. So let's not get too ahead of ourselves but Jonathan Willis has started to speculate what Yashin's production might look like and throws the number 40 out there as something one might expect... that sounds reasonable for a guy who has been out of the NHL for four years, will turn 38 in November and would be suting up for the Islanders.
Reports say that Ryan Malone will be out 4-6 months following shoulder surgery. If that's true then it leaves a pretty big hole on Tampa's left side for a top 6 winger. They already let Simon Gagne go without a replacement so there's an opportunity for someone to step up and take on a major role but I don't see any obvious candidates. They did sign Ryan Shannon to a one-way deal and he has some skills but his NHL production has never really impressed. This will be an interesting situation to monitor once training camp starts up.
The Habs re-signed dman Josh Gorges to a one-year deal... he's not really of any fantasy interest unless you need a blocked shot specialist as he was amongst the league leaders during his last two healthy seasons. This sets Montreal up with a top five of Markov, Gorges, Subban, Spacek & Gill and leaves Yannick Weber & likely Alexei Yemelin to scrap it out for the remaining minutes. I like Weber long-term as he has quite a bit offensive skill but for this season he's going to need some injuries to occur to that top five group (which looks inevitable) before he sees meaningful minutes.
Evgeni Nabokov's agent continues to state that his client will play in the NHL this year on the contract that he signed last season with Detroit. He says he'll report to Islanders camp but we'll see if he's willing to play there or if he just waits it out until they move him. There doesn't appear to be any obvious fits as most teams seem set in net but that can change quickly once September rolls around and injuries sprout up. He'll really need to bounce back after last season where he looked terrible with a .888 sv% in the KHL and then a .880 sv% at the WCs.
More from Jonathan Willis as he looks at downfall of J.P. Dumont last season and thinks he'd be a decent addition for a team in need of some scoring. I'm in agreement here as while Dumont's skills may have eroded a little I don't think he's a sub-20 point player at this point of his career (he's only 33), so I can see him having a comeback season if he's given a chance to play a little more.