Thursday, April 30, 2009

Playing GM

A lot of talk concerning the Islanders is what Snow will do with all his picks. He has the first overall pick in this years draft, and the 26th pick from Ottawa that was previously owned by San Jose. Plain and simple, just draft Tavares and continue to draft and stockpile the picks and really replenish this organization. Don't trade any second rounders and the 26th pick to move up in the draft to pick another tough d-man. Just stick with the plan and continue to draft like Snow did last year.

But now you get to play GM. What would you do if you were in Snow's position?


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How About The Defense

There is a reason why I did not put the defense as a "What is needed" category yesterday was because most, if not all of them fell into the "Need to be healthy" category. If this defense can remain healthy from beginning to end, this can have potential to be the best shut down defense in the division. Is there room for improvement? Of course. Then who do they need?

My choice is not Mike Komisarek. In fact, I would love the Islanders to grab Johnny Oduya from the Devils. Nothing against Komisarek, but unless he can be had at a hometown discount, I think Oduya would be a nice top 4 fit for this team. He can be physical, and score goals, and would compliment up and coming Bruno Gervais.

If this team stays healthy, I think you'll see more goals come from Gervais, Martinek and Meyer, which will take the pressure off Streit, and adding a player like Oduya can give a bigger physical presence along with Witt and Sutton. By the way, did I mention he can score goals also?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

So What Happens Now?

The Sound Tigers were officially eliminated from the AHL playoffs....a little too early. I thought that they had a great regular season, but clearly were not ready for the playoffs. This was also a growing season for them, and with the new additions of DiBenedetto, and Katic, they should only get better.

Having said that, I don't believe that any of them will be making a strong case come training camp for a starters role on the Islanders. The Islanders will have to fill in the holes through the draft this year, and free agency.

So what do the Islanders need? Let's analyze shall we.

1. Need for health. Over 500 man games lost to injuries will kill almost every team, except St. Louis. But St. Louis had the talent from younger players to make a great run to the playoffs. The Islanders could be similar to St. Louis next year. If the Islanders were to keep the same team intact and healthy, we're looking around adding at least 10 points. But 10 points is not enough.

2. Scoring. I know I'm stating the obvious, but if the Islanders got more goals from Neilsen, Tambellini, and Bergenheim, players who were expected to help with the scoring this year, you may want to tack on another 5 points. Neilsen and Bergenheim were injured, and Tambellini came around in the second half of the season, but all must have breakout years next year or they will be replaced by someone from Bridgeport come the end of next season.

3. Need for a 1a goaltender. This is not a knock on Yan Danis, who in my opinion, deserves anothe one-year deal. Let him play in Bridgepoprt, and contend there. Again injuries could have been a factor, with his game, as he did not recieve enough help, but was very inconsistent down the stretch. The Islanders may want to look for a more experienced goatender, to replace Danis, and really give Di Pietro a wake up call, and challenge him. If he's not healthy again, that backup will be the starter, with danis as a proper number 2 backup.

Friday, April 24, 2009

End Of Season Review

Starting next week, depending on whether Bridgeport is eliminated from the playoffs, I'll go in depth with what I think the Islanders will do next year, and continue to post some of the unmentioned prospects before a new crop come in on June 26th from the draft.

It's your turn to play GM. What would you do with the Islanders?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tavares Wants To Be An Islander

According to Greg Logan of Newsday, John Tavares wants to be the number one overall pick, and play for the Islanders. It just so happens that Tavares' agent Pat Brisson also represents Mark Streit, current bargain player of the year in last years free agent pool, and playing for the Islanders.

Tavares will be a huge boost for this offense that is in dire need of scoring. Forget the obvious market deals Tavares will get, that's an easy one. If Tavares catches fire early on in the season, unlike soon to be former first overall pick Steven Stamkos, the Islanders may end up being an legitimate threat for the playoffs.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Islanders Win Pick

So now Islanders fans must wait until June to see if Snow and Co. will select Tavares as the number 1. Why should the Islanders get Tavares? He can score. He's a future leader. He's marketable. He's a cornerstone player. He's everything the Islanders are looking for. If, or more likely, when the Islanders draft Tavares watch the season ticket sales go through the roof. Tavares may actually be enough to entice a few unrestricted free agents, whom the Islanders need for the first line and defense.

Most important, if the team comes together, the Lighthouse will be surrounded by Tavares and this new team, and Tavares alone will be an economical boost. Imagine what a revamped Islander team could do for Long Island.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Garth To Consider All Options

According to Newsday, Garth Snow will take phone calls from other teams, interview 5 or 6 players, and then consider the options before making an announcement on draft day, June 26th 2009. So unlike Tampa Bay last year, who announced Steven Stamkos at the draft lottery last year, the Islanders will keep their cards close to them.

For some younger Islanders fans, this is a migraine for another two months. For some older fans, this is exactly what Snow should be doing. The year is 1974, and then Islanders GM Bill Torrey has the first overall selection in the draft. He has not made his decision on who he will pick, which leads Montreal, with the number two pick, to have a lengthy conversation with him. In the end, Torrey was keeping the pick, he just wanted to hear what the offers were and selected Dennis Potvin.

Let Snow do his job, and then judge him after the draft. Tune in to Versus at 8:00 tonight, to see where the Islanders will draft, then let the scenarios start piling up.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Season Completed

The Islanders finally finished the season yesterday losing to Boston 6-2. Now the fans can move on to tomorrow where they will find out where their beloved team will be picking at the draft on June 26th. Many want Tavares should the Islanders pick first. If the Islanders do not get that first overall pick, look for Victor Hedman to be the Islanders choice. The only thing that most fans should not expect this year is this: Snow should not trade the pick for a package of anything. Hedman will be a cornerstone defenseman for any team in this league.

Trading any pick in the first or second overall pick is insane, and foolish, no matter how good the other top players are in the draft. The Islanders already have 11 picks in this years draft: two in the first round and the first pick in the second round, who could have the potentail of being first round quality.

The Islanders need to stick to the plan and continue drafting properly for this franchise to succeed.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Islanders Will Have Tavares or Hedman

With the Islanders losing last night 6-1 to the Pens, the Islanders are guaranteed the first or second overall pick in this years draft. Most people are hoping for the Islanders to win the draft, and possibly Tampa, assuming they'll draft Hedman over another center. Most Islanders fan want Tavares, and they should want him. He's an immediate boost to the young core of players, he can score goals, and he's marketable. April 14th at 8:00pm will have every Islanders fan glued to the TV. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Islanders Closer To Draft Lottery

The magic number for the Islanders is now 3. That's the lowest they'll be able to select in this years draft. Another loss will almost assuredly give them a shot at either Tavares or Hedman. Both players will give the Islanders a big boost coming into next season. After losing by the biggest margin in franchise history last night, most Islander fans can take comfort that there will be a light at the end of this tunnel.

Not since the 2000-2001 team have the Islanders won so sparingly. This year's team feels different. Starting next year, assuming whomever they choose will play for the Islanders next year, will be the first time since 1996 that the Islanders will have 5 or more first round picks, that they selected, playing for this team. DiPietro, Bergenheim, Okposo, Bailey, Tavares/Hedman. Most of the players drafted from the 1990's never made to the 2001 team because of an overall poorly run organization, poor drafting, or they were traded away.

But now, we are keeping the players, keeping the coach, and stock piling the picks to increase the talent pool in the minors. The next pick, whoever that may be, will automatically get the Islanders out of the cellar in this league. Snow will most likely go after another free agent or two, and this team needs to be healthy. Their health will determine where they finish next year.

For Islanders fans who remeber the 1990's should not fear this time. Rather, this could be a team much like the 73-74 team, still growing, needing that one pick back to respectability, and further. They ended up getting two good picks in Gillies and Trottier, and look what happened.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Prospect Watch: Mark Katic

Mark Katic, a defenseman, 62nd overall pick in 2007, is a strong skater who possesses very good vision and passing skill.

Katic will have the potential to play the same way as Keith Ballard
and Chris Campoli.

Mark has good offensive potential and plays the puck well. His size is not anything to brag about but he is not scared to take a few hits.
Katic does have a good wrist shot, but is hesitant to shoot often.

Katic has the potential for the Islanders, but with the core of defenseman present, katic will have plenty of time adjusting to the pro level at Bridgeport for maybe the next 2-3 years.


Season Team GP G A Pts
2005-06 Sarnia 51 5 29 34
2006-07 Sarnia 68 5 35 40
2007-08 Sarnia 45 5 26 31
2008-09 Sarnia 63 13 41 54

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Prospect Watch: Shea Guthrie

From what i could gather about 2005 76th overall pick Guthrie, his skating is real smooth and quick, that was one of the things I was impressed with a lot, he doesn't seem to have a confidence problem either and he won't be nervous to play with the puck give the chance, but he doesn't do it in situations that don't call for it, so hes very smart.
"He's a complete package offensively. Shea can skate and possesses a hard shot."

Guthrie has mentioned that he would like to emulate Mike Fisher's style of play.

Stats for Guthrie:

Season GP G A Pts
Guthrie 2009 30 13 14 27

2008 38 9 13 22

2007 36 8 23 31

My analysis: I think Guthrie will be a project of sorts, and most likely will be given a shot at Bridgeport. Difficult to say if he can make it to the NHL at this time, but talent wise, should make Bridgeport next season.

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