Wednesday, April 28, 2010

NY Islanders: Free Agency and the Lighthouse

Our new intrepid Nassau County Executive after running on a platform of support for the Lighthouse project has been working on a deal with the Shinnecock nation on putting a casino smack dab in the middle of Nassau County on the Coliseum site.

That's right Islander fans. Mangano has been in office for exactly 4 months and he is already looking at other possibilities and has not made any public statements on the project that Charles Wang and his group have put 6 years and spent millions of dollars into trying to get off the ground.

Even Kate Murray the high demoness of the Lighthouse project has feigned ignorance and said she knows nothing of this deal.

I smell something and its not pretty.

A Casino has bad idea written all over it. I am not against gambling. I am not against Casinos. What I am against is political meandering. I am against politicians who use private enterprise for their own personal gain or to further their careers.

I have heard opponents of the Lighthouse project spout venom about traffic, waste, garbage and more traffic.

What would surrounding areas traffic be like with a version of The Borgata on that site? The idea smacks of a shady back room deal and it deserves all of the scrutiny it has coming.

While your thinking about that think about this. While i am not an opponent of gambling I question the wisdom of putting a casino a stones throw from a college, much less 2 of them. College is hard enough with every day distractions and the idea that a $2-$5 no limit table is around the corner would make anyone rush to finish their paper to get to the tables.

Another question is this. Wang and his group have in place a lease and a contract to develop the land. What is Mangano going to do? Condemn the lease? Does that sound familiar? Any deal with anyone other than Wang will bring back all of the painful memories of the Millstien/Gluckstern fiasco that threw the Islanders into a doldrum they are only crawling out of today.

This whole thing stinks on ice people and any Long Islander should be mad as hell that this kind of corruption goes on in our backyards by the very people we trust to carry out the will of the people who elected them.

Switching gears, now lets talk hockey, something we may not be able to do on Long Island for much longer.

The Islanders improved this year. People took notice.

John Tavares netted 24 goals in a very successful rookie season.

Matt Moulson exploded on to the scene with his breakout year scoring 30 goals.

Kyle Okposo showed why he should be the team captain for many years.

The defense is young but capable and will only get better.

There are seeds of greatness here and all they need is water.

The water this off season? The number 5 overall pick can hydrate the need for more growth.

Another method to get the Islanders to the next level is free agency. While the Islanders are not likely to go sign Ilya Kovalchuk to a massive contract there are a couple of capable veterans out there that can finally get the Islanders into playoff contention. Lets examine.

1 - Lee Stempniak (26) RW - Capable offensive threat and still young enough to improve. I would love to see the Islanders sign this kid. Scored 28 goals this season and is only going to get better. While the big market teams fall all over each other to sign Kovalchuk and Marleau to humongous contracts maybe the Islanders can steal this kid.

What will it take to get him? - 5 years, 25 million.

2 - Raffi Torres - (27) LW - Found himself in Buffalo after his breakout seasons in Edmonton and a short disappointing run in Columbus. Surrounded by the youth of the Islanders he would feel right at home back with the organization that drafted him. He can score, he can hit. Still at 27 has the ability to improve. Right a wrong Garth and bring him back.

What will it take to get him? - 4 years 16 million.

3 - Paul Martin - (28) D - Sure The Islanders do not need a defenseman but look again at the depth chart. Now that is out of the way this guy may be above what the Islanders are willing to spend as he is likely to get 5+ million a season. Injuries cost him most of 2009 and the Devils are not likely to let him walk away.

What will it take to get him? - 5 years 30 million.

4 - Andrew Raycroft - (29) G - You know it so I am just going to say it. The Islanders cannot depend on Rick DiPietro to come back any more. I personally believe Rick is finished and it pains me to say that because he is ultra talented and loves Long Island. Raycroft backed up Roberto Luongo this year and did excellent work with 9 wins and a .911 save percentage.

5 - Ilya Kovalchuk - (26) LW - Now that we are all done laughing at the prospect of this lets look at the facts. The Islanders would have to grossly overpay to get him. He is 26 years old. He is one of the most dynamic players in the world. What better way to say to the world the Islanders are back. Give him the keys to the store and stick him with Josh Bailey's natural play making skills and look out. I know its the longest of shots but if the Islanders are going to show the world they mean business I can't think of a better way to do it. The Islanders have more than enough cap room and the fan base is dying for a reason to come back to the team. TV ratings while still low were up 105% this season. People are interested in the Islanders again. Go knock their socks off.

What would it take to get him ? - 14 years 126 million.

Please use the comment section to leave your thoughts on free agency and the debacle going on with the Lighthouse Project.