Despite the fact the New York Islanders are hovering near a playoff spot, fans and analysts have continually pointed at the club as a potential seller near the trade deadline. Mark Streit (pictured above), Lubomir Visnovsky and Evgeni Nabokov (pictured above) are names that have surfaced as potential players that might be dealt to a contender looking for an additional veteran with an expiring contract.
Not so fast. According to Newsday, the Islanders are talking – or are preparing to talk – to Streit, Visnovsky and Nabokov about new contracts.
The three men mentioned above are all ideal trade candidates. Streit, 35, is in the final year of a five-year, $20.5 million contract. Visnovsky, 36, is in the final year of a five-year, $28 million contract. Nabokov, 37, is completing a one-year, $2.75 million contract. All three have veteran experience and could serve as a rental player at the deadline for a team looking to add a complementary piece.
Instead, the Islanders are looking to lock up their veterans now that they have a team that's close to being a playoff contender. Newsday reports that the team and Streit are already talking, though talks have been progressing slowly. The current Islanders captain has stated numerous times that he desires to stay with the Isles, especially now that their goal of making the playoffs is within reach.
The Isles are also interested in retaining Nabokov, the man that has appeared between the pipes in 24 of the team's 28 games in 2013. Considering the Islanders have both Rick DiPietro and Tim Thomas on the payroll yet not on the NHL roster, the team evidently feels the need to have at least one reliable (more or less) option in net.
As for Visnovsky, the Islanders attempting to sign the defenseman to a new deal is an interesting one. If you recall, Visnovsky refused to report to the team when the lockout ended. He has since played and performed fairly well, owning one of the best plus/minus ratings (Even) on the team. Newsday reports he's willing to listen to any offers made his way, but it's unclear if the veteran D-man wants to stay with the Islanders.
The Islanders may still be an active team near the April 3rd trade deadline, but it appears you can tentatively scratch three veterans off the list of assets that might be moved.