I wanted to comment on something. The Islanders let go of Michael Haley. He went to the Rangers on July 1st. I know that it’s annoying that the Rangers were his choice. I know that he’s going to be in the line-up against the Islanders this year, and he will most definitely give the Islanders everything he has. It’s also not a big deal.
I really don’t understand why there’s such uproar in Islanders Country. People are talking about Michael Haley as if he was the superstar the Islanders needed, or like he has this “huge offensive upside” where he could go out and score 20 goals for the team.
Look, he’s a great fighter, but to say this guy was going to make a huge impact on the team? I’ve heard a lot of talk about how he’s a grinder with strong offensive capabilities. We do realize that he played 41 total games for the Islanders, right? We also realize he only scored 2 goals in those contests? That’s a pace of 4 goals in one full NHL season, which equals elite offensive talent if I did my math right.
He brought a lot of excitement to this team, and he will always be part of two of my favorite Islanders moments: the Penguins beat-down, and bloodying Sean Avery. I can also tell you that he is very replaceable. Although there may not be as good of a pound-for-pound fighter in the entire league, his type of player is common. The Islanders haven’t had one in a while, so I understand why Islanders fans may feel like they have lost this type of player forever.
It’s a good thing the Islanders already have a player in their system that will help Islanders fans forget about Haley. Mike Halmo will be with the Sound Tigers this season, and I’m sure he will make a few appearances for an Islanders team that will need some toughness (and skill) on the front-line.
In the OHL, Halmo was considered to be one of the most feared hitters in the league. Although some of his hits have been considered dirty (the check that took out Nail Yakupov comes to mind), Halmo has his fair share of hard, clean hits while driving the opposing teams (and their fans) crazy, which means he’s also the type of player that will become an instant fan-favorite.
Halmo is an energy player. He finishes checks and plays very hard along the boards. If you watched the Islanders Blue vs. Orange Scrimmage, he was on your radar that entire night. The 20-year old had a sense of maturity to him at the prospects game, which made it seem as if he were a man among boys.
Halmo’s ready for the professional game. He played very well alongside some players with NHL experience including Nino Niederreiter and Casey Cizikas. He plays the energy game that Islanders fans wanted to see from Michael Haley, but there’s a plus: Halmo can score.
After going undrafted, Halmo played his 4th season for the Owen Sound Attack. He led his team in goals, assists, and points, going 40-45-85 in 66 games. He made the jump to Bridgeport at the end of the year, playing 5 games while scoring 1 goal. During the Islanders scrimmage, Halmo potted 2 more goals.
Personally, I like Halmo a lot. I think he’s one of the prospects that I am most excited to watch develop. I think his game is going to bring a lot to the team, and remind Islanders fans what is truly needed from a bottom-six forward.
Before Islanders fans go defending Michael Haley while ripping apart Garth Snow, just remember your beloved 5th-line player earned himself a two-way contract with the New York Rangers. I don’t think the feeling was mutual, seeing he was able to head off to the Islanders cross-town rivals.
The first Islanders-Rangers game could be fun if Haley and Halmo get their respective call-ups. How many Islanders fans will be cheering for Haley? Trust me. He will be forgotten.
Follow me @ChrisTriants
Filed Under: New York Islanders
About the Author: Writes at Islanders Op-Timism. Islanders Season Ticket Holder who tends to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hofstra Graduate currently working at Portnoy, Messinger, Pearl & Associates. I definitely want to end up working within the world of hockey. Blog: www.IslandersOptimism.com E-Mail: ChristopherTriantafilis@gmail.com Twitter: @ChrisTriants