Garth Snow's problem, produce NHL talents

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/17/2008 08:13:00 AM |
It's all well and good for a general manager to want to stick to a plan and build a young core with his draft picks and develop his talent. It is the right plan and how you build a team to win for a club that does not go all out for unrestricted free agents with even clubs that spend a lot of money having to develop some home grown players.

It's also amusing to read some writers who cannot name ten players on the roster talk about the Islander prospects and note they have no blue chip talents outside of Okposo which is true but still a lot of clubs prospects are built with lower round draft picks while here there are a lot of first and second rounders that are getting a chance or will be getting one soon.

It should give the Isles an advantage but so far it has not given them anything.

Of course teams stocked with a lot of top prospects can stick around together for years can ultimately fail. We have seen that in Florida while the core in Columbus and Atlanta has still done virtually nothing in terms of sustained winning. A club like the Kings has still not turned it around with a wealth of young talent while for all the talk about the Hawks getting closer it's been forever since they have done any real winning and the same goes in Phoenix.

Which leads us to the Islanders and Garth Snow's real problem which is what does he do if his prospect system produces as little as Mike Milbury since 2001?

A few surprises like Gervais, Campoli and even Martinek if you want to go back that far broke through and made it but not nearly enough for a club that has not had a drafted forward below a third line play a shift for this franchise in this decade much less come close to breaking through. Other than Mattias Weinhandl who even got a look?

That has to start changing, otherwise this plan will not work either. Steve Regier and a lot of players like him who never really made it or earned more than a brief recall are not going to cut it anymore.

What do the Isles have going for them? A lot more draft players signed and in the system and some competition.