Ok, so the Islanders are officially eliminated from Stanley Cup contention (not that many of the fan base actually wanted them to make it as an 8th seed to be smashed by Washington in the first round). They've done their fans justice by sticking around long enough to make it interesting, but we as intelligent fans weren't kidding ourselves. So anyway, now that they are out, for the love of GOD... LOSE EVERY FREAKIN GAME TIL THE END OF THE SEASON. The goal now is the higher draft pick. One of the following, sure fire blue chippers are what the team needs.
1. Taylor Hall
2. Tyler Seguin
3. Cam Barker
Hall and Sequin seem to flip flop for the top spot and Barker is a lock at the 3 spot barring earth shattering events like injury or teams making weird deals to get him for their own. I don't know much about the three save for Hall and Seguin are tearing up scoring races, but Hall is on a better team, which ironically has Barker on it as well. (Maybe I've read that wrong too, but I do know for sure Seguin is on a less talented team and continues to be a prodigy on his own). I guess it comes down to who the scouts feel is a better fit for the team. I'm liking Seguin myself, even though I was "All for Hall" for the majority of the season. The Islanders have holes up and down the lineup, with the exception of 3rd liner depth guys. They have some great guys on top, and one more blue chipper would be great. On defense, Cam Barker would be sweet, but I just like more scoring and hope that the big wigs can get someone free agent wise for the defense core. Based on play this year, everyone on defense is expendable outside of Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald, and Jack Hillen.
In goal, the Isles are very likely to keep Roloson and Dipietro, even if Dipietro is still wobbly on his knees. People keep saying that there's lots of goalies on the free agent market the summer, but who in their right mind would come into that mess after what Martin Biron has gone through this year, with sparse playtime and even a demotion to the minors? I guess there's always someone desperate for a contract, but will that be someone the Islanders want or even need?
Here's who I think the Isles should bring back next year (including folks with contracts, obviously)
Matt Moulson (love this guy!)
Now obviously some of these guys are contracted so it's moot. If you are Islanders fans, or followers, you'll notice some names missing, like Sean Bergenheim. This guy has been disappointing since day one. Jeff Tambellini is obviously not going to get playing time, so he'll be on his way out too. Rdek Martinek is just made out of tissue paper it seems, so the 20 games he plays a year just aren't worth it. Anybody left beyond this are simply out of contract or are minor leaguers making the best out of a bad team.
Who would I like to see the Islanders pick up? Assuming someone will actually COME to the team in the offseason? Let's take a look.
The Islanders won't have any older guys this fal coming beyond Trent Hunter, who himself isn't that old. So, a veteran who could contribute a little offensively for a 1 or 2 year contract and teach the youngin's some of the ropes would be great. A perfect fit would be Paul Kariya or Ray Whitney on the left side, or maybe Scott Walker on the right. A fourth line center is all they need in the middle, so a steal of MAYBE a John Madden would be great, however, it'll be tough to get someone with any real talent left to play 4th line minutes. Taveres, Bailey, and Shremp need to continue to grow and gel as top line centers, so they should get most of the minutes.
On defense, I'd love to see them get someone who is actually 6 foot or taller, and heavier than 200lbs. The Isles defense is so small you'd think they were a chess club who got their teeth knocked out if they were in street cloths. Adam Foote would be great. A reclaimation project would be fun, so Nick Boynton would be a good fit for that.
In goal, it's a reach for anyone as there are TWO incumbents already. A third stringer who will get time mostly at the start of the season and possibly get a demotion by game 40, a good fit might be Patrick Lalime, or Manny Legace.
This is all pure conjecture though, as all of this is based on a GM that seemingly likes to do things that people won't think he'll do. Garth Snow is a snakey bastard and can pull of random things like signing Martin Biron last summer, which make little sense in the long run but seem to work out along the way. I'd like to see some of this happen, but hey, I'm just a fan with not near the knowledge of some of the guys who really talk about this stuff has.
I guess we'll see.
Until then, see you tomorrow. :)