All Garth Snow and the New York Islanders have to do is - walk through it.
Any other franchise in sports would not be having this article written about it. Any other franchise in sports aren't the New York Islanders. Other franchises typically either take advantage of the Islanders, or wait for the Islanders shoot themselves in the proverbial foot and trip over themselves trying to re-invent the wheel.
If your an Islander fan right now, about an hour after the high of the Islanders actually winning the draft lottery wore off, we started worrying. That worrying will continue until June 26th when if all is right with the world Garth Snow will thank the city of Montreal for its hospitality, thank the Canadiens for being such gracious hosts and then proceed to draft John Tavares 1st overall.
No trading down to multiply draft picks.
No drafting the defenseman with the huge upside.
No. Its time to take the kid and put Islander colors on a headline player. It is time to put Islander colors on a guy that will make others take notice. Put Islander colors on a guy who's Upper Deck Hockey card you WANT to pull out of a pack. Put Islander colors on a guy that kids across Canada and the United States will stand in line and wait for autographs from.
Finally, lets put Islander colors on the "next" one.
All you have to do is look at all this kid has accomplished over his 18 years. At 16, he was headline news in Canada when they changed the rules and allowed 16 year old players to play in the OHL in "special circumstances".
He has proceeded to break a lot of Wayne Gretzky's OHL offensive records. This past season, he scored 58 goals in 54 games. Yes that's right people, more than a goal a game. He dominated the World Jr. Championships and won the MVP.
No that doesn't mean his offensive prowess will translate to a goal a game rate at the NHL level.
What it does mean that you have an excellent chance to add an elite NHL talent to the New York Islanders.
Bring the kid in he will be the mayor of Long Island. Show him that that crap hole known at the Coliseum will be transformed into the Lighthouse. Show him his next home in Garden City.
Dont bring him in and you have created Milbury like villains out of - Garth Snow, Ken Morrow, Charles Wang, and whoever it is you get for the pick.
I also think its wrong to keep the fan base waiting. Why wait? Why play the game the Lightning chose not to play last season? Tell your fans what your intentions are. Tell them they are going to get someone to really rally around. Tell your fans your going to get the best player not in the NHL right now.
To me not saying what the intentions are is torturing the fan base. All of us are nervous. We should not be nervous, we should be elated.
Think last years draft party was bad? Imagine sitting in the Coliseum with 4,000+ Islander fans just waiting to chant "JT" "JT" "JT" or "TA VA RES". Then Imagine its draft time, Pierre Maguire is lauding over Tavares, about how he is just what the Islanders need. Then imagine the tension going through the room when it is announced that the Islanders are on the clock. Then go on to imagine Gary Bettman walking to the podium "we have a trade to announce"...
Garth Snow appeared at one of our Blog Box meetings and commented about Josh Bailey and about how "maybe the Coliseum shouldn't have been burned on draft night".
Sorry Garth, but this time the stakes are much higher. We aren't talking about a skinny Russian kid who may wind up being like Alexei Kovalev one day. Now were talking about someone that could be truly special for the Islanders on and off the ice.
This time Garth, The Coliseum will burn.
Do the only thing you should - the only thing you can. Draft John Tavares.