Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/25/12

Islanders general manager Garth Snow said when the regular season ended that he didn't envision making big personnel changes this summer, despite the team missing the playoffs for the fifth consecutive spring.

"We'll go into the draft and free agency with the same mind-set we've had. We'll try to improve the team any way we can, but within the framework of our game plan," GM Garth Snow told Newsday. "I don't envision any big changes. We have one of the top prospect pools in the league and our core is a good, young group.

"It's about taking the next step with that core we have."

Still, the Isles are expected to seek a capable veteran defenseman either through a trade or via free agency to solidify a shaky backline and provide a bridge to the eventual readiness of top blue-line prospects such as Matt Donovan or Calvin de Haan.

Nashville's Ryan Suter is most likely out of the Islanders' price range, and Philadelphia's Matt Carle might be, as well. Newsday has identified Chicago defenseman Johnny Oduya as a potential fit as someone who might thrive with increased responsibility and minutes than he's received in previous NHL stops.

The Isles also have three pending unrestricted free agents among their incumbent defense corps. Mark Eaton or Steve Staios might be offered one-year contracts to return, but Milan Jurcina is not expected back after posting a team-worst -34 defensive rating in 65 games.

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