- Ryan Strome has been selected to play in the 2012 Russia-Canada Challenge in August. The tournament takes place over six days (Aug. 9-14) in Yaroslavl, Russia and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Strome will join ranks with fellow prospects and players eligible for this year’s draft on Friday and Saturday, including Ryan Murray, Matt Dumba, and Malcolm Subban. It should be an exciting tournament to follow.
- Rhett Rakhshani has opted to play in Sweden next season. The now 24-year-old forward is joining Jesse Joensuu’s former club, HV71 Jonkoping, though it’s noted in the article linked that he does want to eventually return to the NHL. Rakhshani has potential, but he hasn’t been given a ton of chances to break out within this organization (though he’s been a point-per-game player with Bridgeport in the AHL). I wish him better luck with HV71 — who knows? This could be what he needs to cross back over stateside in the future. (BD Gallof says the move is more about money than chances… who knows.)
- I’m reading on Twitter via Arthur Staple from Newsday and BD Gallof that longtime goalie consultant Sudsie Maharaj is parting ways with the Islanders. It seems to be solely the result of organizational changes. No word on a replacement (though I believe Mike Dunham is still with the team as a goalie coach).
- Also on Twitter, I had a LONG talk with three fellow Isles fans regarding PA Parenteau. To wrap up that whole unexpected saga, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Isles are making a mistake not offering PA more money, as A. they need him to fill a much-needed role on the top line and B. they’re not doing themselves any favors with other FAs by low-balling him, not to mention the pending RFAs already on their roster. Is he worth, say, $6 million? Hardly, but the Isles have more than enough cap space to draw the line at $4M. But what’s done is done, I guess. More on FA as July 1 nears.
- Check out the Islanders’ piece on Garth Snow’s Q and A with season-ticket holders last week, in which he effuses, “In my mind, everyone in this room is a part owner.” I don’t know about that, Garth, but it’s a nice thing to say nonetheless. Now, let’s see what you put together on the ice for this season.
I’ll start this post by saying congratulations to the Shawinigan Cataractes on winning the Memorial Cup on Sunday night against the London Knights in OT. Kirill Kabanov, an Isles prospect, is on the Cataractes’ roster; he posted five points (1 G, 5 A) in six games.
In actual Isles news, John Persson has agreed to terms on an entry-level contract with the squad. The Swedish winger was drafted by the Isles 125th overall in 2011, and has posted 130 points in 200 games over three seasons with the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL (63 G, 67 A). He also debuted with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this season and posted eight points (4 G, 4 A) in 12 regular-season games (no points in two playoff games). Persson has also played on the international stage for his native Sweden. At 6’2, 212 pounds, Persson is a sizable forward and (according to Eliteprospects.com) is willing to do the dirty work in order to score. (Fun fact: He has three brothers, all with “J” names — Jonathan, Johnas and Johan — who play in Sweden.)