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32 Years Old • Male

Islanders Needs

Posted 7:23 PM ET | Comments 0
The Islanders are off to a rough start to say the least. Despite the injuries, this team is still way too talented to be playing this way. The hot start did not portray the team either, but this team needs to find an in between. The play needs to show consistency night in and night out or things will be tough to watch on most nights. This all starts with the beloved coach. Three ways to improve this team and bring stability to the organization for the long and short term are the following:

1. This team has an obvious problem in net for the foreseeable future. I am personally a huge Roloson fan, and he deserves the majority of the starts this season. Unfortunately he is on the wrong side of 40 and is in his final season on his Islanders contract. Similar to last year, Roloson should come up in many trade rumors. The prodigal son Rick DiPietro is back and “healthy”……for now. He is not the future of this team, and he has made that obvious with his play and ability to stay on the ice for more than a month. Obviously his contract will keep him on this team longer than it should. But with Roloson gone, and the development of goalies in the minors taking longer than expected, this team needs a long term answer in the net. The answer is Corey Schneider in Vancouver. This guy has proven he deserves a shot in the NHL, and this year he is playing like an elite net minder. Vancouver can’t keep him around with Luongo there. It has been well documented that the team intends on trading him. The Islanders fans will want a player for Roloson that will contribute to the forward core, but he needs to be included in this deal for Schnieder. Vancouver is a serious contender for the cup this year and will need a solid, veteran backup goalie. Roloson, a mid level pick, and a prospect at the skill level of MacDonald will be enough to get this done. This is a trade to stabilize the future of this organization. MacDonald is a nice player, but with DeHaan and Hamonic on the door step this team can afford it. It will also allow Vancouver to trade Bieksa for something down the line in a playoff race. Ricky can give it his best shot to compete with Schneider until he gets hurt again, then Schneider can combine with Koskinen as the goaltending duo of the future.

2. The forward core of this team is built around Tavares, Bailey, Okposo, Nino. Many necessary roles will be filled by Nielson, Moulson, and Martin. Many necessary roles will be filled for the next few years and beyond. One name that I am sure many Islanders fans think I am leaving out is Blake Comeau. This is a player with a great combination of skill and physicality. But unfortunately I think he has had a long opportunity to prove he can put that all together on Long Island and become a valuable asset. He was a great commodity at the trade deadline that saw Ryan Smyth come to the island, and he still has some great value. I think its time that this team seriously consider packaging him for a veteran forward that can put up 60 plus points and have the opponent forget about the youngsters occasionally. Tavares played well in the World Championships this summer being surrounded by talent such as Ray Whitney. Whitney is off to a shaky start in Phoenix, but would be worth grabbing at the deadline for the remainder of his 2 year contract. The guy can be very dangerous not only with Tavares, but on the side wall of the power play feeding the boys at the point.

3. Two simple words… “Fire Gordon”. I usually am one to give a coach a long term chance, especially with a young squad like this one. But too many structural and personality characteristics bother me with this guy. Also the Islanders will win a cup with this group of kids but not with a coach like this, they need a veteran coach to bring it to the next level. It happens with every young core that wins a cup. Even the Blackhawks needed Quinnville to come in two years ago to right the ship. Penguins needed Therrian to get to that next level and make it to the cup finals. The system Gordon runs, and his style in general is not very welcoming to veterans. The injuries to the squad this year can no doubt be attributed to Gordon’s high paced system. In the future, veteran free agents will not only be turned off by the coliseum, but Gordon as well. This team needs a real veteran presence and Pat Quinn would certainly do the trick immediately.
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