This is my first blog on here so let me take a minute to introduce myself to all of you.
My name is Mike and I am a DIE HARD Islanders fan. One of the few remaining since the golden era of hockey here on Long Island.
I tried not to get caught up in all the hype to start the season with the Islanders making a miracle run to start things off. I will be the first to admit I liked what I saw but knew from past experiences this was not going to last.
Just like in previous seasons the Islanders had many holes to fill and during this past off season there was some decent talent out there and once again they failed to lock anyone into a contract.
I am impressed with Konopka, his style of play reminds me of Steve Webb except Konopka actually has some talent to go with his grit. I followed him while he was in Tampa and really admired the passion he played with. So kudos to Garth on that move. I also liked the move to acquire Wiz. Thats about where my admiration ends.
Garth has done a wonderful job building through the draft and I know we have all heard that a thousand times. However if this team plans to stay here on Long Island then they need to give everyone around them a reason to believe and that has yet to be done.
Attendance is still horrible and while bringing in some tough guys does add excitement to the game it doesn't sell enough tickets. People wanna see goals, people wanna see wins!!
There is a reason he was the #1 draft pick. This kid has a ton of talent but make no mistake about it, he is not Steven Stamkos. I am not saying he doesn't have the potential to be just as good if not better however he does not have the supporting cast to play with. I think it is much easier to reach the 50 goal mark when you have a veteran like St. Louis feeding you the puck. Until they can provide someone to play along with him, don't expect too much more then you saw last season.
I think Moulson is a great hockey player, I am also a fan of the Josh Baily. If anything I think Baily has the biggest upside to all these guys.
I think Kyle Okposo is a talented kid but nowhere near as good as people have hoped for. As for Rob Schremp, build him up and trade him out. People don't drop first round draft picks without a damn good reason to do so. I think what happens here is that we have become such a desperate fan base that we put all hope in players unworthy of the hype.
So how can we fix the problem? Garth I hope you are reading this. Feel free to contact me to do some private consulting LOL.
First off, get rid of DP. No player is worth the contract he was signed to and after his string if injuries he will never be what we had all hoped for.
Roloson has been great considering his age but long term......well there is no long term the guy is old in hockey terms.
Tavares right now is no more than a second line center. Maybe in another year or two we can put him in the #1 spot but as of now he is not worthy of that role. Remember he is just a kid learning to play at the highest level and if you have watched him this season you will still notice the rookie mistakes.
I like Grabner. In my opinion he will be more of an impact player than Okposo down the road.
We have a ton of cap space and as the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. Our minor league system is so deep right now that we can afford to trade away some of our future draft picks to pick up talent that will have an immediate impact.
With Parise being hurt and the Devils in way over their heads with Kovy now may be a good time to make a run at him. Brad Richards is a UFA next year
Alexander Semin, Joe Thornton, Vokoun, Bryzgalov, are all also UFA's next season.
There is word out there that Ottawa is possibly looking to rebuild and Toronto is always looking to make a deal. Lets use some of the chips we currently have and some future picks to bring a winning team to the Island right now.
If we wanna keep JT on the first line to help develop him faster I am all for it but give him someone to play with.
Offensively we need to add at least 2 proven guys. A sniper and a play maker. As for defense, well with Streit being out we have a bunch of bottom 6 defenders filling in all 6 spots.
Now that I have gotten my first blog jitters out of the way I will begin doing weekly posts discussing what I see happening in the games. I attend most home games and then watch the replay when I get home to do some serious analysis of what I see taking place on the ice.
Tonights match against the Flyers is much more hype then anything else. I think they should put revenge on the back burner and focus on eliminating the little mistakes being made that prove costly at the end of every night. Also, Trevor Gillies and his 2 minutes a game is pointless. There is no room in the new NHL for the goons so how this guy is holding a roster spot is beyond me. I think Konopka is one of the most feared enforcers in the game and the guy has talent and deserves to be on the ice. He does more then just fight.