Despite my countless blog entries last season on the Islanders extended scoring struggles, it does have to be noted, even with all the injury problems that landed them in the lower/middle of the pack
(a vast improvement on the previous two years) even with all the inexperience, they did score the exact same two hundred twenty two goals the Devils did last season, who won the Atlantic division.
They also outscored a lot of playoff teams, with far more veterans, and went undefeated vs Detroit, Chicago and Vancouver.
In terms of 2010-11, those writing they are not ready and it will take a few more years, should take a good look at the final standings, how competitive they were against the top team in the division/western conference.
It took a very poor stretch before the trade deadline, and the last few weeks to finish nine points out, in between they made a run that almost put them back in the race.
Every year is different, and 09-10 likely was as mediocre as the East is going to be in terms of final point totals. I'm not writing the 2010-11 New York Islanders will win the Stanley Cup, but there is also no reason they cannot make the exact same run as mediocre eighty eight point Philadelphia did to the finals next year, if things fall into place.
Of course you can write that about all fifteen teams in the East.
As for Ilya Kovalchuk as the waiting goes on:
It has been a very poor show by the media across the board.
Claims via sources of what teams "could" offer with dollars/term by professional media like Darren Dreger? Claims of deals, "almost finalized", by others out of sportsnet?
Incorrect reports of signing out of the NY Post by Mark Everson, who's work will never be mistaken with that of someone who is enthusiastic about the New Jersey Devils. Headlines of signings pulled (without explanation) to go with Larry Brooks Islander contradictions from 1/14/2010 to 7/4 about what signing Kovalchuk would have meant to New York?
Katie Strang claiming the Islanders were not signing Kovalchuk on Monday, to date she has still not even gotten a direct quote confirming this from the general manager in her article? That on top of still not getting one comment from the gm on Bergenheim or Tambellini not being qualified, from the same paper that told the public a year ago three hours before the draft, they were not selecting John Tavares?
Any wonder thirty goal player Matt Moulson, did not make list of notable
restricted free agents, who filed for arbitration?
Of course Ms Strang is likely correct and has a 29/30 plus KHL factor in her favor, but a quote from the general manger is required, not her beliefs or what it appears to be. Not that tough to do, or simply write the general manager would not confirm where they stood in negotiations.
She needed a quote confirming her beliefs, she still needs a quote on why a player drafted in 2002 with the first pick was not qualified, along with Jeff Tambellini.
NHL.com/Espn-Pierre LeBrun, did not even notice Ms Strang's claims as of 1am on 7/6, despite referencing Hellen Elliot in the LA Times late at night on East Coast, with Kings updates when news broke.
A few as of this entry have still not noticed Ms Strang's article, which says a lot about Newsday's Islander coverage and her current standing/connections to media outlets, that also includes former Ranger beatwriter Arthur Staple, who is never shy about keeping the glass half-empty.
This is why you have to go very careful with sources, that includes the professional media. Sure the general managers/agents are still negotiating, sometimes they are doing it indirectly in these statements.
Of course, a few Islander fans, once again, will blame Islander management for not making negotiations reality television for them, however the gm made his statement's and was not hired to clean up the incorrect/misleading reports or claims by others, not associated with the team.
Overall this was just brutal media work, top to bottom, with no accountability from those making these mistakes to this point.
In terms of Ilya Kovalchuk, good luck to him regardless where he decides to sign whether it be with the New York Islanders or elsewhere. Only one team in the NHL can sign him. If he does sign here there will be a lot more on that if it happens.
Moving forward now that the general manager has showed interest in one veteran scoring forward, this indicates he feels he has to address his veteran scoring.
That means he must continue to work to bring in someone whether it be through UFA or a possible trade, regardless of his roster depth.
A lot of unknowns invited to camp, a few prospects injured, but it will be a fun few days watching the young players.
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