Friday, December 31, 2010

NY Islanders: Do Or Die December Over. Whats Next?

December is almost over. The Islanders are 5-7-1 in December, far below what they needed to be to return to any assemblance of a playoff race.

There is one game left tonight in Detroit. Win or lose December has not been good enough.

The Islanders front office has seemingly written off this season by trading James Wisniewski to the Montreal Canadiens for draft picks.

I appreciate the rebuild an the commitment to stockpiling draft picks.

The question is when does the rebuild start to show progress?

Wisniewski is 26 years old and was leading the defense corps in every way.

Why trade him at this point? Why not try and sign the guy? Why not wait until the deadline?

It sends a clear message to the fans and the players. This season is over and has become a 40+ game training camp for next season.

The Islanders are 16 points out of a playoff spot with 45 games to play. That's over half a season and trading your best defenseman at this point does not make a whole lot of sense. Striet and Okposo could be back very soon and the team would have looked better with "The Wiz" in the lineup instead of in Montreal.

The focus would now seem to turn to the teams many prospects.

Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald have impressed a lot of people with their steady play as of late.

Jesse Joensuu will get the long look at the NHL level that so many have been waiting for.

It is time to bring everyone up and have a look at what the Islanders have.

If the team is not going to make a serious run for the playoffs then see what you have prospect wise and try to turn your prospects into players.

Its also time to get Krill Petrov over here from Russia. Have his buddy and fellow Islander prospect Krill Kabanov get him on the phone and get them both on the Islanders and lets see what the Islanders have here.

The Islanders last game against the Penguins had a lot of things. Excitement, drama, a decent crowd at the Coliseum and exactly what the people needed to see. The Islanders win a game at home and Sydney Crosby's point streak snapped.

Hopefully Crosby will now abandon his horribly hysterical attempt at a mustache.

I will look forward to seeing the Islanders on 24/7 on HBO.

If Striet comes back healthy, do the Islanders trade him before the deadline?

Mark is 33 years old and has two years left on his deal after this season so that is very unlikely.

Fun Fact - Alexei Yashin is the Islanders highest plaid player this season.

Who will the Islanders trade and what is the likelihood of it happening?

1 - Matt Moulson - He is an unrestricted free agent and is great around the net. He has proven that last season was not a fluke and could help any number of teams.

Would the Islanders trade John Tavares' best friend?

Sign him now or watch him walk for nothing.

Odds: 3-1 - I'm sure there are a number of teams that will make offers.

2 - P.A. Parenteau - He has carved out a nice little season so far playing with Moulson and Tavares with 21 points in 34 games. Could he help someone? Probably.

Odds: 7-1. After all, it is P.A. Parenteau.

3 - Mark Striet - Coming back from major surgery mid season is never easy and he would have to prove healthy before any team would take on 8.2 million in salary for the next two seasons.

Plus the Islanders have a salary cap floor to meet.

Odds: 15-1 - Is not happening. He will be back.

4 - Radek Martinek - He is an unrestricted free agent also. In my mind the guy is over rated and injury prone and the entire league knows it. He is Europe bound next season.

Odds: 25-1 because i don't think anyone wants him.

5 - Milan Jurcina - The guy has been a force when in the lineup and is the best trade chip the Islanders have if they are not going to sign him. I would not let him walk and give him a 3 year contract for around 5 million total value.

Odds: 7-5 - He nets the Islanders another 3rd round pick.

Who do you think could be next on the Islanders trade list?

Post your comments below.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New York Islanders Season Goes from Bad to Worse

This was the year the Islanders were supposed to take a step forward. Instead, they have taken 2 steps back. Maybe 3.

Granted no one can predict injury but what has happened this season is like a kick in the rear after someone burned your house down and shot your dog.

The Injury Train has decimated the Islanders starting with Streit and Okposo and has not stopped even to blink plowing through every defenseman on the team except James Wisniewski.

I dont care what team you are that is going to kill your chances at being competitive.

I stated in my last article that the Islanders had to go 10-4 in December to save the season. They have started the month 0-6 and have found ways to lose games ranging from the bizarre against Atlanta to blowouts like the one suffered against Nashville.

The season is most probably lost. The Islanders record is 5-18-5 and they have 15 points. the only team even close to them in futility is remarkably the New Jersey Devils with 18 points.

Being 21 points out of a playoff spot before Christmas is simply unfathomable to think about turning the season around and making a run at the playoffs.

Is it impossible? No.

Is it probable? No.

So where do we go from here?

It is to early to think about who the Islanders could draft this off season but the Islanders will add another top prospect to their roster on the upcoming off season.

That is not going to help matters much.

Just when you think it can't get any worse it does. Every fan base has a breaking point and the Islander fans have reached theirs. Very few people want to go see the team at this point and barring a remarkable mid season turn around the Islanders have another 25 plus home games to try and sell seats to.

New York is a hard market as it is and if you don't win it gets harder.

Add to the mix just how awful the team's record is to this point and you have a perfect storm of negativity.

Winning would solve most of the teams problems and most around the team believed this was the season it would happen but that is something that the Islanders just cannot seem to do with any regularity.

It has been said that if new coach Jack Capuano could not wave a magic wand and heal the injured that Garth Snow should be the next to go.

In firing a coach the GM basically says its your fault we are losing to the outgoing coach. When the incoming coach does no better the blame falls squarely on the GM.

Assuming a house cleaning is coming, and that is a big assumption what established NHL executive would want to come on in and run this franchise? The worst move would be to fire Snow and then hire another unproven NHL executive.

I do not think Garth Snow has done a bad job. I think he has been hit with more bad luck than most other GM's but SOMEONE has to be held accountable for the teams current record.

The last time the Islanders hired an established NHL executive he was fired in 40 days for disagreeing with ownership on Rick Dipietro's 15 year contract.

I will not state the obvious and tell you who was right about that one.

That would make any established GM think twice about wanting to work for Charles Wang.

I am a Charles Wang fan. What he has done is nothing short of saving this team and has invested tens of - probably hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money into trying to turn the team around as well as develop the area around the Coliseum.

It has not worked. The reins of this team need to be handed to someone who has a pedigree in the NHL and experience of building a winner - quickly.

Who that could possibly be is anyones guess.

No one on this island deserves a winning successful Islanders franchise than its current owner after what he has invested and what he continues to invest.

Do you think Garth Snow should get the pass he didn't give Scott Gordon and get the benefit of the doubt because of the teams injury woes?

Please place your thoughts below.