Saturday, September 20, 2014

Isles “Mindset” Entering Training Camp

As the Islanders officially embark on there final season at Nassau Coliseum, there has not been a more important training camp in recent memory this one. Rebuilding the organization via the draft was completed this past summer with the selection of Josh Ho-Sang.  This summer saw the goaltending and team depth completed through free agency. There are still some questions, but the answers will be coming in a short few weeks with the completion of training camp. All the cards are out on table, no more aces, no more tricks, it’s all or nothing. While the offseason reminded some New York Islanders fans what happened over a decade ago with the acquisitions of Yashin, Peca, and Osgood, the feelings are the same as it was in 2013: It’s all up to the players. Continue reading.....

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bailey A Top Trade Candidate

Time to step up.
The Hockey News recently moved Josh Bailey as a potential trade candidate for this upcoming season.

Josh Bailey
At 24, it’s still not clear what Bailey is as an NHLer. Is he going to be a productive second-liner, or is he going to continue being a streaky player who struggles to score goals and reach the 40-point barrier? Bailey had two pointless streaks of 10 games or more last season, but then he ended the season with 17 points in 22 post-Olympics games. Meanwhile, the Islanders need an upgrade on defense very badly – it’s an area that may hold them back from reaching the playoffs. And there’s likely to be a team out there that believes it can unlock Bailey’s full potential. His $3.3 million contract may be high for a 38-point scorer, but at least he’s locked up for four years – a team that believes in him will find value in that. GM Garth Snow has stood behind his core of players (sometimes stubbornly) but the defensive need is so great and the pressure so high for this team to move forward that something has to happen this year. If it’s not Bailey who moves, perhaps it’s Michael Grabner, another streaky scorer who makes $3 million against the cap and is only signed for two more years.

My Take: This rumor will not go away until he's traded. One scenario, as stated above, he does not perform as expected and he's gone. The other scenario is that he does fulfill the expectations and is still traded by many because you're getting back maximum value at this point. As the season moves along, we shall see what Islanders general manager Garth Snow will do with either Grabner or Bailey. 

Isles Come To Camp With Playoffs As Goal

Will Reinhart make the team out of camp?

If the playoffs are a legitimate goal – and they are, in the final season at Nassau Coliseum before the team leaves for Barclays Center in Brooklyn – then the most important new cog in the wheel is goalie Jaroslav Halak, coupled with capable backup Chad Johnson. Superstar center John Tavares is still the heart of the team, and still one of the five best players in the league, but even he recently admitted this is the first time in his career the goaltending situation has been solidified going into camp.

My Take: I think The Isles should indeed be contenders for the playoffs this year and while there is a build up as to who will make the team, it's still my belief that the Isles already know who is on this team and will just go through the motions and say all the right things before the start of the season. The goaltending is fixed and should be ready to go, which will alleviate some of the pressure off of the defense. Get ready, it's almost time.

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