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"Off The Post: Inching Closer to the Future"
Long Island, NY • United States • 25 Years Old • Male
Your centers are Weight, Thompson, Bailey, and Sillinger...the Isles are up by a goal with less than a minute remaining in the third period with a face-off in their zone. Who do you put out there?

Mike Sillinger. His value on face-offs while with the Islanders has been paramount over the past two seasons and has been greatly missed in his absence. Weight and Nielsen have been doing a pretty good job for the mean time, but his decisive victories on draws are what will be key for scenarios such as the one stated above.

His scoring touch has been missed as well. Last season was riddled with injuries, and he was only capable of mustering 26 points in 52 games. His debut season with the Isles was his best of the two, notching 26 goals and 33 assists for 59 points, establishing himself as one of, if not our best two-way center.

Although many fans are glad to have the reliable veteran back on the ice, it is important to keep in mind that he is returning from hip surgery for an injury that dates back to last season.

Yeah, he's been out a long time.

Therefore, I'm expecting gradual results on the ice, and that's only fair to Silly. Like he said in Greg Logan's article in Newsday, "I'm not a miracle worker," and he won't be the huge difference maker on a nightly basis. What we can expect him to be is a contributor and leader for the younger players. Players like Bergenheim, Bailey, and Nielsen, who probably will be very relied on for their two-way play as their careers continue, can take in a lot from what Mike Sillinger has to offer.

He's been around; the Isles are the twelfth team he's played for in the NHL. He should have plenty to say for the kids to learn from. So far guys like Doug Weight and Bill Guerin have been very beneficial; Sillinger is just another wealthy addition.

The only thing that will be on the minds of many is if Sillinger will be able to handle Scott Gordon's overspeed system. At his age, and after sitting for such a long period of time, it has to be a major concern not only for fans, but for himself as well.

Hopefully he still has enough gas left in the tank to finish off the year with a bang.

In other news: Peter Laviolette has been fired by the Carolina Hurricanes and replaced with...well...the old in Paul Maurice. I can understand why they fired Laviolette, but bringing back Maurice? I just don't understand it. His resume' has only worsened in his time spent from the Canes organization while coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs. Seems like a bit of a down-grade to me. I'm sure Peter will land back on his feet in no time.

...But I have to ask, how would Isles fans have felt if Laviolette was fired over the summer and the Isles brought him back instead of hiring first-year coach, Scott Gordon?

-Rob McGowan

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Filed Under:   Islanders   NHL   Sillinger   Gordon   Laviolette  
December 3, 2008 7:51 PM ET | Delete
Peter Laviolette in my mind is one of the top coaches in the league. He will find a job elsewhere very quickly.As for Silly, It's good he's back but I doubt he's even remotely affective. The guy is just too old for the system the Islanders run and he will most likely be rendered useless just like Dave Anderchuck was with the Lightning. Too bad because the youngsters could learn a lot Anyone miss Yashin? because I do. Sure the guy cost us 7.5 Million dollars but with the amount of cap space we have what would have been the worse thing he would have done? He was still a 60-80 point player and with the amount of skill he had (the skill was never the problem, it was his heart) he would have been good for the younger guys. So you take the captiancy away from him. Maybe that would have lit a fire under his ass.
December 3, 2008 10:05 PM ET | Delete
I agree Skaelen8... Yashin would be doing awsome in this system as well. Im happy we got rid of him, but i do realize we are worse because of it.XxNYIxX
December 3, 2008 10:10 PM ET | Delete
By the way TopRtLW76, even when i dont agree with you.... you are quite a good blogger, keep it up!XxNYIxX
December 4, 2008 9:52 AM ET | Delete
I was a little upset the day Yashin left, because we immediately lost our first-line center. However, to be fair, it had to be done because of his lack of heart. To take it to the next step, he was also released in the hopes of Ryan Smyth sticking around at the deadline. The season we bought him out, where he only played 58 regular season games, he still had 51 points which was excellent. It wasn't his skill, but his heart. I stand by my opinion that giving Yashin $5.5 million a season for 5 years, without captaincy, and he would have been dynamite. AAs for Sillinger, I have thought this over extensively myself. I think he is going to struggle tremendously in the overspeed system. However, I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt because of his phenomenal play throughout his career.
December 4, 2008 11:38 AM ET | Delete
Message Posted
December 4, 2008 12:32 PM ET | Delete
Thanks for the compliment XxNYIxX! Overall I gotta say I am not to surprised to see so many fans almost regretting the Yashin buyout. I did used to say that if he was signed for a shorter and cheaper term that he would not have been ridiculed as much as he was as well...but at the same time I still think we are a better team without him. No offense to guys like Guerin, Silly, or Weight...but we have endured enough veterans on the back-end of their careers to deal with another one in Alexei Yashin...also, look at it this way...if a shorter term for shorter money would've boosted Yashin's rep, don't you think another team would have signed him? Like you guys said, his heart was never there...and if you don't play that type of game I wouldn't want them on my team.
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