All is quiet in contract talks between the Islanders and Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, and Matt Martin.
Newsday's Art Staple tweeted that nothing has changed in negotiations between Nielsen and the team. Nielsen has expressed a desire to stay and had preliminary talks with the club, but they have not progressed past that stage.
Staple also added the Isles have not had further talks with Okposo and Martin either. Staple speculated earlier this month that Okposo and Martin will likely leave the club when free agency opens.
The longer this goes, the more I see all three walking away in free agency. It's a shame, especially because of how badly Nielsen wants to remain an Islander. I wish they'd find a way to keep Frans. He's one of the best two-way centers in the game, and he does all the little things well. When he's healthy and skating, he's a real driving force for this team. But the Islanders aren't the only team that need a player like that, and I just think Nielsen will easily find a more lucrative deal that will be too tempting to pass up. It seems like Garth Snow is resigned to that possibility as well.
With three of the main pieces of the rebuild readying to cash in their free agency, I think Islanders fans should start wrapping their head around the fact that the supporting cast for John Tavares is going to look quite different when training camp opens. But if the Isles let all three of these players walk and don't make any significant splash to reload, then it's going to be a very antsy fan base. Garth's plan better be good, because as it stands right now, there's a lot of production set to walk out the door.