Before I go on any further, I just read the article on TSN about Richard Zednik's most unfortunate accident in tonight's game against the Buffalo Sabres. When horrible mishpas like this occur in any sporting event, one cannot find themselves caring about the outcome of any hockey game. Hopefully Zednik will be out of the hospital very soon and have a fast recovery without any repercussions of this devestating accident, and be able to return to the ice as soon as possible.
On a much lighter note, with twenty-plus games to go for the remainder of the season, it was undetermined whether or not the Islanders should be sellers or buyers this deadline. But with the Islanders being six points out of 8th place, eight points behind the fourth placed Rangers in the Atlantic, and only three points away from being tied for dead last in the East, I think all of this just points in one direction - time to sell.
With the worst stretch that the Islander's have had under Ted Nolan, and in recent years as well, it seems like the most logical choice. Going into this season fans and ownership knew that we were signing the "NHL Castaway's" to hopefully push this team into the playoffs. Almost all of us knew going into this that we would most likely finish in the final playoff spot, if we were lucky enough, and it does not seem like we are.
So I say, especially since we're so close to finishing last in the Eastern Conference in what is said to be a very deep draft..that we should trade away guys like Satan (whose having the most unproductive year of his career), Berard (who can't stay in the lineup on a consistent basis), and Fedotenko and Vasicek (who have shown why they are considered cast-aways as their scoring droughts have made them virtually invisible). Satan, as I've mentioned before, could bring in the highest return, possibly a late 1st round pick. If we manage to get a top five pick in this draft from finishing towards the bottom of the standings, and get another 1st round pick in this deep-draft, I'd say we'd look more like winners than managing to lose in five games in the 1st round of the playoffs.
It must be noted, however, that the Islanders did give one heck of an effort last night despite letting in that late game-tying goal just 41 seconds after they took the lead. I think it is also important to note that Comrie had 2 assists, one of them setting up Guerin's 19th goal of the season. Bergenheim finished on his second effort after a great rush of crashing the net, and Tambellini, although he didn't score, was robbed after displaying a flashy move on a breakaway on Nicklas Backstom. There's no doubt it will take time and patience for these young guys to feel comfortable on this roster. For me this leads to plenty of speculation. Why does Nolan give guys like Hunter, Fedotenko, and Vasicek, 15-19 minutes a game when they're the "struggle-to-score" line, instead of Comeau, Tamby, and Nielsen? It could be that Nolan is easing the young guys into the lineup..and that makes me wonder, does this mean the organization already knows the direction in which they are heading and wants these guys to feel somewhat comfortable when they get big-time minutes in the absence of guys like Vas, Miro, and Tank?
It's yet to be determined..but from what I'm hearing and seeing around the web, we can expect a new look, younger Islanders squad at the end of February.