On Paper At This Time---Another Losing Season For New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/04/2014 08:04:00 AM |
Anyone who follows a team long enough know the trends of their organization.

For example the trend/tradition here is the top draft picks are signed during camp, so we wait to see if Dal Colle, Ho-Sang sign an ELC very soon.  

As for 2014-15 sure the answers could be here, younger players progress, but not today/not on paper.

Games are not played on paper.

I write this knowing full well the team finished 17-5-2 in it's final 24 road games, with the same 55 points over the final 48 games in 2013 that was good enough to qualify for a playoff spot.

Also that they played without Tavares, Okposo, Visnovsky and many veterans and used every prospect in Bridgeport to fill out a lineup card in April 2014

9/7/13 Anything Can Happen, But Expect New York To Take Step Back Out Of Playoffs

What matters is Garth Snow is the hockey expert, and he spoke loud and clear this summer.

He traded for Dan Boyle, a veteran defender he was unable to sign him at seemingly any term. He has gone from Mark Streit/Andrew MacDonald to T.J Brennan and a lot of kids who could be the answer but cannot be expected to provide a solution at this time.

On this day that's not an improvement.

Maybe Czuczman, Reinhart, Donovan, Pulock, deHaan, Brennan, other prospects or a year older Hamonic make that meaningless with a healthy Visnovsky/Strait?

Any of these kids could make a Jared Spurgeon breakthrough.

Not today.

Snow approached Jermone Iginla and offered him practically any term.
Vanek said he almost re-signed.
Moulson was contacted about resigning.

No, bought out Grabovski/Kulemin are not an improvement over those players statistically or even close today. Vanek had forty four points (+4) in forty seven games here. Moulson for his speed/five on five issues produced better numbers.

Whether it be Brock Nelson, Strome, Lee another forward on last year's roster or a prospect in the organization they are significantly weaker on paper right now then they have been since Tavares first season.

Let's be clear those players could be great, they could be the answer, however on paper today that cannot be written which is why Snow went shopping on 7/1. 

Folks want to say Halak improves/hides these issues? Fair enough.

I saw Nabokov/Poulin steal many games or have them in position to win all those games the team was leading. My impression is many only remember six games against Pittsburgh to base Nabokov's entire NYI career and have little appetite for prospects like Poulin.  

Ron Hextall during his one year here was unbeatable or unplayable, that's inconsistent goaltending. Aside from an incredible second half of 2002-03 that was Garth Snow's playing career in New York if you want a more contemporary example.

Bottom line in summer 2014 Snow felt he needed improvement in goal and signed someone with better career trends entering his prime. 

The goaltending on paper is improved today.

Are the special teams better beyond Brent Thompson back in Bridgeport and Greg Cronin back in org?

I have no clue.

John Tavares true test will come when he participates in games, another troubling question.

I do not believe Snow should back up his prospect truck to give away his top talent to rent Johnny Boychuk from Boston for fifty games before he tests UFA next summer or to do the same for a similar defender/forward with the same contractual status.

And yes, Snow has 55 signed players at this time between his NHL/AHL/ECHL contracts, something will have to give somewhere or prospects will have agreements to play in Europe.

The forward prospect base is thin, the defense has many names but most are not franchise level talents from the first round of a draft. 

For now on paper at this time--Another Losing Season For New York.
Emphasis on the words-on paper.