What's Next For New York?

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/15/2014 07:51:00 AM |
To start the New York Islanders will unfortunately return to the NHL lottery with the exact same fifty five points in the final forty eight games that produced a playoff spot in the 2013---whatever you call it.

They even had one more win in the final forty eight games this year vs last year.

Regardless of the ping pong ball results, Garth Snow, who has until 6/1 to decide whether to defer the pick, made clear he may give the selection to Buffalo this summer even if it's a top ten pick with future lottery changes designed to give many more teams a shot at the #1 overall pick.

Bottom line if 2014 is the equivalent of the 2000 NHL draft, where the fifth overall means Raffi Torres quality you have to give Buffalo the pick, hoping for a 2003 draft next summer where a 10-20-30th selection means a better/equal potential talent.

If 2014-15 is another 34-37-11 (or worse) and league changes give advantages to teams that have missed the playoffs for long periods, you take the chance of drafting a generational talent next summer.

Anyone who has read this site knows my thoughts are teams who get x amount of lottery picks in a row, should forfeit their selection, but I do not get a vote.
If a sale of the club is announced, all bets are off on the current management/coaching staff.

Sadly this is a league of trends by owners, the current one is hire a bunch of team president's with no management experience because they were great players or former announcers? 

I guess Garth Snow's former teammate in Vancouver, Trevor Linden, got more positive press so his inexperience is overlooked/ignored/omitted.

An ownership change could happen here with the draft/free agency handled by scouting staffs while a new ownership comes in with no general manager/coach, sometimes you get the best results under the radar.

Do I feel the current management needs to be changed? No, they get one more year.

17-5-2 on the road, and a strong finish with hard work visible every game says a lot about the coaching staff.

Teams that finish poorly, with players looking lost in games require management changes. This team works hard, and by their comments support/respect this coach. 

Snow had a poor summer a year ago in a terrible free agent market. If he had fifty million to offer Vanek,  someone else will take it on 7/1/14 or you give that to players already here.

Career years by Tavares, Nielsen, Okposo, and a solid finish by Lee, Nelson, deHaan, also speak to the coaching staff being a positive internally. Nielsen shocked me frankly, but correctly blamed himself for his defensive play hurting the club which it did often.

His mistake against Tampa (up 2-0 with three minutes left) stood out more than his goal numbers for me. 

But next year should be the last call for anything but winning or it's time for management changes.

The injuries will take care of themselves one way or another. 
I do not see Ryan Strome as ready. Too weak in the corners, not strong enough on the puck at five on five,  a powerplay goal from an outside shot I would not call a great offensive play.  I do think he's on the right track, but he should not be guaranteed anything despite being a top AHL player already.

Players like Casey Cizikas should be a little worried for his job, same for Colin McDonald, who both struggled badly for long periods. Bailey's 24 and needs an Okposo-like breakout, so the pressure is absolutely on for him.

The Matt Martin who scored some goals down the stretch has to do that all 82 games, his hit totals are only a stat that did not win many games. 

Brian Strait has two years left on his contract, Carkner one, both should face pressure to keep their spot on this roster.

Kevin Czuczman's going to face tough competition, he did not look out of place for someone coming in from college. 

Anders Lee is Garth Snow's biggest problem, he would be wise to go long-term. Calvin deHaan should also get his long-term deal.

The goaltending is going to get dicey. Management sent Poulin back down, Nilsson's body language reflected a goaltender struggling worse than callups years earlier, despite his five hundred record.  His best moment was his confident/compact movement against Buffalo in the season ending shootout.

A starter has to be decided, I'm not sure Nabokov is going to be that goaltender again, and to retain him as a backup could mean the loss of the prospect goalies.
Bridgeport has a season to conclude next weekend, Scott Pellerin's contract is up. Unlike last year, he cannot be blamed for the club's record with so many call-ups/injuries. His team went from 12-2, to about 0-13-2 recently. 
Let's just say it's going to be interesting if Islander roster players want to participate in the World Championships. 

Some players who went to Bridgeport on PTO's have to be signed by 5/31, so do other defenders from the 2012 draft. I doubt all of them will be.
This franchise has the worst professional media among North America sports teams.

It's only going to continue to get worse between  the amateur fan bloggers marketing themselves above anything else vs the professional media in other places reduced to cheerleaders of the team that subsidizes their income/resume doing their selective hit-jobs from a far because they absolutely cannot do it about their employers teams.

Bottom line you have to see through the double-standards. 

Hopefully the Islanders send the amateur bloggers packing, in retrospective the idea was a mistake that helped give newspaper editors already dropping coverage an excuse not to spend the money or assign a beat writer.