ISLES REALITY CHECK: Wiz Had To Go

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.

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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.

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  1. 7thwoman says:

    you know…. it scares me when we agree… bwaahahahhaah

  2. isles316 says:

    Agreed. Honestly if anyone paid attention, Wisniewski is terrible in his own zone.

  3. Isles27 says:

    “A pick that falls into the second round has about a 25-30% chance of playing at least 100 NHL games and odds are about 10-15% for a fifth-round pick, so it’s certainly possible that the Islanders could net an NHLer out of this deal, but it’s more likely that they don’t.” From Scott Cullen on TSN. Wisniewski had to go because he probably made his feelings felt what a joke this organization is like others before him who ended up getting dealt or waived. Okposo finished last season a team worst MINUS 22 why didn’t you rip him Gallof? Yeah the kids are doing real good on D where are they ranked in the league defensively? Have you even watched the games where Rolie has had to stand on his head to keep them from getting blown out? Here is a reality check for you Gallof this “rebuild” is a farce and no one wants to come here because of Wang. PERIOD.

    • Kevin says:

      The Islanders will now have 2 second round picks. One of the top 3 in the second round and the 20th pick of the second round. There is little doubt in my mind they will use this to get a second pick in the first round. Roloson will also be dealt most likely. And if the Wiz got a second round pick, then Roloson should get at least that as well. So they could end up with 2 first rounders and a second. Great trade IMO

    • RobC/KO21 says:

      KO played 2 seasons… Your animosity towards one of our best young players is well known in these parts and most disagree…Most see KO as a guy who is relentless on the puck who has tremendous upside…

      • Isles27 says:

        Okposo was a minus 22 last season it’s a fact Rob deal with it. So with certain players you can bring up their +/- but with Okposo you can’t? For Okposo we have all kinds of excuses for him? After the Bailey incident and after he complained about Phaneuf giving him a cheap shot in the pre season then in his first game after the “cheap shot” he doesn’t lay a finger on Phaneuf not even a shot into the boards he pretty much avoided him the whole game instead he lets one of his teammates take on Phaneuf and do his dirty work for him I have no respect for him. Crosby has had 5 fights in his career no reason why Okposo can’t drop his gloves in certain situations. I was at the game against the Devils this season when Bruno got his face broken sticking up for a teammate I won’t hold my breath waiting for Okposo to do the same. So far I see him as someone who likes to dance around on the perimeter and who avoids the dirty areas. I also remember being the lone voice against Wang now I seem to have a lot of company but you go ahead Rob and be a follower and look for approval for your views. I’ve been following the Isles since the mid 70′s I don’t need to look at others for my opinion of players. Bottom line is the guy has played SOFT and I never cared for soft players.

        • RobC/KO21 says:

          Most of us have heard this from you and I agree so why beat a dead horse???The entire team played soft last year and I have a feeling Gordon would discourage them from sticking up for each other in order to stay out on the penalty box…I remember Sutton backing down a few times and he did draw some penalties but looked like a pussy in doing so…Thats how Gordon had them play but thats not good for team unity…Gordo wasnt good about keeping a team together, btw…This year its an entirely different story…Guys are sticking up for each other…Hopefully KO will respond in kind…

          • Isles27 says:

            I give you credit Rob you came up with a new excuse for him I’ll add that to, “he’s just a kid”, “it’s not his game” and “he might get hurt if he fights”, yada, yada, yada. The Bailey cheap shot happened in a meaningless game for the Isles there was nothing on the line for them no reason why he shouldn’t have jumped the Penguin who hit Bailey, NONE. Also IIRC Bailey jumped someone earlier this season while Gordon was still coach who had hit I think it was Tavares. And please if I hear anyone else compare Okposo to Callahan I’m going to puke. Callahan was at the top of the league last season in hits and blocked shots and before he got hurt (blocking a shot) he was at the top of the league this season while Okposo does none of those things and yes Callahan has also dropped the gloves and Callahan is also much smaller than Okposo. However I would give Okposo the edge if they both appeared on “The Battle Of The Blades”(:

  4. BDGallof says:

    Cullen should also take in account how many of the Isles picks in recent years have seen the NHL…b/c they outdo the norm averages.

    • Isles27 says:

      A lot of those picks wouldn’t be in the NHL if they were with other teams but because of our weak roster they are. The Isles have had more than a few young players in the lineup who shouldn’t be in the NHL that’s why they are and have been near or at the bottom of the league the past 3 years. Crickets on my other comments/questions? BTW Happy New Year Gallof.

  5. BDGallof says:

    There is a big diff on a kid who is -22 for a year and a dman who is a bit older who is -18 and if stays at current level will be whopping -40 for the year. One is a kid who needs to grow. Another is a depth dman being misused.

    • RobC/KO21 says:

      and theres a large disparity between the 2 players salaries…Wiz wants more than hes worth, I hear

    • Isles27 says:

      So he is being misused but he is still to blame for his -18? He was a career plus player you know. Okposo is a kid so he gets no blame for his +/-? I agree Okposo needs to grow, grow a pair (see rant above).

  6. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BDGallof. BDGallof said: ISLES REALITY CHECK: Wiz Had To Go | Hockey Independent http://t.co/R15ZD4x [...]

  7. jason says:

    i completley agree. You werent going to get more then a 2nd rd pick for an avg dman. I am happy for once snow traded someone away, and didnt hold on to long and then we lose the player for noting.

  8. RobC/KO21 says:

    Its good to read something positive on this site from BD..The last few posts were all trashing wang, not that its not warrented

  9. [...] Reality Check on Long Island. The WIz had to go. [BD Gallof, HockeyIndependent.com] [...]

  10. 19 Isle in NJ 22 says:

    Whether or not Snow would of been able to get more for The Wiz is not really measurable. We don’t know that. I’m sure there had been some rumblings behind the scenes, and The Wiz was proving he might of been more of a negative impact on a fragile team, that he was a positive. As far as his point production goes … of course he’s going to get points. Even on the putrid power play that he anchored. The fact he was making more than he is worth, and after this season was going to be gone had to also weigh heavily into Snow’s decision to trade him. I’m sure when get got the call from the Habs, and in the end was getting more back than what they gave up for him to begin with made this a no-brainer trade.

    Garth gave up a conditional 3rd round pick, and received a 2nd rounder in 2011, and 5th rounder in 2012. To me that is a net gain, and the only metric that counts when it comes to measuring this trade.

    The only thing I could of asked for is receiving a player back that can help this team in the near future. That would of been a much harder sell for a player that has shown his defensive flaws, and is going to be a UFA after this season.

    Happy New Years Everyone!!!