Monday, April 7, 2008


The Islanders have the fifth overall pick in the draft, just good enough to risk not getting one of the top 4 offensive prospects in the draft. The Lightning, yeah the Tampa Bay Lightning who won the Stanley Cup 3 years ago have the Number One pick and will most certainly add phenom Steven Stamkos to their roster. What is wrong with this picture? The team has one of the most dynamic players in the NHL in Vinny Lecavalier and now they get to add this kid to their roster after they absolutely tanked the season. How do you think the LA Kings feel after dwelling in the basement all season only to have the pick pulled from them at the last second. It just sticks in my craw that Tampa wins the lottery after so blatantly tanking the season. I guess losing does pay sometimes.

Turning to the Islanders prospects, they still will have an excellent chance at getting one of the other top forwards in the draft. I would absolutely love to see them get Kyle Beach. Hes big, hes a great play maker and has an attitude. I can see Beach falling to the Islanders because if the baggage that supposedly comes with him. Then there is Corey Hodgson who many web sites are already predicting the Islanders will have on draft day. He is on the small side a 5'11", but he has all of the tools to become great player but he is more of a project along with Colin Wilson. The sleeper here is Nikita Filitov who has already drawn comparisons to Ilya Kovalchuck and it seems that most mock drafts out of Canada have him going to the Toronto Maple Leafs.... REALLY??!! I cant see him falling all the way to 8th but stranger things have happened. As it stands tight now the top 5 picks will probably go like this
1 - Tampa Bay - Steven Stamkos - C
2 - LA Kings - Drew Doughty - D
3 - St. Louis - Alex Pietrangelo - D
4 - Atlanta - Kyle Beach - C
5 - NY Islanders - Corey Hodgson - C

Now.. There is a slight chance that Tampa will swing a deal to swap picks with LA bu tthe thing is LA AND Tampa are in the market for defenseman. Is there a chance Stankos goes 3rd? I doubt it because of the monster year hes had but you never know. Like I said, I would love to see Beach fall to 5. If Beach and Stamkos are off the board I would go with Filitov as his upside is much highher than Hodgson and Wilson. We Shall see. Whatever happens it sure could be interesting. Maybe Garth can swing a trade to get the number one pick? How about - Radek Martinek and the fifth pick along with a 3rd round pick for the 1st pick?


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Random Thoughts - My Off season wish list.

We as Islander fans got our end of the year smile beating the Rangers and having some of the kids shine in doing so. Now the attention must turn to off season business. We can all whine and cry about how the team should send a rocket ship up to the moon and bring a chunk of it back for Marian Hossa but let us all be realistic people it simply isn't going to happen What will happen is a totally other thing. Here is my REALISTIC wish list for the off season.

1 - Big Draft Day - What the team has qualified for this off season will be answered tomorrow night at 8 PM on Versus. 8.1 %. That is the chance the Islanders have of winning the draft lottery and securing the number one overall pick virtually guaranteed to be Steven Stamkos. Stamkos is not the only jewel in this draft which is what makes this draft so monumental. Remember these names because if you see any one of them in an Islander cap on draft day we have scored, and scored big time.

1 - Steven Stamkos
2 - Kyle Beach
3 - Cody Hodgson
4 - Colin Wilson
SLEEPER - Nikita Filitov

The Islanders will have one of the 4 kids listed above on their roster after draft day, unless something catastrophic happens, like Snow picking one of the many defensive prospects projected to go in the top 10. There are a LOT of highly rated defense prospects which will only help the Islanders cause of picking one of the top 4 prospects and gives them a pretty good shot at Beach, even if they stay in the 5 spot. Past Stamkos, the number 2 offensive prospect is Kyle Beach, whom I believe is who the Islanders should select if he is on the board when their number is up on draft day with Hodgson, Wilson and Filitov as backups if they fall back in position.

2 - Bryan Mcabe. Yes I know the team needs scoring. The team also needs a stud on defense. Mcabe seems to want to leave Toronto, and Toronto would still love to unload his contract. Can they put together a trade? It was bandied about on deadline day but they couldn't come to an agreement. Now with the whole off season maybe the time needed to work out the particulars of a deal can be done and get the Islanders the defensive workhorse and power play point man every team needs.

3 - Free Agents - As was stated above, Marian Hossa is the jewel of the free agent market this season. It would be an absolute pipe dream to get him in the Orange and Blue but we can all dream and that is what it will likely stay, a dream. There are however other players out there who could help offensivley and come at a much cheaper price than Hossa, who will command a 6-8 year, 70-90 million dollar contract. Some of them are - Vaclav Prospal, Corey Stillman, Sergei Samsonov, Micheal Ryder, Pavol Dimetra, Brian Rolston and I may get some flack for saying this - Avery. Out of the names above I would put Micheal Ryder at the top of it because he is 27 and was absolutely buried in Montreal after his rocky contract negotiations with the Habs last off season. The free agents available on defense the team should pursue? Remember a guy named Wade Redden? Well lets be honest were not going to get him either. One name the Islanders could conceivably have a shot at.. how about John-Micheal Liles?

4 - New York Islanders 2008-09 Roster - The Voice of the Islander fan REALISTIC wish list -

LW - Blake Comeau, Jon Sim, Corey Stillman, Richard Park
RW - Bill Guerin, Kyle Okposo, Trent Hunter, Micheal Ryder
C - Kyle Beach, Mike Comrie, Jeremy Colliton, Mike Sillinger
Extra Forwards - Andy Hilbert, Jeff Tambelini, Sean Bergenhiem
Sprinkle in some more veteran presence and it could be a very nice mix. Some of you are thinking - No Vasicek? No people No Vasicek unless you want to send Mike Sillinger packing.

Defense - Brendan Witt, Chris Campoli, Bruno Gervais, Andy Sutton, Bryan MCabe, Radek Martinek.
Extra defenseman - Matt Spiller.
No Real surprises here I wouldn't trade anything but a middling prospect for Caber because of his bloated contract. I don't think you would have to given his status in Toronto these days. Hillen needs to prove himself in Bridgeport but he seems to have the tools.

Goaltenders - Rick DiPietro, Joey McDonald.

I would love to keep Doobie here but I have this feeling that he has impressed another team who needs a goaltender (LA, Chicago) to give him at least a shot at the number one spot, something he will never ever get here.

The road to next season is an exciting one my friends and it all begins tomorrow nights NHL Draft Lottery. Lets all hope as Islander fans that all of out bad karma with injuries comes back and nets us the number one overall pick. Sprinkle in a couple of free agents, a power play QB, and I will go into the 2008-09 season a happy blogger. In the mean time, everyone keep your fingers crossed and come on back to The Voice tomorrow for my thoughts on the draft lottery.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Good and the Bad Part X - A Season in Reflection

Hello fans. In this the next in the most popular recurring column on The Voice we will discuss this season as it is drawing to a close. For about 65 games this season, the Islanders were defying the odds. They were making the so called "experts" who picked the team to finish 15th in the conference, and 30th in the league look like fools. In what seems like a year ago the team was 5 points out of first in the conference with a game against the Devils to try and make it 3. Then the bottom fell out. DP was obviously hurting and was not playing up to his abilities. The defense became decimated by injury. The offense, always suspect, also touched by injury absolutely shut down. The Power Play with the trade of Bergeron lost whatever teeth it had, and the penalty killing, which had the team in the top 5 in the league in that regard absolutely went in the gutter. So here the team stands now at 75 points, 13th in the conference and out of the playoffs. Most of the promising kids in the organization are with the team right now as the Islanders will most certainly lose over 400 man games to injury and they seem to be making the most of their opportunity, playing very well over the last 3 games.

1 - SNOW IS CAPABLE - The Islanders showed that in their current state with their current personnel, you do not need that high priced superstar to be a competitive team. When healthy, Snow and Nolan put together a very competitive team that probably was not going to win a cup, you add a player here and there and maybe you have a contender.

2 - THE YOUNG PLAYERS EARNING SPOTS - Now that they are out of the race they are getting a very good look at the young players in the organization. Matt Spiller, Jeff Tambelini, Kyle Okposo, Jeremy Colliton, Blake Comeau, Steve Regier and Frans Nielson have all made great cases to stick with the team next season, and I think they all have played their way onto the Islanders roster for next season. Promoting these guys would enable the team to have more cap space available to pursue a solid blueliner and a scoring winger.

3 - COACH NOLAN IS THE MAN - The Islanders coach proved this season to his players that through hard work you can compete in the NHL. They followed Nolan's plan, and they were contenders for a bulk of the season before injuries took their hold on the team.

Time to switch to..


1 - NO EXCUSES - Since when are injuries an excuse for losing? It almost seemed as though the team was waiting for an excuse to fail and they got one through injury and seemed to shut down as a result.

2 - DP, THE WEAK LINK? - I this going to be a yearly occurrence? DP lights the world on fire and peters out with season ending injuries? Thats 2 hip surgeries in 2 seasons with 13 seasons to go. With his concussion history you cannot help but be concerned about DP as talented as he obviously is his sometimes reckless style of play exposes him to injury. You cannot tell him to reign it in because its one of the things that makes him the goaltender he is. He needs to be healthy for this team.

3 - COACH NOLAN IS A LAME DUCK - What kind of a message does this send to the players and the fans? The players all seem to love the guy and respond to his message that hard work can overcome the lack of talent. He needs a contract extension and needs one before the start of the next season.

There you have it, 3 for and 3 against. Let me know what points you agree or disagree with. There are three games to go and I will be blogging through the summer especially around what should be a huge draft day and should be a VERY interesting Free Agent period on July 1st so come on back to The Voice all summer!!