Mike Comrie

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Part three in a seven-part review takes a look at the teams that failed to reach the postseason and what kind of impact each of them will have on your keeper-league squad. This week, we take a look at NY Islanders and Tampa Bay.

 




New York Islanders
Possibly on the way out…
It’s doubtful that the likes of Sean Bergenheim, Bruno Gervais or Jeff Tambellini will get offer sheets, the possibility exists for the pending restricted free agents. Bryan Berard, Wade Dubielewicz, Ruslan Fedotenko, Miroslav Satan and Josef Vasicek are all UFA’s and only Fedotenko and Vasicek (and possibly Dubielewicz) will be considered for new contracts.

The team will be looking to add…
A little bit of everything. Mike Comrie is the perfect No.2 center but is out of his element on the top line. Then again – what top line? The Isles need a first line period. Kyle Okposo will get there in a year or two and for now coach Ted Nolan may have no choice but give him and Comrie the minutes. They also need a power-play quarterback that Nolan actually likes – Berard was scratched all too often and even Chris Campoli, who had a hot start prior to getting injured, didn’t get the minutes he deserved. Last but not least, the team needs a backup goalie. Rick DiPietro gets hurt every season – usually at the end of it – and they will need a capable backup for the stretch run.

General fantasy outlook…
Once again, stay away from this team. No player reached 50 points last season, although Comrie was on a 70-point pace in the first half before hitting a wall. It’s safe to say no player will reach 65 this season, but to even get that far they will need to make some big moves in the summer. Nolan and DiPietro will keep the team in playoff contention, but the Islanders are still two or three years away from finishing their rebuilding plan.


Tampa Bay Lightning
Possibly on the way out…
Chris Gratton will be an unrestricted free agent, but the Lightning will try to re-sign him. The rest of the UFA’s are fringe players of no fantasy interest. Alex Picard and Ryan Craig will garner little offer-sheet interest as RFA’s. Tampa Bay did most of their housecleaning already.

The team will be looking to add…
The Lighting will definitely be looking to add a top-six forward. With Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Jussi Jokinen, TB will probably try Michel Ouellet as the fifth forward and the sixth man will be found on the UFA market. The likes of a Brendan Morrison or a Radim Vrbata – that kind of caliber. They love Picard and were impressed with Matt Smaby so if they bring in a veteran rearguard it will probably be a No.4 or No.5.

General fantasy outlook…
If Mike Smith can be a Top 12 NHL goaltender, and if Stamkos can make a Patrick Kane kind of impact, and if their UFA forward that they bring in meshes well, then they could get back in contention to make the playoffs. Lots of ifs, but if the Flyers can do it…

Regardless, the team will score goals and that is what poolies are interested in. Lecavalier and St.Louis will tally their usual 95 points and Stamkos could very well debut with 70. Jokinen, freed from the defensive shackles in Dallas, could be a 65-point player. Dan Boyle and Picard could earn 60 and 45 points respectively.

 


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