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"Off The Post: Inching Closer to the Future"
Long Island, NY • United States • 25 Years Old • Male
Tonight the heavily anticipated NHL entry draft will be held with the Islanders set to make their first overall pick. The three top candidates are well-known by now: John Tavares, Victor Hedman, and Matt Duchene.

The order in which they should be listed has been debated over the past several weeks with them shifting over and over again. My personal take is that if we draft Hedman, it's not a bad choice by any means. If we take Duchene, he's someone that will be a great center for Bailey to follow. But many scouts believe that no matter what, you are supposed to take the best player available. It's that simple, and for me, that player is none other than John Tavares.

His numbers stand out above the rest and he has been waiting for this moment for an extra year. I say that because if I remember correctly he just missed the cut off date for last year's draft by a small margin. There is simply no reason why this guy should not be drafted first overall.

If you look at the poll that Chris Botta put up at www.islanderspointblank.com, 80% of the majority vote goes to Tavares being picked first. The fans all over the web have stated they want Tavares. It's not a mystery.

But of course Garth Snow won't make any decisions based on what the fans want. He has to do what he thinks is best for his team, and no offense to Garth, but as an Islanders fan, that scares every single one of us.

There is no reason to list all the mental blunders this organization has made, causing many die-hard fans to suffer through some of the worst insults and games of their lives. It can go back as far as when Palffy was traded, if not further, extending to when the Isles traded Luongo, drafted DP first overall, and passed up on Heatley or Gaborik.

Yeah, and there's plenty more that I won't delve into. Mostly because it's too painful, but also because everyone already knows. Every fan still talks and cries about those missed opportunities on a daily basis.

So that's why if the Isles don't draft Tavares tonight, a player that has the potential to completely renovate a franchise's outlook on the future, fans will be completely disappointed, angered, and down-right disgusted. So far more than 20,000 tickets have been picked up by Isles fans that are hoping to see the start of the newest, and most exciting chapter in Islanders history for probably the past decade.

When they were disappointed last year, they let their voices be heard. If they're disappointed this year, Charles Wang might not have to worry about getting a bulldozer to the Coliseum if the Lighthouse Project falls through.

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