Thursday, March 22, 2012

Futlity On The Island!?!

1) What else can describe what has beset the NY Islander franchise the past 10 years or so? The problems go back further, but we will concentrate more on the most recent decade. Especially the past 7 or so seasons have been ones to forget. There is an interminable "rebuild" that has been on going since before even Garth Snow took over (Bizarrely) on July 18, 2006. Since the lock out almost a full 7 seasons have passed. The Isles made the playoffs (as an 8th seed) in 06-07 and were quickly dispatched by the Sabres. Since then they haven't had a sniff at a playoff spot.

2) They have gone though 5 coaches during this time. Steve Stirling fired during the 2006 season. Followed by Brad Shaw, fired after 2006. Then Ted Nolan fired in 2008 (he guided them to their only post lock out playoff berth). Followed by Scott Gordan, fired in 2010. Now Jack Capuano is guiding the team towards oblivion apparently. It appears they are headed for yet another 'Lottery' season. What do they have to show for this futility? John Tavares. Yes, they have a few other decent young players, but no other potential game breakers.

3) By contrast after a slightly shorter a period of rebuild the Penguins, Black Hawks and even capitals had reformed their roster so as to be Cup contenders/winners. meanwhile the Isles are no closer to a Cup (or even the post season) than they were 5 years ago. They are wasting the prime years of Taveres as well as admittedly great FA pick ups in Moulson and PA Parenteau. Snow has effectively improved their forwards but their defense remains old and slow. Also why retain Evgeny Nabokov who at 36 is NOT going to be a long term answer in goal, when they at the very least could have received a 2nd round pick for him?

4) We constantly hear the refrain that they can't attract free agents because of the aging arena, etc. Sorry, that's a load of bull spit! If they had a top flight team/management free agents would flock to the island. Its still a decent place to live (if you have money). The main reason players are reluctant to come is the chaos that seems to permeate the Wang-run franchise. Not all his moves are bad/wrong, but by and large the perception around the league is that he runs the team (with Snow as his figure head) and is clueless. If the money is the same why play in an empty arena with no chance to win for a crazy owner? Also before Isles fans start to write complaining of unfair treatment we point to several positive Isles posts through the years such as:


5) What needs to change? Sadly a change in ownership is a must. Yes Wang has bled $$ from day 1(in hopes of hitting the lotto with a real estate deal) Now that this looks much less hopeful it appears that Wang will play out the string and give Nassau County the finger and move elsewhere in the NY metro area in 3 years. Once he moves we believe he will attempt to unload part or all his stake in the franchise. Until then it will be more of the same. Snow drafting top 10 players. Bringing them in too early and having them underachieve. Sprinkle in a few over achieving picks/free agent pick ups and we'll continue to have some believe the "rebuild" is going well. Sorry Isles fans we don't see the team contending for a Cup any time soon. Even the playoffs appear to be a distant dream at the moment and eve then mainly as a bottom seed to be swiftly disposed of in the first round(again) Followed by a new "rebuild". Yes, its Ground Hog day on Long Island!

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