It has been a pathetically slow reaction time here at Former Islander Watch as we have been snoozing in these dog days of summer. Here are the recaps, signings and FI happenings for roughly the last month (i.e. July 18-August 18). Will the hockey season ever start? By the way, Santa Barbara is a beautiful city... so much more so than San Jose. However, at least San Jose has a successful hockey club with many Conference and Stanley Cup championships to their credit... oh wait. Here is the not so new news:
Stud defenseman Denis Grebeshkov got a big raise from the Edmonton Oilers on July 21 garnering a 1 year, $3.15 million deal - a compromise result that had both sides avoid the arbitration table for the 26 year old Restricted Free Agent. Talks had broken down on a longer term deal late last season and this was the stopgap measure put in place. Greb earned $1.5 million last season, a career year with 7 goals and 32 assists for 39 points on 72 games.
2008-09 1A/1B goalie for the Isles, Joey MacDonald, inked a deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs on August 10. Terms of the deal have yet to be released but the deal is probably a two-way signing since the Leafs currently appear to have two one-way goalies. Mac played in 49 games (46 starts) last season for the Isles recording a 14-26-6 record with a 3.37 goals against average, a .901 save percentage and 1 shutout. In 66 career games between the Isles and Detroit Red Wings MacDonald in 17-34-9 with a 3.31 goals against average, a .900 save percentage and 1 goose egg. The Halifax, Nova Scotia native, MacDonald joins his first Canadian squad.
Finally, winger Todd Bertuzzi inked a 1 year, $1.5 million dollar deal with a former team, the Red Wings on August 18. After spending a month and a half on the free agent list Bert was finally picked up for next season albeit at decreasingly declining contract amounts ($1.95 million last season with Calgary). Bert had 44 points (15 goals, 29 assists) on 66 games last season with the Flames and came out storming but cooled off considerably in the last 2/3rds of the season. Originally drafted in the 1st Round, 23rd overall by the Isles in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft Bertuzzi has 624 points (255 goals, 369 assists) on 859 career games. Bert has played for the Isles, Canucks, Wings, Panthers, Ducks and Flames.
Check back soon with FIW for more updates and news.