There’s a puzzling view circulating the web that New York Islanders forward P.A. Parenteau is Frans Nielsen’s replacement.
High-end talent was in high demand during free agency, yet the New York Islanders departed with one of the league’s finest point producers at a bargain price.
Former Isles winger Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau agreed to terms with the Brooklyn-based club on a one-year deal worth $1.25 million.
After thriving on John Tavares’ wing in the first three seasons of his career, Parenteau struggled to get back into a groove offensively with the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche as the result of a slew of injuries and the occasional bickering of coaches.
However, he turned things around in 2015-16, when he posted 20 goals and 41 points for Mike Babcock’s rebuilding Toronto Maple Leafs. PAP was quoted saying that he felt better last season than he did in any of the previous three.
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The expectation is that Parenteau, who meshed well with Tavares in his initial stint on Long Island, will round out the first line.
For some reason, many fans are also clamoring that GM Garth Snow brought him into replace departing do-it-all forward Frans Nielsen.
It’s hard to believe this is the case.
While Parenteau has been an impressive point producer, comparing him to Nielsen is a disservice to both players.
For starters, Nielsen is a tremendous asset on both special teams, while Parenteau has been featured on neither. The biggest reason why the former is a stalwart on the penalty kill is his shutdown ability. While PAP isn’t a liability in the defensive zone, it would be a stretch to call him anything more than an adequate defender.
In addition, their contributions in the shootout are incomparable. Although it’s merely a skills competition, winning or losing in the shootout is the difference between garnering or not garnering 10-15 points a season. Nielsen is the greatest shootout scorer of all time, while Parenteau… isn’t.
Although Parenteau has playmaking acumen, expecting him to replace Nielsen is like expecting Dwight Howard to replace Carmelo Anthony: they’re different players, expected to assume different roles.
Rather, fans should look to a homegrown guy (think Casey Cizikas or even one of the top prospects) to replace the Great Dane.
It won’t be easy, but the Isles need to make up for the lost production.