Garth Snow went into this offseason with the right state of mind; fill the defensive holes and bolster the offense. After solidifying the starting goaltender spot at the end of May, the Islanders would sign goaltender Chad Johnson from the Boston Bruins to a two-year contract. Johnson, 28, played 27 games for the Boston Bruins last year putting up a record of 17-4-3. He was 6th in the National Hockey League for both goals against (2.10) and save percentage (0.925). Johnson will look to hold down the back up goaltending spot behind Jaroslav Halak for the upcoming season.
The New York Islanders then acquired T.J. Brennan from the Toronto Maple Leafs under a one-year contract. Brennan, 25, played with the Leaf’s organization last year, but in the American Hockey League with the Toronto Marlies. The 25-year old defenseman won the Eddie Shore Award for his 25 goal, 72 point, league leading defense last season.
To close out day one of free agency, the Islanders would sign Cory Conacher from the Buffalo Sabres to a one-year NHL contract, adding to their offensive depth. Conacher, 24, scored 26 points (7 goals and 19 assists) between the Sabres and the Ottawa Senators during the 2013-2014 season. He also played for the Tampa Bay lighting and has an NHL total of 55 points (18 goals, 37 assists) in 126 career games. At the end of the 2011-2012 season when Conacher played for the Norfolk Admirals, he was awarded the Les Cunningham Award as the league’s Most Valuable Player and was also awarded the AHL’s Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award for rookie of the year. During that same year Conacher helped the Admirals to their first Calder Cup win.
The Islanders are moving in the right direction if they want to make a successful run for their final year in the Nassau Coliseum. If Garth Snow keeps filling the necessary holes and adding to the depth they already have in the forward position, they could possibly become contenders in the Metropolitan Division.