The GM meetings just happened in Florida. Much of the groundwork for some winter trades gets laid during these meetings. Garth Snow knows his team needs some adjustments and tweaks. With Mike Comrie and others coming back on the horizon, he's going to need to crafty making room since he's chosen to have Josh Bailey remain on Long Island. Thus, Jon Sim was exposed to waivers. We will know at noon today is anyone will claim him. Chances are he will not be, and will be playing tonight versus Pittsburgh.
Out of any impending roster move or tweaks, one thing you are not likely to see is any deals that remove the many draft picks they have collected for this coming draft. The Isles have 3 2nd round picks. One from Boston and another from Toronto, besides their own. This is a valuable tool to either press up in the first round, or more likely, maximize their draft with as many key additions as possible, like the last one. If anything, they might want to add to this near deadline by dealing those vets that can get them more 3rd and 4th rounders.
The Isles organization will be as deep thinking, analyzing, scouting, and fastidious on this years draft as they were last year. They believe that an assured future success is built on drafts. That future stars are built on drafts. That possible franchise players are built on drafts. As the organization still waits on hashing out the Lighthouse Project and the refurbishment of the coliseum as a team still rebuilds, there will be no sweeping trades that remake the team into a winner. No stars to fall upon Long Island ice, unless they trip on the pocked surface as an opposing players. The future is paved the old fashioned way: it must be built from the ground-up.
That build is going to take a while. So, those kids and players who are part of that program take precedence over anyone else.
When Jon Sim was signed, he was to be the exact type of "Nolan" player which was desired. Scrappy, agitating, and would actually sign with the Isles. He wasn't much more than these things, and as a new coach and new system came in, that type of play, despite useful, found itself mired in the 4th line. Especially expendable as Tim Jackman emerged to cause a ruckus to the opposition, and Nate Thompson was picked up to do the same.
For deep teams that are assured a playoff run, Jon Sim is a welcome addition for depth and some punch. But for the Isles rebuild, unless he found a scoring touch outside the preseason, it was not a good fit at all. Jackman and Thompson were doing those things that Sim was brought to do at far less. Some have mused that Jon Sim might not yet be fully recovered from his knee surgery. Yet, he is projected at this rate to make about 27 pts on the year, which is about on par with usual output. So, that conjecture falls flat.
All in all, it will be curious to how the Isles deal with this glut of players. Far more interesting will be the Isles decisions on those vets who must eventually make way for youth. Mike Comrie, Jon Sim, and even Mike Sillinger have been mentioned to be potentially on that list. Meanwhile, Mike Sillinger returns and is getting key faceoffs, which Scott Gordon likes. So what would be another potential move might not be made if Sillinger makes himself once again part of success and a key centerman that can keep puck control.
Instead, decisions might also be made on kids who have not hit potential or who find themselves expendable. Both Jeff Tambellini and Bruno Gervais might be on this list.
The Isles have lost 4 in a row, and limp into Pittsburgh who are on their own losing streak of 3 games. Their last loss was last night to the NJ Devils, 4-1. The good news is someone is going to break that streak tonight. The Pens have 7 players currently out of the lineup with ailments and injuries. It's a prime opportunity for the Isles to get back on-track.