New York Islanders: The Islanders went from the butt of many hockey jokes at training camp a year ago to one of the Cinderella teams of the season. The Isles, left for dead more than a few times in the regular season, snuck into the playoffs on the last day of the regular season -- by shootout, no less. The surge to the playoffs was a testament to the coaching prowess of Ted Nolan and the work ethic displayed by a group of players not normally known for getting their collective noses dirty. Now, Nolan will have a brand-new lineup to work with this season, although the same question marks will exist.
Dearly departed: Jason Blake, Alexei Yashin, Tom Poti, Sean Hill, Ryan Smyth, Richard Zednik, Viktor Kozlov. Joyously welcomed: Bill Guerin, Mike Comrie, Ruslan Fedotenko, Andy Sutton, Josef Vasicek, Jon Sim, Sean Bergenheim (again).
Burning questions - Does buying former captain Yashin out of his whopper contract qualify as addition through subtraction? - Do the Islanders get the Bill Guerin who scored 36 times in the regular season or the one who failed to score at all in the playoffs for San Jose? - Does Sutton become Nolan's next reclamation project on the back end, a la Poti? - What are the chances Comrie can coax friend Hilary Duff anywhere near Nassau Coliseum?
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Burnside is very good with the jokes, unfortunately the fans are the ones who lose out with such a poor review. This tells us nothing other than Burnside got it wrong about last year's club or that Cinderella teams are not in sixth place for most of last season. Talk about Rick DiPietro and his enormous impact on this club when you can talk about who Mike Comrie is dating or get in a final dig at Alexei Yashin?
Why would Burnside bother, this would require some actual work and when your throwing out fifteen reviews like you don't care there is no room for quality.
Chris Botta, the response to Scott Burnside is all yours.