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.