Folks, I do not write entries to make folks unhappy. Not the idea at all nor do I see an Islander uniform and think a player is better now because they wear it.
Boychuk/Leddy gave their ITV interviews, the defense is obviously improved, but let's be clear these were not #1-2 defenders.
I have no doubt what opens the season will be changed often, but for today it's not enough.
Reality check is what looked like the teams best offensive defender on Friday, who was on their top powerplay unit who was signed 7/1 cleared NHL waivers today. (not even Garth Snow wanted him back)
From Moulson to Vanek to Conacher is not an improvement on paper today, not even close to taking the next step. We all know Snow tried for Vanek, Moulson and Iginla last summer.
No, it's not 2009 in Moulson's first year here, or Tavares rookie year the expectations are higher.
Now a seven goal left wing last season in Cory Conacher, is on his 4th NHL team at age 24, who was on par with Jack Skille entering camp and sent packing by Ted Nolan seemingly has a spot next to John Tavares coming off a knee injury.
Can he be the answer? Yes.
Should he be in that spot? Under no circumstances.
To me that's lacking badly on paper and the equivalent to Mark Streit retuning from a year out, and being given Steve Staios as his defensive partner.
Tavares needs a twenty goal left wing, who can get him the puck. Not the other way around.
Anders Lee who is also 24, and outscored Conacher last year for now will likely not be there which screams why should Conacher be there regardless of one good preseason period vs Boston?
Am I writing Lee should be handed that spot? No.
Bailey who had 38 points, who just turned twenty five and obviously has the higher potential pick, was Tavares playoff left wing is also not in that spot for now either.
Bailey's changed positions often and like Blake Comeau it has not helped him.
Bottom line is this not how you take a step forward.
Grabovski who's a career center for now is getting twenty million dollars to play left wing.
Brock Nelson can and should play his natural center position but again if someone who was just bought out is getting thirty million dollars common sense says he should the position where he's had his best success?
Sure Grabovski is going to say the correct things, Bailey said what position he played did not matter to him a year ago either, but it did.
Again, I'm not writing these things to make folks unhappy. Sure, lines will change a lot and Grabner needs a spot if he returns which likely means Ryan Strome better rent for now. (guess he could not play with Tavares vs Conacher)