When I look at teams who have gone through the task of tearing it all down and going into the 3-5 year rebuilding program there should be noticeable strides by year 3 and 4. When teams go through the 3 year plan they usually have acquired numerous picks, prospects and other pieces along the way and are usually a top 5 pick or two from being ready to play into late april and early may. This is the quote on quote "norm" for that. 5 year plan is going through a long grueling process of totally starting from scratch and building almost completely through the draft to build a contender and replenish the farm.
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We have been by what I and the majority of this long suffering fan base consider as a 20 year rebuild. Snow put in place the beginning of the rebuild after the departure of ryan smyth, jason blake, viktor kozlov, tom poti, and several other players who helped the team get to the postseason in 2006-2007. 2007-2008 was in some ways the beginning of the rebuild. Islanders picked around 7-8 players in the 2008 draft. A draft that they did not picka player who could be a cornerstone. Josh Bailey was by many scouts and analysts to be picked as high as 12th, and as low as 20th. Bailey was basically an off the board pick. Scouts believed he could possibly be a 2nd line center, but was at worse destined to be a 3rd liner. Snow chose Bailey over the last 2 top 10 ranked NA skaters in hulking defenseman Tyler Myers, center Cody Hodgson, as well as 4th ranked european defensman Erik Karlsson. Myers and Karlsson. Myers spent 1 final year in the WHL before his debut in 2009-20010 which earned him an all star trip and calder trophy. Karlsson debuted the same year and had stellar numbers before going to the all star game in his 2nd season. Snow believed he was getting a character players in bailey, but bailey was not the best player available. His development has been messed with but he has not grown in each of his 3 NHL seasons. If anything he has regressed. The isles failed to get a cornerstone player in the 1st round. Something that is desperately needed in the early stages of a rebuild. Hamonic, Petrov, Poulin, Ness, Ulstrom, and Donovan are the only bright spots in that draft. But were all picked in the later rounds.
So was the 2008 draft a good one. To an extent it was by stocking up the farm which was desperately needed. But the team did not get that player that could have an impact within a year or 2. Bailey was not that player. People were scratching their heads as to why snow passed on Hodgson, and Myers (aside from dropping back twice).
The rebuild overall has not been a full success when you stack it up to teams like Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Washington who all went through 5 year rebuilds, but saw growth and success in all areas by years 3 and 4. The isles have either been stagnent or taken steps back. Injuries have played a role, but the team has not gone out to acquire quality veterans to help the kids like other rebuilding teams have. Toronto went through a quasi rebuild that is now showing signs of growth with the team ranked among the best in the east early on. Edmonton who began their rebuild about a year or 2 after us are the 2nd best team out west in their 3rd year of the 5 year plan. The kids they drafted along with top picks Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are all developing great chemistry in a extremely tough western conference. They added solid veterans along the way to help them grow and take some pressure off when times are tough.
That is an area the isles have failed. The dump known as NVMC plays a part, but FA's look at the teams long term future and the front office. The front office has been seen as a joke since wang fired Neil Smith after 40 days on the job to hire current gm Garth Snow who retired from being the teams back up goalie to take the job. Smith was seen as the architect of the rags 94 cup team, and firing a guy who turn that joke of a team into a champion to hire your back up goalie as gm takes whatever respect you got away in a flash. Snow has stuck to his guns, but he has repeated the same thing every year that this is a playoff team when in reality the fan base knew this team wouldn't make it after all those players left in the summer of 2007. In 2008 he said we're a playoff team, but they failed. Injuries played a part but this team had zero firepower offensively to do so. 2009 after selecting John Tavares 1st overall, he said this is a playoff team, and they failed. Injuries again played a part but team had no depth. Last year same story no need to repeat.
And finally this year hopes were high and have been dashed after a similar quick start out the gate, the team has lost it's last 4 in a row with an 0-3-1 record. So comparing are rebuild to other teams rebuilds. We are behind the 8 ball badly. The team is showing no fire or drive. Players expected to produce are doing nothing. Tavares is once again the only bright spot. He doesn't have a strong supporting cast when you stack this team up against the other young teams. This is year 4 of the rebuild, and it is not looking good. You can only sell potential and hope for so long. The fan base is at it's breaking point now. If this team does not get it going come december. Then changes will have to be made going into next season. Nothing was done to help the team improve in the off season. Adding washed up vets who will be out of the NHL after this year like pandolfo, rolston, and so on will not get you over the hump. The fan base wants to win now cause seeing teams like edmonton come out fast against good teams is painful to see. And with the time ticking on the teams future in nassau county. Will we see a winner that we were promised before 2015? Who knows. But something has to be done to light a fire in this team. Cause for all but 2 games this year, they have played without heart, toughness, and the sheer desire to lay it all out on the line to win.
You are no longer boys in college or juniors. You are in the NHL. You are pros. Now play like a freaking pro hockey player or get out of here.
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