The kids are here, and most of them are here to stay. 8 Players who were born in or after 1984 will be on the main roster to start the season. The "dead wood" veterans are gone and the Islanders hav committed themselves toa full fledged rebuilding period. I presend 3 arguments for and 3 arguments against how the Islanders are currently doing business. Lets get started with -
THE GOOD -
1 - Can They or Cant They? The only way the Islanders are ever going to figure out someones value is to throw them into the deep end of the pool and see how they swim. It is time for Blake Comeau, Sean Bergenhiem, Jeff Tambellini, Bruno Gervais, Chris Campoli and Frans Nielsen to show what they can really do. They have all be given central roles with the team this season and lets face it and if nothing else this will show the team exactly what they have here. Can Campoli be the main man on defense? Can Tambellini score at this level? Can Bergenhiem build on the flashes of brilliance he showed last season? We will all know the answers to these questions. Oh and yes, we will all get a good look at Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo will also be here for his follow up to his promising 9 game stint last season.
2 - Don't waste money on mercenaries - The Islanders did the right thing in free agency. You want guys to be here because they want to be here, because they like the community and know there is more to the coliseum and the Islanders than a crappy old arena and a crappy parking lot. You want guys that will grow along with this Lighthouse project that should begin construction this June. You revitalize the area, and grow some home grown stars as opposed to guys who strictly come here for money and you have the chance to build something truly special. Sure its taking a while, but we could all be better off in the end.
3 - The team needs more faces than just Rick, home grown ones. - Sure you could go out and buy a poster boy for the Islanders and what would that do? The team successes of the past were always built on building from within and the only way we are going to get out of the doldrums is to build from within. By the time the Islanders start ascending to power in the NHL we will have the infastructure in place as far as arena and facilities to attract the marquee player to play here. Its fairly simple. Build a strong base, dress it with a new arena and surrounding area and watch the team develop into a league power again. The Islanders have to become a destination for free agents, not the last stop on the way out of the NHL.
Time to Switch to -
THE BAD -
1 - Highlighting weakness is not a good thing - An organization with the problems the Islanders do should spend a little less time highlighting its weaknesses. If you are going to go with a youth movement they why bring in Doug Weight? Why resign Mike Comrie? Why sign Mark Streit? It all makes little sense. Either you go with youth or you go for free agents. The Islanders seem to be stuck somewhere in the middle.
2 - No one wants to come here - All the free agent period proved is you have to be contractually obligated to play here or no one else wants you. The second an Islander player becomes a free agent he seems to be looking elsewhere. Would any quality free agent ever consider signing here? The Islanders had better find a way to make themselves attractive to NHL players or they will be the NHL's version of the Pittsburgh Pirates, except they have a nice place to play and tend to get something before they lose their players via free agency. The team is going with a youth movement because its the right thing to do, its going with a youth movement because it has no choice.
3 - Islanders Farm System a positive? - Why is the only group of people who seem to laud the Islanders farm system with praise draw paychecks from the team or fans of the team. Looking objectively the farm system and what the "experts" say about it it is not promising and extremely over rated by the team itself.
Three for and Three against. Let me know where you stand on this subject.