There is not much to say about Mark Streit being named captain because it was pretty clear when Doug Weight hung up the skates that he was the only viable candidate besides perhaps Kyle Okposo.
It is tremendously silly by those touting that John Tavares should have been named captain. This team needs a leader and someone with a few years under their belt at such a vulnerable juncture. Tavares was, is and will never be that kind of guy. Doesn’t make him any less of a player. Just people, fans, bloggers and media need to separate contract and scoring from the leadership role of a team. Apples to oranges.
Other vets like Brian Rolston and Marty Reasoner are just too short term and too new. Though both of who seem to be working on some kids this training camp as Josh Bailey and Blake Comeau have been lodged with each as linemate respectively. This wasn’t random, folks.
Centering Expectations and Futures
While we are deflating some opinions, let me deflate the thoughts of Ryan Strome being on this years team. Not happening. Needs another year, to fill out and gain mass, and most of all… No room.
In fact, if you look at the center position, you have Tavares, with perhaps Strome growing to that 2nd line center or an alternative #1. So, what then with Frans Nielsen and Bailey?
There is a lot on line for both players. If it’s Bailey finally breaking out, well… Frans is a UFA after this season. If Franz is the better man this coming year, expect him to be locked up. What of Bailey? Well at his contract, he is a bargain for another team to take a shot at a prospect who might be a better fit elsewhere.
Funny how those possible expendable players have very svelte and attractive contracts, don’t you think?
With the team rounding the corner and moving up, it will be time for it to make some hard decisions soon on goalies, centers and more. The 2011-2012 season is huge for these Isles. Judgments are beginning to be made that will affect this team far longer than this season. I’d pay a lot of attention than just standing around being giddy or you’ll have missed quite a bit.
Note: Still checking into the Isles and the ECHL Kalamazoo breaking off their affiliation. I am told that is likely over stats and playing time for Isles players assigned there. Expect a new affiliation coming soon. Isles will not just have only Bridgeport. That would create a three-goalie crowd in the AHL as well.
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.