This is already old news, but hey it is a holiday weekend after all. Islanders free agent defenseman Joel Bouchard had not been offered a contract by the team and has agreed to a conditional contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Bouchard missed the entire 06/07 season with the Islanders after tearing a hamstring in training camp. He had a solid season with the team the year prior; despite playing on an injured ankle. Obviously Garth felt that there was no longer room for Bouchard on the team – maybe due in part to a log jam at the position. I felt that Bouchard was a very solid defensive defenseman; unfortunately he had a bit of an injury bug. It is unfortunate that we had no room for a player like him, but the team has moved in a different direction and is looking for players from a different mold.
Speaking of too many defensemen, it has been reported over at Hockeybuzz that the Islanders are looking to further bolster their blueline via trade. No names are mentioned, but this has been reported by Hockeybuzz blogger Andy Strickland who has correctly reported Isles rumors in the past. Any time an Isles trade is mentioned, it makes me nervous. I would hate to see players like Okposo, Bergenheim, Neilsen, Tambellini, Campoli or Gervais traded before they get the chance to blossom as an Islander. Any fan that has followed the team long enough has seen it happen way too many times. If I happen to come across anymore information on this rumor – I will post an update.
Hopefully everyone had a great weekend!