Islanders, Rangers are frontrunners for Amonte

Mike Gillis, Tony Amonte’s agent was quoted in the NY Times as saying that the Islanders and Rangers are the frontrunners for Tony Amonte’s services after Toronto pulled out when Amonte turned down their 5 year, 32 million dollar offer.
According to the report, both the Islanders and Rangers would have to shed payroll to bring on Amonte. The Rangers are looking for someone to take Petr Nedved off of their hands. Calgary and Phoenix have both shown interest but would want the Rangers to pick up some of the salary.

The Islanders would have to trade one of their top 3 defensemen (Adrian Aucoin, Kenny Jonsson, or Roman Hamrlik) to get enough money to afford Amonte.

As an Islander fan, as much as I would love to see Amonte on the team, I don’t see the Islanders trading any of these 3 defensemen away, especially after sending Mezei to Florida. The Islanders need a solid winger next to Yashin, but scoring wasn’t the problem last year, defense was. The Isles paired down their D to 4 people in the playoffs and you could see how they were exhausted. They can’t expect Aucoin to be logging 35 minutes a game again, especially if they get rid of one of these d-men. The other thing is how much more will the Isles offer than 5.5-6million for Amonte when the Rangers will probably look to sign him closer to 7 million?

The Rangers on the otherhand would love to get rid of Nedved even if they couldn’t get Amonte. He did nothing for them last year and the Czech line of 2000-2001 was broken up so he didn’t fit. I have a feeling that Amonte will be with the Rangers.