Alan Quine’s new two-year, one-way deal could mean a lot for the Islanders, who continue to lock up their pending RFAs and plan for the upcoming 2016-17 season.
Quine, who scored the game-winning goal in Game 5 of the Islanders’ first round playoff series with the Florida Panthers, found success playing on the wing with John Tavares; but he can also be a depth player up the middle in case of injury to any of the Isles’ centermen. After three years in the AHL, Quine has become a higher-tier AHLer and in 12 games combined with New York in the regular season and playoffs, Quine scored two goals and added four assists.
Unlike last season, it appears there is no Eric Boulton or Steve Bernier on the team taking up roster spots. Quine’s one-way deal makes it clear that he will be given every opportunity to have a role on the team.
And why not? A solid two-way player with a good nose for the puck and speed, having Quine around gives Isles coach Jack Capuano more toys to play with. Although Quine is smaller and not as dynamic as the team’s other centers the likes of Tavares, Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and even the oft-injured Mikhail Grabovski, he’s a heck of a lot cheaper at $575K and $650K a season and can play in a variety of game situations. That type of versatility makes him a player Capauno can give plenty of ice time to if he has to.
With 109 points in his last two seasons in the AHL, Quine has shown the ability to produce at the AHL-level and has appeared comfortable in the NHL on the wing, which could force underachieving wingers, like Josh Bailey and Nikolay Kulemin, out of the lineup. The fact that Quine can play on the power play and kill penalties only increases Bailey and Kulemin’s sense of urgency this season.
With the expansion draft looming, everyone in the NHL is looking to secure a role on a team. With Quine’s new contract, he’ll have an opportunity to do just that, but he’ll have to beat out not only the likes of Kulemin, Grabovski and Bailey to get a spot, but also recently-signed RFA Shane Prince. When you add in all of the hype about Josh Ho-Sang and Matt Barzal being NHL-ready as well, Quine’s re-signing continues to prove the Isles have plenty of competition for the last six forward spots in training camp.
Over the past ten years as a working journalist, Patrick Hickey Jr. has covered the New York Islanders, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, as well as the Brooklyn Aces of the former EPHL, contributing pieces and/or holding Editorial positions at NBC, New York Sports Day, NY Sportscene Magazine and the New York Times. During that time, he has interviewed NHL stars the likes of Brendan Shanahan, Bernie Nicholls, Bob Probert, Martin Brodeur and Zach Parise. He is also the first winner of the New York Islanders Blog of the Year Award, for his work on TheDriveForFive.com in 2008.