It recently dawned on me that our former captain will be searching for a new home once his playoff run comes to an end with the Pittsburgh Penguins, whenever that may be. The trade that sent him to the Pens has been finalized with that conditional fifth round pick going from a fifth, to a fourth, and finally to a third with them advancing to the second round of the playoffs.
Guerin expressed his desire to return to the NHL after this season; that he wants to continue playing as long as he feels the desire and ability to compete. He seems to have fit in well with the high flying Penguins but I doubt that he is anything more than a playoff rental due to the young nucleus they have embedded in their system. So does he want to come back to the Islanders this summer?
His good buddy Doug Weight was extended for one more year just a few weeks ago, so that right there may peak Billy's interest to return to the Island. Plus he may want to have one more year with the team that made him a captain for the first time in his NHL career before throwing in the towel. However, despite Guerin always being a class act, I don't see him fitting into Garth Snow's plans.
The older veterans purpose on this team was to have their jobs taken away by the younger players, and that is what has exactly happened with the departure and demotion of Mike Comrie and Jon Sim in addition to Guerin's trade. Players such as Okposo and Bergenheim had really elevated their games and emerged as top six forwards that should continue to improve with the years that follow. This doesn't leave much room for Guerin to return to the line-up.
It may seem contradicting to say that the veterans aren't needed anymore with Doug Weight returning for another outing, but it's important to remember that Weight was on pace for an all-star finish if it weren't due to the injuries that kept him sidelined. Throw in that the team lacks veteran depth at center. With Bailey, Nielsen, and potentially Tavares all playing the young center role next year, the Isles can seriously benefit from having one veteran face-off guy when needed for clutch situations. I'm sure Gordon would want these guys to continue learning and gaining experience from a guy like Weight as well.
That's not to say that Guerin wasn't a beneficial asset for this young team over the past two years; he definitely was, but it's time to move forward instead of remaining at the same pace.
But I do have to ask...is anyone else enjoying seeing the Rangers blow their 3-1 series lead over the Capitals? Or how about the 5-3 romp they got yesterday on their home ice when they were expected to close out the series...again? If that's not enough to make us smile, what about Sean Avery getting benched much to the fans' displeasure despite all the bad penalties he keeps taking? Did anyone else laugh when they heard their head coach was suspended because he couldn't keep his cool in a very crucial situation?
There's not much for Isles fans to really enjoy during the playoffs when their team is on the outside looking in, but there is always something to enjoy around this time of year. It's just the simple things you have to treasure.