In a move that was a shock to the New York Islanders fanbase, forward P.A. Parenteau was placed on waivers yesterday afternoon. Today, he was claimed by the division rival New Jersey Devils. What went wrong, and what prompted management’s decision?
P.A. Parenteau signed with the New York Islanders on July 2, 2016. A little over three months later, he was waived and was claimed by the New Jersey Devils. That’s what happened on Tuesday morning.
To many fans, this move comes as a surprise and gives them more fuel to add to the “inept management” fire.
On one hand, it’s understandable to see that perspective. You have a forward you signed hardly three months ago and you already have counted him a bust after a handful of preseason games. Only one of which he skated on his full line of Ladd-Tavares-Parenteau. To add insult to injury, he was claimed by an Eastern Conference team, and worse yet, a division rival.
These are all the facts at face value. But let’s look a little bit deeper into why Parenteau was the odd-man out.
Since Parenteau rejoined the Islanders he has been playing exclusively on the first line with Andrew Ladd and a rotating center due to Tavares’ absence in the World Cup of Hockey. Despite a small sample size, one factor has been very evident with Parenteau. He simply has not been gelling with the team on the ice. He was out-skated, out-hustled and out-performed in most preseason contests. Parenteau’s signing was a stop-gap between the kids that weren’t ready and someone to play with Tavares who has had previous success with him. Since he has been unable to fulfill his role there is no use for him. Even if the
He was out-skated, out-hustled and out-performed in most preseason contests. Parenteau’s signing was a stop-gap between the kids that weren’t ready and someone to play with Tavares who has had previous success with him. Since he has been unable to fulfill his role there is no use for him. Even if the sample size is less than 10 games if a player is consistently poor and has prospects knocking on the door waiting for a job, they’re going to get the boot.
Speaking of prospects, that brings us to …
The Youth Movement
We’ve been hearing a lot about kids like Matthew Barzal and Anthony Beauvilier during camp. As the roster would suggest, we’ve been hearing about them with good reason. After a slew of cuts, assignments and PTO-releases the two 2015 first round draft picks have made the final roster. In doing so, management hopes one will grow into the hole left by long time Islander Frans Nielsen.
But in keeping these kids up, you clear salary space. The Islanders are in a cap crunch, finding themselves with about $700k to work with. Waiving Parenteau clears his $1.25m salary and allows both kids to stay up at least in the short term. Even if the rookies are sent down after their nine NHL games, the Islanders still desperately needed breathing room in the cap, and even though it’s just $1.25m in space, it’s nearly twice of what they had left.
All in all, Parenteau was a means to an end. He was signed as a temporary shoe-in until the prospects were ready to play in the big leagues and it looks like the play of Beauvillier and Barzal have convinced Snow to let one stay for a nine-game tenure, and one possibly long-term.