Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Future of the New York Islanders: Draft Day

[Editor's Note: Last month, SportsJudge NHL Insider Darren Coslov took an in-depth look back at the futility of the New York Islanders with owner Charles Wang at the helm. Today, he breaks down the upcoming draft and who the Islanders should select with the #1 overall pick.]

Just less than a week from now, the NHL Entry Draft will be underway at the Bell Centre in Montreal. The New York Islanders will return to the war room for the ninth year under current owner Charles Wang, and for the third year under General Manager Garth Snow. There is no better time for the Islanders to find an answer on how to depart the basement of the National Hockey League. There is no better time for Garth Snow to make the right calls and not the wrong ones. There is no better time for Charles Wang to step aside for once, and allow Garth Snow to do just that. This is the Entry Draft the New York Islanders need in order to survive in these tough economic times. Swedish Defenseman Victor Hedman and Canadian superstar John Tavares await their fate, but rest assured one thing, the New York Islanders must draft the right way. General Manager Garth Snow must take the player who will ultimately lead this lowly franchise in the right direction. Islander’s faithful, meet John Tavares.

Since the age of 14, John Tavares has been viewed by many eyes as the next “great one”. In the 2008-09 campaign, the young talented forward from Mississauga, Ontario collected 58 goals and 104 points in 56 games splitting time with the Oshawa Generals and London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Tavares is a player you can build around. For the Islanders, he is a player you can reconstruct around. Garth Snow will need to do just that. John Tavares immediately becomes the #1 center on the Island, but the talent around him, that’s what Garth Snow needs to focus on. Kyle Okoposo, Blake Comeau, Jeff Tambellini, Trent Hunter and Sean Bergenheim are your clear cut choices on the wing. Frans Neilsen and Josh Bailey along with a hopefully healthy veteran Doug Weight will have the opportunity to play behind Tavares, giving the Islanders a glimpse of hope down the middle.

The big secret right now is who the Islanders are going to take with the 1st overall pick. is reporting that the Islanders are not completely sold on the Tavares sweepstakes, yet what team IS publicly convinced on a player prior to draft day? Defenseman Victor Hedman is still in play. I find it hard to believe the Islanders are still deciding. I find it harder to believe they would even consider turning their backs on one player who would put them back on the map. Right now, they are hiding in the basement. They are 30th in the league and as their depth chart indicates currently, they could end up right back where they started a year from today. Garth Snow must draft the best player 1st overall.

The entry draft and July 1st beginning of free agency will dictate the direction of the New York Islanders franchise. Unfortunately, there has been zero direction for 9 years. The revolving door for players and coaches at the old Nassau County Coliseum must be removed. GM Garth Snow should, and almost certainly will be, on the hot seat. Moves need to be made throughout the organization from the ice all the way to the front office. However, at what point do you start to question Owner and Governor Charles Wang? This is a question only Islander fans can ask, especially if they turn their backs on John Tavares.

*The 2009 NHL Entry Draft will air live from Montreal this Friday, June 26 at 7pm on Versus.

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NYIsles1/IslesTigers said...

You seem to have a lot of issues with Wang who only keeps putting out money after we had a billionaire owner who would not let the payroll go above 14 million dollars.

Unless you are in the room with Wang you have no idea if he is making player moves beyond approving the money spent on contracts like any other owner.

Do you really think Mike Illitch woke up and read in the paper he was eighty million dollars poorer when the Wings signed those contracts or Ed Snider did not get a call when Richards got his contract?

One thing for sure is Wang said if his committee did not work he would go back to a traditional format and that's exactly what happened when Snow and Nolan had their roles separated. Dallas only copied them with Hull and the co gm format.

Also a lot of teams are following Wang's strategy of long term contracts for a lot more money per year than the 4.5 million DiPietro received as opposed to less years.

He did not get a 115 million contract either.

Two articles and you did not write once anywhere this team went to four playoffs in five years and were in sixth place in Jaunuary 2008 before a league leading 402 man games lost took their toll or this seasons league record 580 man games lost ended their season before it began.

A lot of teams in this league have been struggling far longer than the NY Islanders, it's also not the late 90's any longer and none of those players have a single championship ring who have moved on several times.

Of course Wang could have drafted Heatley so he could have signed him and demanded out or Gaborik who 80m is not enough to keep him happy in Minnesota.

You don't have to like Wang or the Islanders but please tell the entire story.

Darren Coslov said...

While it has to be a nice feeling waking up on a Monday morning with the addition of John Tavares to your Long Island lineup, there is still plenty of work to be done.

Rest assured one thing Islander faithful, I have zero issues with the Ownership group of the New York Islanders. Every franchise has a different approach on how to be successful under the new CBA. One thing we have noticed on the Island however, is the lack of direction, with tons of confusion.

Where in the world are the Islanders headed? Prior to the draft, this was a question being asked by just about everyone across the Hockey Nation. I can tell you this though, the Islanders were successful this weekend in Montreal.

48 Hours from now, Garth Snow and Charles Wang will be at it again, with high hopes of continuing to change the image of this once storied franchise.

There are question marks all over the Islanders Depth Chart. One thing we can be sure of today, the New York Islanders turned the page this past Friday night. Islander Faithful, there is lot's to look forward too.

Charles Wang and Garth Snow would agree with me.

Anonymous said...

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