Besides Matt Moulson, if the rest of the team could get a point tweaking their groin, the Isles might be raising a few eyebrows instead of the LI cost of ice packs.
As Katie Strang wrote in Newsday, these type of injuries give the kids trying to make the team an extra look.
Hockey Independent has learned that it is likely that Calvin de Haan, despite merely a DTD tweaking of his own groin, is likely to be up for a bit. Per sources, if de Haan keeps showing poise and good play, he just might develop on the big club at NHL speeds instead of being thrown back to the slower OHL. That means on the team for more than just a brief 9 games.
It is this same philosophy that had John Bailey on the big club for development last season instead of another year at Windsor. It is the same philosophy that pulled Kyle Okposo out of college to Bridgeport and then onto the club two years ago.
The Isles internal philosophy seems to be that kids, if they show enough, are better off playing the NHL speed and level than down with slower and less talent in the lower leagues.
Isles staff are very high on de Haan. They have been so since they made a myriad of trades just to get him. As the Isles and Wild traded places from 16 to 12, Minnesota was horrified to see their target go at the spot they had just traded. They were convinced the Isles wanted Kassian, Howeverm the Isles had pegged Kassian as a rough and tough third liner, not a top two line forward. Calvin de Haan was potentially a top 2 dman in their eyes. Evidently in other teams eyes as well, as he was clearly going to go somewhere between 12 and 20.
Islanders staff are still giddy over the draft where some internally feel the true gem is not the hype of John Tavares, though an excellent prospect. Instead, they are giddy that de Haan might turn into their true diamond from that draft.
The Islanders have been screaming for a young mobile blue chip prospect for years and years. Could de Haan be that one finally? The preseason has not shown them to be wrong on him.
Per Isles sources, the most likely candidate for captain is Doug Weight. One admits that there is always a chance Marc Streit gets the C, but they notch it at about 80 percent weight for Weight. Don’t be surprised, as some messageboarders have been savvy project, that Weight holds the C till he passes the torch to someone like Josh Bailey.
Development, development, development
No matter who is in goal, who scores or doesn’t, no matter the record, the priority of this season is for players like OkposoN Bailey, Tavares, and others develop to their next level.
Year 2 of coach Scott Gordon’s 3 year stint is all about how players develop in their system. They are likely hoping the quality and insurance of goalies keep them in games enough. Then again, as Yann Danis has shown in NJ, there was nothing really wrong with his level of play on LI last season.
The real stepping up for the Isles is how to keep up physically and with scoring when there is a lack of both, despite the onus on development. One would think these two devoid aspects might stunt development. The Isles disagree. It is unfortunate in that, since they are dead wrong.
There might be a reticence to admit that they indeed tried to get scoring, except the proof of such signed for one year in Tampa. The Isles offered Alex Tanguay a multi year deal. Just as the Isles, as Botta reported during free agency, inquired about Colton Orr.
Let us hope that the inability to secure key cogs, which was enough to make phone calls and offers despite words to say they aren’t that important, will not regress the development effort. That was accentuate the issue to something that actually could hurt the rebuild effort.
As pre-season winds down, look for Garth Snow to be keeping an eye on the waiver wire to upgrade some talent, especially in places they are weak. Scoring. Defense. Physical play. However, they will not do it to have one of their prospects who they want to learn NHL-level games then go down to a lower level. So they will be picking and choosing very carefully.
About the Author: B.D. Gallof is a published writer and hockey blogger. He writes about Hockey, NY Islanders & the NY Islanders venue situation for CBS New York. BD has been written up in Sports Illustrated, TSN.ca, the NY Times Slapshots blog, Yahoo's Sports and SportsBusiness Journal. He has been a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, as well as owner, lead writer, and managing editor at HockeyIndependent.com.