What’s going on, Islanders fans? I hope all of you had a great weekend. To go back to where we left off, there is still absolutely nothing happening. The NHL is basically doing its lockout thing. Of course, all of it is at the expense of us fans, but what do they care, right?
Anyways, I was doing some thinking about the Islanders. I’ve thought about where they stand, and what the Islanders have in store for us fans. Obviously, the team has been rebuilding through the past few seasons. The Islanders, who have not finished placed well in the standings in recent years, have accumulated plenty of draft picks over this time frame. Draft picks often lead to second-guessing, which often leads to over-analysis of the General Manager who drafted the player, the organization that drafted the player, and the player himself. Let me put emphasis on General Manager.
Garth Snow is often villainized by Islanders fans based on moves he has made, and the moves that all of us “general managers” say he should have made.
For the sake of examples, the Islanders selected Josh Bailey in 2008, which was arguably the Islanders moat important draft class in recent years. As we remember, Islanders fans were very critical of Garth Snow when the Islanders traded back several times in order to pick Josh Bailey 9th-overall.
I also know that a lot of Islanders fans have been critical of this draft choice because of what the Islanders “could have had.” Players like Tyler Myers and Cody Hodgson were passed on in order to draft Josh Bailey. This is one of the reasons that most have labeled Garth Snow a “joke,” and honestly, it doesn’t make sense.
Well, I don’t know how I stumbled upon this, but a Google search led to a 2008 article saying how the Islanders stunned fans with their draft choice of Josh Bailey. The article, like most fans, was critical of Snow and the Islanders (not much has changed since 2008, huh?). Well, I think this article shows exactly why us Islanders fans must exhibit patience rather than force our conclusions-based-on-hindsight. As a matter of fact, hindsight is a pretty useless way to measure performance.
We can play the “what if” game all we want. All of us are general managers that can say “Oh, we should have drafted this guy” four years after the fact. Yes, we have all seen Tyler Myers succeed in Buffalo. We all have our opinions on Luke Schenn, who was recently traded from Toronto to Philadelphia. I’m sure most of us saw Mikkel Boedker score important goals for the Phoenix Coyotes during their most recent playoff run. I’m going to stop right there, though. I’m going to explain why hindsight is USELESS.
Does anyone even remember who every single Islanders fan wanted to draft, and who every single “expert” projected the Islanders to draft when they picked 5th-overall in 2008? The team was slated to draft Nikita Filatov! They weren’t picking any of the guys mentioned above…or Colin Wilson…or Cody Hodgson. Nikita Filatov was the guy the Islanders were penciled in to draft until they shocked the world by drafting Josh Bailey.
I mean, this is even an excerpt from this article:
“The thing is, players who can do what Filatov projects to do are hard to find.”
And what is that? Score a hat-trick in his NHL debut and then flame out while disappearing in obscurity? I mean, Nikita Filatov was the sure thing. He was the second-coming of Alex Ovechkin. The Islanders decided to pass “Ovi” to Columbus, a team that is in a much better situation on the ice than the Islanders (ha), for Josh Bailey plus extra draft picks.
The Isles missed out on 6 goals and 8 assists in 53 NHL games. Josh Bailey has logged 291 NHL games, where he recored 47 goals, 73 assists and 120 points. Guess what? Bailey is one of six players in his draft class to break 100 points. The other five are Jordan Eberle, Erik Karlsson, Tyler Myers, Drew Doughty, and Steven Stamkos. Out of those 5, Doughty and Stamkos were never making it to the Island, and the other three were “passed up” although every Islanders fan wanted to get the guy who scored 6 career NHL goals.
You know, maybe the Islanders did “stun fans.” They caused quite a stir back in 2008 because of their reluctance to draft Nikita Filatov…and that’s just it. They were going to draft Filatov. They weren’t going to draft Tyler Myers. Islanders fans would have negatively overreacted had the team drafted Erik Karlsson, this year’s Norris Trophy winner. The Islanders drafted Josh Bailey over Nikita Filatov, so “in hindsight,” the Islanders actually won.
Sure, “in hindsight,” the Islanders could have come up with a better player, but so could the number of GMs who drafted before Erik Karlsson. Don’t jump on Garth for the 2008 draft. Don’t forget that, with Josh Bailey, things are a lot better than they would have been, according to most of us pre-hindsight.
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