A bunch of things late Thursday.
* Isles released it's national slate of games next season which was reduced to three.
* For this blogger the Scott Gordon era will not be defined by year one regardless of results unless his veterans all have career years and the club makes a run at a Stanley Cup, it will be defined by year two by how much improvement the prospects/younger players show as they push out the veterans in key roles.
* Garth Snow's challenge next summer will be to land a first line prime free agent to replace a Bill Guerin, Doug Weight, Mike Sillinger. He's not going to be able to plug prospects into all the top spots unless Bergenheim, Comeau, Tambellini or Okposo all show signs they can be star players next season which is asking for a great deal.
* For now we will read about defensive systems and the coaches trends, how he gets a slow team on paper to play uptempo, score enough goals and protect the goaltender will define his impact along with getting more out of a powerplay that was terrible last season.
* Ted Nolan knew what we all saw, for this club to compete it had to play more of a defensive strategy but he also had to go for it at times because his club could not score goals. We saw those forty-fifty shots the club took with few quality chances, it was a delicate balance for Ted Nolan and it will be for Scott Gordon. There were reasons for some stretches Ted Nolan could not play a 1-3-1, especially when you score two goals or less fourteen games in a row and no one is producing.
* This defense on paper should even be better than it was a year ago with the loss of Bergeron, Berard in it's own end of the ice with Sutton coming back in a settled role along with Meyer. Huge year for Gervais and Campoli and a lot of competition for spots on the backline, someone with Streit has to hit the back of the net from the point.
* Guerin and Sillinger are playing for their future in this league at this point, same can be written about Weight. If they fail to produce here few teams will even want them for third line spots come the trade deadline. Weight has to produce like last year never happened, Guerin has to come in ready to produce consistently.
* If Scott Gordon wants his own assistants, the Isles will likely do that for him but a lot of new coaches in this league just take the people in place, we saw that in Washington and with several other clubs. This is something that will play out as Gordon gets settled.
* From the fan and media viewpoint department:
Usual shock jock game from the media with half of them writing the Isles should have hired experience while the other liked the hiring based on Gordon's credentials. The shock joke stuff you can see coming because it starts with stuff back to the nineties or things not relevant to era Snow was general manager.
Then you have those in the media who beat them down and then build back them up, those writers seemingly just go for reaction and sensationalsim also because it's good for page views but more style over substance, virtually worthless unless you wish to get stirred up.
I hate how some react to Steve Stirling, he did an excellent job as a rookie coach in this league and was a class act from beginning to end of his time with this organization that was as pathetic as the reaction to Jason Blake when he returned.
We can only hope Scott Gordon does as well point wise his first season if he has the same injury problems. Mike Milbury gave Stirling a horrible team to work with that season out of the lockout with York, Niinimaa, Lukowich, Sopel all inconsistent or headed for deep decline. Kvasha, Weinhandl played their way out of the league seemingly for good. The coach was a scapegoat because of his inexperience with the public and he was not a name coach who did fancy speeches for the media.
Steve Stirling was and is a good man, he deserved far better.
* If you want the Isles to stick to the plan, you have to support the product by attending games, otherwise Garth Snow will have to act like Mike Milbury and do things to get folks to the games as the former gm did when he hit the crossroads and needed to imporove attendance and keep his job.
Unless you want shortcuts you have to support what they are trying to do and based on how visible Comeau, Bergenheim were in games if Okposo or Tambellini give them anything this team will be in the mix or better next season if the vets produce.
* Newsday/Greg Logan Checklist:
No Al Arbour night-check.
No Rick DiPietro all-star blogs-check.
No Scott Gordon press conference-check.
Make issue of Dipietro's play based on misleading stats-check.
Be around to stir the pot on Nolan-Snow with unnamed player friction-check.
Ignore virtually anything positive-check.
Keep the Ranger angle in coverage whenever possible-check.
Ignore Aaron Johnson's comments about how well respected Nolan was-check.
Steve Zipay Ranger blog more popular at Newsday because of more updates-check.
Mark Herrmann keeps things negative with the club future viability an issue raised whenever possible-check.
Make sure Wallace Matthew, Jim Baumbach, Anthony Rieber or any guest writer/blogger they can find to take a few digs at the club whenever possible do so-check.
Gordon hiring got a small part of the back and front page of Newsday on Tuesday, introduction press conference did not receive any part of backpage for Wednesday over a Met game in Washington?
* NYI Fan Central Department:
A few days off coming, my thanks again to everyone who participated in the live blog on Tuesday and for the amazing support here for this blog since day one over a year ago now. I think I added every one's links who asked to the sidebar, if not send me an e-mail. The new CHL team has a section along with a feeder for faceoff.com.
I will keep looking to add to the blog, when games start the scoreboards and stat service scoreboards/standings will be added back in come September.
ITV video causes page to load slower, solution will be reducing the size of the box where you adjust it as you see fit and can make it full size with no delay.
* Islanders as always were first class the last few days inviting all the blog box members to it's press conference. This blog is a member of the blog box program but does it's viewpoint from from outside the box itself, however but the club always extends the generous invitation for for me to appear. I cannot recommend enough to aspiring writers with Islander blogs to apply for the blog box program if you have second thoughts and join the outstanding group of bloggers already in place.
Maybe a quick update or two Friday.
Thanks again everyone.