Some reality check as I check in from sunny Florida….
James Wisniewski: point leader on the car wreck on Long Island, yet also with a booming -18 that gives the clear indicator that despite his use, he is not meant for the top pairings. It means he was playing out of his depth. He is and was not the 2nd coming of Aucoin, despite this season’s Isles fan level of oversensitivity and complete overreaction to everything that happens now… which reappeared when he was moved.
Sorry Isles fans, fact is that his numbers would have tumbled and his plus/minus would have dipped far below -20 hitting his value. The fact the Isles got a 2nd rounder this year and a 5th round next year is a boon, not a fire sale. Maximizing value is important, especially as the kids are still showing staying power on D.
No matter what Garth says about playoffs this year, they will be doing it with the kids at the forefront. The Isles are locked into a rebuild that demands that the kids be the change agents. Therefore, any climb upward will need them to carry the reins.
It means you will not see vet flotsam, especially at horrific contracts, suddenly on the team (Rolston).
It means you will not see them hold onto players who are in the kids way, thus the moving of the Wiz….who WAS NOT, and will never be a top pairing dman.
Isles got great value here. Sorry to deflate some balloons here, but it is nothing more than smart GMing. Get max value for a guy who did well in a pinch, but still has severe and clear limitations and fit in the longterm. That is good scouting, recognition and moving of a player. You might not like it, but the Isles will not change this path where the kids lead and carry this rebuild torch…whether they continue to stutter or finally get their act together.
Wiz will be a far better fit in Montreal, where he will be used on the powerplay and at the 4-5th man spot.
That’s my take. If you look further than just the stats, and at the plus/minus and who has been performing lately, it seems very clear as to why he would be moved.
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.