Today NYI Fan Central continues it's review of the players with assistant captain Mike Sillinger.
I'm not sure long Mike Sillinger was injured or played injured before finally having hip surgery which ended his season.
Having written that what I do know is this player did not have the scoring impact he had the previous season and was counted on heavily to produce as he has his previous two years to make up for the offense lost over the summer and his lack of production hurt a club that scored two goals or less fourteen games in a row after a very light October schedule.
Sillinger's line carried last year's team to sixth place in the second half and he was a huge part of it. This year from the beginning with Hilbert and Hunter those players did not have the same offense chemistry, did not create as they did last season and Sillinger for all his faceoff ability and leadership was not able to provide the club with many big goals or even create a lot of quality chances aside from an ot winner against Tampa where he was very animated with Chris Campoli during a timeout.
As I wrote in Bill Guerin's preview was this by design in the teams attention to defense or simply a player in decline with a lot of mileage who finally could play no longer. I did not see the quickness or rushing into the play, I did see solid pk efforts and leadership but I did not see him as visible as he was a year ago and to me this guy is a warrior who you expect more from.
We have no idea if Sillinger would have been traded at the deadline if healthy. He has another year on his contract and the club has praised his contribution but if the right offer is there that improves the team it has to be considered. Fair question to ask if Josef Vasicek is resigned would he be a better fit as the third line center with his sixteen goals or does Vasicek's possible departure mean the Isles stick with Sillinger?
How long before Frans Nielsen, versatile Richard Park, Jeremy Colliton or even Ben Walter become a viable option over Sillinger? Shawn Bates is also a center signed for another year.
My guess is Sillinger likes being here, was grateful to the Isles for honoring his career and letting him stay in Ottawa for his son's tournament and will be back because.
I also do not want to give the impression any review is personal one way or another about a player which I should have written during Bill Guerin's review. I have always seen Sillinger as a warrior who is just one of those players who makes a team better in a lot of ways. I simply look at the players performance vs what his ability is combined with the team around him.
Like Bill Guerin his 2007-08 based upon the time he likely was healthy early also has to be a generous D based on his leadership and defensive play.