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"Off The Post: Inching Closer to the Future"
Long Island, NY • United States • 25 Years Old • Male
First off, I want to explain that I am aware that it has been almost two weeks since I wrote my last blog. Being that we are in the month of May, although that means fans are in store for intense games of hockey during the NHL playoffs, it also means final research papers and exams are due, and I simply did not have the time to write about my beloved Islanders.

But now I am done for the summer! (Before my summer class at NCC starts, right next to the home of the blue and orange)

I have to say, for what I have gotten to see, the playoffs have been amazing. I am pulling for the Hawks to gain some momentum at home ice these next two games. Although I am not a big Pens fan (even though I want the Isles to follow the mold in which they built their team) I feel that a Pens vs. Blackhawks would be an exciting final series. Two young teams with young stars fighting for the cup. At the same time, a rematch of Detroit vs. Pittsburgh would be wild as well.

I have to ask though, as an Isles fan, what emotion strikes you when you realize that Bill Guerin, Miroslav Satan, and Ruslan Fedotenko may be competing for the cup, and possibly winning it?

But anyway, back to Islander country.

Through my two week absence the Islanders have courted Matt Duchene and John Tavares. Fans knew that Duchene would be making a visit to the coliseum, but Tavares was kept to a serious secret. Chris Botta's blog at http://www.islanderspointblank.com/ posed a theory that has me firmly believing that this is the real deal.

Botta states that it is very possible that the Isles were getting to know Tavares with the same, unbiased intention that they are getting acquainted with Hedman, Duchene, and possibly several other prospects. But Botta also makes another very interesting observation. No one on the Island with the exception of the organization themselves knew that he was visiting. Not even Canada was aware that he was making a pit-stop in Nassau County.

So why the secrecy?

The Islanders have been incredibly quiet in regards to what they may or may not do on draft day. This had led to bloggers, reporters, experts, and analysts making their own assumptions as to what might be up Garth Snow's sleeve. He's not afraid of making a trade as evident in his maneuvers to get Josh Bailey last year. He's not afraid to deal a first round pick as he did to get Ryan Smyth in his first year behind the desk at the front office. However, he has also remained firm in his promise to build through youth, avoiding free agents (or not getting upset over them avoiding us) last summer and injecting several young skaters into the line up.

Some say he's going to go with Duchene or make a deal that will bring in Duchene and Hedman by trading with Colorado. Scenarios are fun and allow the "what-if" factors to float through our minds. But bottom line, I just don't see anything crazy happening. Unless something unreal comes to Garth before he makes his selection, I think he has a decision made and is sitting back, laughing at the hysteria that Islander fans are in. And why not? It's got ticket sales up and fans from around the league checking what is going on with the Islanders on a daily basis.

As an English major, one thing I am commonly doing when I read a story, lyrics, or watch a movie, is look for a deeper meaning. Sometimes there isn't any; it is what it is. But the fact that not one person knew Tavares was coming to the Coliseum, making it a surprise for writers and fans alike, allows me to believe that he's indirectly telling everyone, "Yeah, Hedman, Duchene, and others will be stopping by, but we're going to take Tavares." Snow is simply building momentum for the heavily anticipated draft before making a decision that can completely alter this team's future.

If Tavares was just being shown around the same way that Duchene has with Hedman and any others waiting their turn, wouldn't he have treated John the same and just told everyone he was coming?

I think so. But he didn't. He surprised us with what almost every fan wants; bringing Tavares to Long Island.

-Rob McGowan
Filed Under:   NHL Draft   Duchene   Hedman   Tavares   NHL   Islanders   Snow  
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