Well, That Was Fun. Now Back to Work!

We know it’s been a while since we posted, but we wanted to bask in the rare light of an Islanders playoff appearance by taking in the games, atmosphere, and enjoyment that came with a series that ran one game longer than we predicted which included two embarrassing shutouts, yet somehow left Islander fans with the feeling that the drive for 5 was realized.

 

That’s what losing so badly for so long can do for you.

Tavares Made the Playoffs DESPITE This Guy

Tavares Made the Playoffs DESPITE This Guy

We aren’t overlooking the fact that an 8th seed is SUPPOSED to lose to a 1st seed. That’s obvious- except to Penguin fans, who are ignorant to what winning feels like because, well, they live in Pittsburgh. However, in this shortened season, round two in both conferences have their 6th and 7th seed still playing, and in the west, the 5th seed is still in action. This illustrates the damage that the Islanders did to themselves by dropping so many points in the last 4 games of the regular season. It also makes us wonder that if instead of trying to sell his team captain and second line center to Chicago Garth Snow tried buying some veteran presence, then we’d be watching us play against Boston right now instead of watching the guys golfing at Tam O’Shanter. And that leads us into our next question: now what?

 

Islander fans were entirely right to bask in a highly unexpected playoff berth. The only “professional prognosticator” who pegged these guys for the playoffs early was Jeremy Roenick, and we all know how well he lived up to his expectations in Chicago, so why listen to him on this nugget of wisdom? However, the man who inspired “Bonelick” in the old school Sega Genesis “Mutant League Hockey” was on the money. Now, the time for self adulation is entirely over. You didn’t win the last game, so when reflecting back on last season, stop feeling the warm fuzzies. Time to put the boots to the ground and get to work. And by work, the question is the roster.

 

We aren't the Only Ones Who Notice It...too bad Shanahan Doesn't

We aren’t the Only Ones Who Notice It…too bad Shanahan Doesn’t

This team has two ways that the improve their roster: drafts, and waiver wire. Trades are not viable for Snow, because if they were, we would have seen some beyond salary dumps. And free agency? Two words: Marty Reasoner. Many pundits are talking about how, with the lowering of the salary cap and with amnesty buyouts, this will be the year where teams who positioned themselves with cap floor tams can make an impact. We do not for a second believe that changing salary cap dynamics will motivate Garth Snow into any action involving anything more than snack foods. Nor do we believe that Brooklyn on the horizon will entice free agents to take less than market price deals. The 8th playoff seed was great for Kyle Okposo and John Tavares, but what will entice upcoming unrestricted free agent Pascal DuPuis to leave Pittsburgh to play here?

In short, the building is resolved. The arena will be new. The team made the playoffs. There is financial stability between the new TV from NBC, Cablevision and Canada (roughly $32 million cash if you’re counting) roster depreciation tax breaks (over ten million dollars annually), the Suozzi lease, $20 parking, and as Nassau comptroller George Maragos recently pointed out, a sold out Nassau Coliseum creates $167,000 in tax revenue for the county per game- $24,000 alone comes from the seat tax build into a ticket- so it is clear to anyone with eyes that the bulk of revenues per game fall into the coffers of Charles Wang. There is no reason to NOT spend money this offseason, and that’s the premise that we’re going with.

For the Geographically Ignorant- Brooklyn is on Long Island. We're All Islanders

For the Geographically Ignorant- Brooklyn is on Long Island. We’re All Islanders

 But, spend it on what?

Every Islanders “writer” has a wish list that they’ve been working on. We are no exceptions. Our plan is to identify what we see as needs, and how they should be addressed. Also, we’re completely guessing at who gets amnestied based on bad contracts and poor performance. So, without further adieu:

Needs: 1st line wing,  2nd line center, depth forward, top pairing defenseman, starting goalie.

1st line wing: Organizationally, this would be 2010 top 5 draft pick Nino Neidereitter. Nino has proven that he can score in juniors, the AHL, and in international competition. What he hasn’t proven is an ability to score in the NHL. That frankly is scary. Would we give Nino a shot at the top wing if this was not now a playoff team with aspirations to run deep into the post season? Yup. But this is now a team with the expectation of making a run deep into the post season. This isn’t the time to audition a guy with less goals in his NHL career than Casey Cizikas. And as mentioned, Pascal DuPuis knows how to caddy for a superstar, but there is no way that the Islanders could entice him to leave Pittsburgh and that annual guarantee of playoff shares for 1-3 rounds. In reality, Brad Boyes will come back for a decent raise- figure $2.5 mil per, but we really don’t want Boyes anchoring line 1. So, what to do?

Free Agency: David Clarkson. Trade: Thomas Vanek. Amnesty: Dany Heatley.

The first two options would fit well next to Tavares, for differing reasons. In Vanek, you have a highly skilled forward who can drop 40 pucks a year into the net. Maybe 50 next to JT91. He may be a bit of a loafer, but he has shown that he can skate and score, and that was pretty much the approach that the Islanders used in the playoffs. In Clarkson you have the 20 goal role player that always seems to ride shotgun to JT91 and Matt Moulson, but a guy who adds toughness, plays hard, hits, scraps, and works along the boards. Also, he’s currently not an overpriced star, so he may take a market price contract. And New Jersey is trending downward, having missed the playoffs two of the last 3 years, and has no one set to replace Martin “Cy Young of Hockey” Brodeur. We saw how bad the Devils were without Brodeur this season. After 2013-2014, it’ll be full time Scott Clemensen’s. Heatley is our buyout candidate because he fills the role of “guy needing a change in scenery that will work cheap,” a Garth Snow staple. Heatley was once wickedly offensive both on the ice and on the highway- would he have one more season left to share with JT? At a million dollar one year deal, Garth would think long and hard on such.

 

2nd line center: Organizationally, this would be 2011 top 5 draft pick Ryan Strome. Strome has lit up the junior circuit, and played about as well statistically as Ryan Nugent Hopkins in international play during the lockout. However, Strome’s transition to the AHL was rough by his standards- 7 points in 10 games, compared to 94 points in 53 games for the Niagra Ice Dogs. It’s hard to deny that this is the guy who should be the team’s second line center. In reality, they may stick Strome next to JT91 and keep the Frans Neilsen- Kyle Okposo faceoff rotation intact, and resign Josh Bailey to a low cost, high risk deal- that risk being October through February (let’s not forget that Bailey’s breakout season was 19 points in 40 games, and the nice guy playmaker had only 8 assists). But we don’t want to recreate a lineup that gave us an exciting first round loss to Pittsburgh that included two absolute domination beatings, right? So what to do?

 

Free agency: Nathan Horton. Trade: Ryan Kesler. Amnesty: Brad Richards.

Horton and Kesler are similar players, statistically, in scoring and penalty minutes, though Kesler’s game is based more on speed and Horton on size. Both Horton in Boston and Kesler in Vancouver are used to being second fiddle centers. Both have been both productive and unafraid to mix things up a little bit. And in the case of both players, injuries are the only concern we’d have with these acquisitions. Honestly, we’d prefer to see Strome here, but Snow’s philosophy with high level picks is to use them for cap hits or bury them in the AHL – we have 4 of our last 5 first rounders there- so who knows. Richards is wilting under the pressure of being the man for the Rangers, but on this team, he wouldn’t need to be. And the Rangers would be lucky to get themselves out of a contract of that length and absurd size so easily. 

 

Depth Forward: Traditionally Snow likes using the waiver wire, NHL retreads, or career AHL guy to fill this spot (see Keith Aucoin, Colin McDonald, Jay Pandolfo, Rob Schremp, etc) to fill this role. However, if your aspirations are to improve, then you must use a different formula than what has only worked marginally in the past. Organizationally, Brock Nelson would be this guy. First round draft pick, hockey pedigree, big guy, and can slide between lines 3 and 4 easily, projecting to a marginal second liner at best. Depth. Sort of what they’ll resign Josh Bailey and Keith Aucoin to do, and then wonder why the team isn’t improving. We may want some different NHL experience, especially with looking to step it up, so with that:

 

Free agency: Ryane Clowe. Trade: Ryan Malone. Amnesty: Mike Fisher

Until this season, Clowe has been playing in San Jose, putting up around 50 points a year and racking up about a minute a game in penalties. He has had a few different roles in San Jose, and what may be fortunate is that he waited until his walk year to have a bad season in San Jose…only to pick his play up with a more physical disgusting Rangers team. That up and down type of year may make Clowe an affordable upgrade for the Islanders. A similar style player who is overpaid would be Tampa’s Ryan Malone. We’re long time fans of Malone’s scoring and occasional toughness, and think that a team so up against the salary cap and with so many needs may be willing to move a player that’s oft injured and pricey. Fisher is interesting, as he’s still productive, but he makes a lot of money and it’s Nashville. The Preds may not amnesty him, but if they do, he would be an absolute upgrade over the Marty Reasoners and Keith Aucoins of the world.

 

First Pairing Defense: Organizationally, this should be Griffin Reinhart. He is dominating peers in the WHL and already has a man’s build at 6’4″ and over 200 pounds and growing. His plus minus has gotten better every season, and he contributes about half a point a game to an offense. Stick this guy with Lubomir Visnovsky as a top pairing, and you may actually have a top pairing. However, some folks say that a 19 year old defenseman does not belong in the NHL. Our research proving otherwise aside, a top 5 draft pick should be in the NHL within 2 years of selection, so this would be a rush, but not a frantic one, and placed in the hands of a very capable veteran- look what Lubo did for Thomas Hickey for proof! But since Snow would rather work a waiver wire than look at his draft picks, lets look at some other options.

 

Free agency: Rob Scuderi. Trade: Matt Carle.  Amnesty: James Wisniewski.

None of these guys are true number one defensemen in the sense that we may want. However, each bring valuable skill sets to the team. Scuderi brings two Stanley Cup rings to this team, having won in Pittsburgh in 2009 and Los Angeles in 2012. Knowing how to win is something this team sorely needs, as  they do not have a guy with even one cup ring on their roster, including their GM, and only one coach who earned his in the twilight of his career.  Since this team runs a defense without a true top guy already, at least Scuderi thickens up the experience of the defense, and pushes out a weaker player like good ol’ “Road Cone” Finley. With Carle, again, Tampa is up against the lowering cap and may want to move this guy for a few defensive prospects and a pick. Carle makes $5 million dollars a year, puts up Mark Streit offense like numbers, plays better defense than Mark Streit, and is almost a decade younger than Mark Streit. Carle does have a way to go on the contract he signed in the last off season, but if the options were trading guys I never planned on promoting to the NHL and not signing a declining player for $5 million a year to get a productive $5 million dollar player, that’s an option you take. Wisniewski was once an Islander beloved for showing the Rangers his impression of their post game locker room rituals. Columbus gave him an absurd contract- he is paid more than Tavares- but if he could come in with that buyout and accept something in the $2 million range, he would be a WAY better pick up than whatever the waiver wire throws at us, and better than Strait, Hickey, and Carkner both offensively and in toughness.

This NEVER gets old:

 YouTube Preview Image

Goaltending: Organizationally, we are bereft at goal. Kevin Poulin no longer inspires confidence from us when he plays net. Anders Nilson lost a developmental year to a illness cured by the super science of vitamins- not surprising when Wang was looking to save money by bringing in that Transylvanian blood expert, Dr. Acula. Mikko Koskinen had a big year in Europe, ala Jesse Joensuu last season. And we saw how Jesse’s big year translated to the Eastern Conference – no goals in 7 games. Realistically, Snow will make Nabokov an offer. Hopefully it’s a significant price cut, because they guy did not earn his keep in the postseason at all…a major reason why San Jose cut him loose after a 44 win season. But again, there are options.

Free agency: Mike Smith. Trade: Jonathan Bernier. Amnesty- Roberto Luongo.

Smith’s numbers are similar to Nabokov, but the price is presently 25% cheaper, and he’s 6 years younger. Would we prefer Smith to Nabby? It’s kind of a wash. Yes, we like the youth factor, but we’d prefer a better goalie compared to both. So, we would absolutely make a strong push for Bernier. Like Poulin and this year’s first round pick strong. Bernier no doubt benefits by having a better-than-Islander defense in front of him, but the guy is improving every year, is 24, makes $1.25 million, and would be under RFA rights for a couple of years at the least. He could be a ten year goalie, which would be a relief in terms of just having to find a capable backup. The wildcard here would be Roberto Luongo. Luongo doesn’t quite come up big in the postseason, but he gets his team there annually. And it could be a sort of homecoming to one of the better accounts on Twitter. We’d take a flyer with Luongo over Nabokov if the price was right.

 

Make it Worth Our While To Freeze Our Asses Off!

Make it Worth Our While To Freeze Our Asses Off!

So there you have it. Roster holes examined, some predictions and recommendation of our liking to fix it. We don’t expect Snow to follow this approach, or even address all issues, but there is no denying that upgrades are needed if this team wants to do more than win 2 games in a first round, and wants to stop being the home of auditions for waiver wires guys, career AHLers, retreads, and fresh faced rookies. That’s our take. However, it’s only a conversation if you add your takes, thoughts, and proposed changes in the comments section below.

 Special thanks to @dmech06 for his stirring asertations of how the top seeded Penguins upset the 8th seed Islanders.

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About the Author: We are two long time hockey fans who certainly have our own opinions and points of view. Feel free to share yours. Follow on twitter @joshbarely

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  1. B.D. says:

    Nice piece, boys. Welcome back.

    • MattandDan says:

      It’s been a while- work has been hectic, playoffs at Coli were electric, and brawling Pens fans on Twitter has been eclectic. WE can kick our dog, but YOU can’t kick our dog!

  2. Daniel says:

    As I recall on April 15th, Chris Triants wrote an article about how JT should not win MVP..

    With all due respect, your own writers do not think he should win MVP, yet you are bragging about how he should win.

    Any thoughts?

    • MattandDan says:

      Chris isn’t my own writer. He’s a fan with an opinion, like all of us fans. And I disagreed with the piece when he wrote it, moreso now.

      Here’s why JT is MVP. The Penguins finished first with the second best record in hockey, and Crosby missed 25% of Pitt’s games. If they were 36-0 w Cin and 0-12 without, he wins hands down. But they had 4 other players scoring at more than a point a game, so really, they win with or without him. Also, an MVP isn’t the points scoring title, so we just dont give every years top scorer the MVP. Replacement value is a factor, and 87 is replacable. No one is as productive, but they don’t have to be, either.

      Ovechkin is a strong candidate for MVP, absolutely. As he turned, so did his team. Except, he had to turn. Disappearing for half a season and then dropping in 20 of your 30 goals in the final 18 games? What about the first 30?

      Tavares produced consistently all season, but point totals aren’t the case here. The Pens make the playoffs without Crosby. The Caps wouldn’t make the playoffs without Ovechkin…unless they could have kept Semin, who they couldn’t pay because of Ovechkin. Also, an MVP doesn’t threaten to abandon his team for Russia after a lockout.

      And the Islanders? An expansion team without 91. He sets the tone, he makes guys stand up and be accountable. He held himself and his team accountable after last season, and with some good fortune, they actually made it into the playoffs. Without him, this team is drafting Seth Jones. With him…they’ll screw the first round pick up on someone else.

      Crosby has Kunitz and DuPuis. Ovechkin has Backstrom and Green. Tavares has…Matt Moulson. That’s it.

      To us, it’s a slam dunk. But we know Crosby will win or else LeMove will start crying.

      JT for MVP.

  3. Daniel says:

    What hard evidence makes the case for JT? Your bashing everyone. Make me into a believer about JT.. right now, you are whining about other players, when in fact, you should be looking at the numbers with each player. Name calling isn’t professional.

    As a blogger, you should appreciate the accomplishments of each MVP candidate. What Ovie and crosby has done this season is remarkable. You shouldn’t diminish the each player’s pros and cons. Just because crosby beat you in the playoffs, you shouldn’t take away from his season. If got a problem with it, email bettman.

    Just because Crosby, this season, piled up points at a rate of 1.56 compared to 0.98 with JT, doesn’t mean name calling is called for. The fact that crosby has sooo many players you say, Yes, but he is one of the top players in ASSISTS. that means he values in helping out his team vs his record.

    Just looking out for you, man.

    • MattandDan says:

      What you call whining about other players we call reality. Are you saying Corsby DIDN’T miss 12 games this year, or are you saying Pittsburgh didn’t finish in first when their MVP missed 25% of a season? Are you saying Ovechkin scored in a balanced manner across the whole season?

      It seems that you like points per game as the MVP indicator. That’s an awful choice for stats, but then again, so is goals- Crosby finished 3rd out of the 3 candidates in that category, btw. Regardless, points per game for candidates and ‘best’ cast:

      Crosby: 1.56
      Kunitz- 1.08
      Malkin- 1.07
      Neal – .9
      Letang- 1.09

      Ovechkin: 1.17
      Riberio- 1.02
      Backstrom- 1.00
      Green- .74

      Tavares: .98
      Moulson- .94
      Boyes – .73
      Streit- .56

      So we see that the cast of characters that Tavares carried to the playoffs was FAR weaker than the teams fielded around the other two candidates. What’s more, look at the scoring distribution on Pitt and Wash: 2 of the Caps centers were right after 8 in ppg, meaning that the Caps got scoring from a line that wasnt just Ovechkin. Same for Pittsburgh, who managed to have a point per game DEFENSEMAN. But the Islanders? All of the point leaders on the team were Tavares’ linemates. What about the Islanders #2 center, Frans Neilsen? .6 ppg.

      So where Crosby rocked a pretty high clip per game, when he was out so did 4 other guys. In fact, his being out may have brought up other players scoring- I haven’t looked at game logs, but I do know that the Penguins won an awful lot without Crosby. If that scoring hunch is the case, it shows that Crosby is actually less valuable to his team, especially considering a $9 million cap hit, which will be 12-15% of the salary cap next season.

      And where Ovechkin did his goal thing, it wasn’t all season long. Ovechkin got his tenth goal in game 28. 8 scored 22 goals in the last 20 games, and that grabbed headlines and pushed his team into the postseason, but lets not forget the Milbury rant pointing out how often Ovie checks out, sometimes for games at a time. Nor does an MVP threatened to abandon his team, as Ovechkin did.

      So looking at ppg, it shows me that Tavares carried 2 players, whereas both Washington and Pitts had compliments to their candidates. But more importantly, lets look at this contest via anecdotal information, and you can explain your answer-

      Remove 87 from Pitt. Do they still make the playoffs?
      Remove 8 from the Capitals. Do they still make the playoffs?
      Remove 91 from the Island. Do they still make the playoffs?

      Let me know what you think

      • Daniel says:

        Crosby had 56 points in 36 games before suffering a broken jaw that ended his regular season… regardless on your position on the pens, that is an amazing stat… your obsession with him missing 25% of games.. ok he played 75%.. big deal. That’s an amazing feat for any player, JT, Ovie, datysuk, or anyone else.

        He has a plus 26 rating… compared to JT’s…

        He collected points in 28 of the 36 games he played in (77.8%), including 17 multi-point efforts, and recorded three point streaks of six games or more, including an eight-game stretch.

        The same year he won the MVP in 2007, he both had 36 goals. His plus minus rating in 2007 was PLUS 10. This year 26.

        Now onto Ovechkin:
        Finished 3rd in points
        First in Power Play Goals
        Leading the Capitals to an 11-1-1 record in April

        again, you are a blogger, you are biased. but please spell “nielsen” right.

        But i guess stats doesnt mean shit to you. GO JT

        • MattandDan says:

          Remove 87 from Pitt. Do they still make the playoffs?
          Remove 8 from the Capitals. Do they still make the playoffs?
          Remove 91 from the Island. Do they still make the playoffs?

          Let me know what you think

          • Daniel says:

            The same year he won the MVP in 2007, he both had 36 goals. His plus minus rating in 2007 was PLUS 10. This year 26.

            Now onto Ovechkin:
            Finished 3rd in points
            First in Power Play Goals
            Leading the Capitals to an 11-1-1 record in April

            again, you are a blogger, you are biased. but please spell “nielsen” right.

        • KO21 says:

          I don’t always agree with these bloggers because they tend to come off way too negatively for my liking,(No offense, Matt&Dan)although I do agree with them here. They are basically saying that the Most Valuable Player should be the player that is the MOST “VALUABLE” PLAYER to their team. If JT was removed from the Isles roster they would be a lottery team. If you remove Crosby from the Penns they would be a Stanley Cup Contender regardless. So who is more VALUABLE, as a player, to their respective clubs, JT or Crosby? Its JT, IMHO, because he is the MOST VALUABLE PLAYER to his team. The Isles wouldn’t have gotten this far without him. The Pens on the other hand would win in spite of whether or not Crosby plays or not. They can win a Cup with or without Crosby.

          • MattandDan says:

            KO, if you agreed with everything we wrote, we couldn’t respect you. This is our viewpoint, and albeit negative, we’re not going to be positive until John Tavares is hoisting hardware over his head on ice at the end of a playoff run. Why settle for anything less?

  4. Scott says:

    Clarkson will be the most regretted UFA signing from this year. He has been a 3rd liner at best minus about 3 or 4 months of his career.

    Bailey-Tavares-Nino
    Grabner-Strome-Okposo
    Nelson-Nielsen-Stalberg
    Martin-Cizikas-McDonald

    Trade Moulson in a package for a top 2 defensman, His limited game was exposed big time in the playoffs. Trade the 1st and a mid-level prospect for Bernier.

    My hybrid off-season with a little of what I want and what the Isles MIGHT do. I of course don’t expect Moulson to be traded, but with 1 year left on his contract and a very one dimensional game, this is probably the time to move him.

  5. MattandDan says:

    Hey all,

    Daniel’s cowardice and avoidance shows that even biased pens fans who are hardcore bandwagoneers will avoid the following facts:

    1) they won a cup because they were coached by an Islanders coach

    2)they win without Crosby because they saw a window of opportunity and of course took it. Their team as formed is irrelevant in 3 years

    3) Pens win with or without crosby. He’s a dynamic player no doubt, but his value added isn’t all that great, especially since he’s paid more than the entire 4th and part of the 3rd line

    4) without crosby, this is still a playoff team. Thus, NOT an MVP. Actually, on a team that talented, he’s a detriment.

    Also, they have to work in pittsburgh. I’d prefer to work in Johannesburg.

    • Daniel says:

      Facts? JT was a MINUS PLAYER.

      1. Actually he was coach of the baby pens, in 2008-2009 when he got called up to coach for the pens.

      2. If the isles have money, why arent the spending it now? Makes the team less relevant. Wouldn’t they want to WIN NOW, than NEXT YEAR. Pens saw the opportunity to get Morrow, Iginla. It makes the league say, ” WE WANT TO WIN NOW.”

      3. Again, his salary has nothing to do with the success of the Pens. Tavares signed a six-year, $33 million extension with the Islanders. That equals to about 5.5. million a year. Now Crosby is getting paid more, about 8.7 million. He was offered more money but took less to help his team. If JT is making 5.5 mil a year, why hasnt the team won?

      4. Did JT play hockey last year? or the year before? so he played for the isles the last couple of years and they team STILL didn’t make the playoffs…

      Again, come up with new material. Check your facts. Maybe look on wikipedia but you utter some more nonsense.

      • MattandDan says:

        Remove 87 from Pitt. Do they still make the playoffs?
        Remove 8 from the Capitals. Do they still make the playoffs?
        Remove 91 from the Island. Do they still make the playoffs?

        Stop avoiding the question.

        • Daniel says:

          91 played for the isles the last couple of years and they STILL DIDNT MAKE THE PLAYOFFS..

          that point is irrelevant… when you keep repeating the same question, it doesnt help your creditably.

          Ovechkin helped his team go 11-1-1 in april..

          The islanders BARELY made the playoffs.

          Crosby: 56 points in 36 games
          Piled up points at a rate of 1.56
          The same year he won the MVP in 2007, he both had 36 goals. His plus minus rating in 2007 was PLUS 10. This year 26.

          Hmmmm. I see a trend here.

          In 2005, Crosby’s FIRST season since being drafted, the team was in last place that year, he had 102 points. 63 ASSISTS!

          In 2006 season where crosby won the hart, he amassed 84 ASSISTS.

          In 2013 season, Crosby got 41 ASSISTS.

          • MattandDan says:

            You do know that we’re talking anout the 2013 season, right?

            Crosby has missed 101 games in the last 4 years. How many times in that span has pitt missed the playoffs?

            Just answer the question honestly. I know why you wont- bc it’d blow up you whole argument. Which blows anyway.

  6. Mike says:

    Washington payroll $64,000,000
    Pittsburgh payroll $61,000,000
    Islanders payroll $47,000,000 which counts Tim Thomas and Charles Wang

    Of course you’ll have more points when you are surrounded by better talent. Put Crosby or Ovie on a line with Boyes and Moulson and see if they make it halfway through the season before they request a trade or kill themselves. Crosby had a great rookie season and if you take him off that team they go from last place to last place. If MVP is based on most valuable to their team it’s no contest. Look out how the islanders were perceived a year ago and how they are today. It’s due in majority to one player. If GMs got to take another player from each teams JT would be picked by all from the Islanders while some GMs would take Crosby and others Malkin since they are both all world talents. Personally I look forward to having cup runs rather than MVP debates.

    • Daniel says:

      I agree Mike, but im going to ask answer that question with my question:

      How many times have the islanders made the playoffs WITH JT on their roster? IF MVP is most value, why hasn’t he carried the team into the playoffs every year he’s been on the roster? Perceived is different.

      That’s not necessarily true. I know a different sport, but the same concept. The LA Dodgers. Their payroll is 220 MILLION, highest in the league. They are 18-26. Then take the Oakland A’s. Their payroll is 60 MILLION, YET, they are 25-22.

      It’s all about the islanders front office. If they have money, why are they saving it for next year?

      • Mike says:

        Well the debate isn’t MVP for career it’s MVP for this year. And this year he was the most important player for any team that made the playoffs. The reason he never made the playoffs before is he unfortunately plays for a major league team on a minor league budget and not even Gretzky in his prime could have gotten any team he’s played for anywhere near the playoffs. If the award was most outstanding player and based solely on individual stats you would have a hard time not giving it to 87. But he has the luxury of having another MVP quality player on his team that makes you not miss him as much in his absence. It hurts his MVP chances but greatly helps his cup chances which in the end is the goal of every player anyway. In this case JT playing under a cheap ownership who couldn’t care less about their fans actually helps his cause.

        • Daniel says:

          I think we can agree that we both don’t want OVIE to win. LOL

          A healthy debate is nice. Its about to time that you can recognize Crosby achievements as well as I can for JT. Its not about name calling or saying he will win just because. But if JT wins, I will congratulate him and you for putting up with the isles ownership, and visa versa.

          • MattandDan says:

            Looks like Mike and Daniel worked out their differences!

            As for thge Crosby debate- there is no debate about him being a great player. He happens to play on a great team. That hurts his overall value because his team can with with or without him.

            Replace every Crosby in that paragraph with Tavares. Not even close.

            That said, after seeing how you guys handled Ottawa, it seems that the Islanders were 2 lucky bounces from being a Cinderella story!

  7. Mike says:

    Most teams have ownerships committed to winning. Our ownership was committed to a real estate development and when they did get what the wanted they team and its fans are left suffering. One can only hope they will be sold once getting to Brooklyn to someone with a passion for both winning and it’s fans. As seen in the playoffs we exist and we are loud when given something to cheer about.