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Do The NY Islanders Add Ryan Murray?
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Do The NY Islanders Add Ryan Murray?

The Isles have left a significant gap in defense with their trade of Nick Leddy. Despite fan criticism of his playoff performance, where he showed flaws in their primarily defensive/grinding strategy, he was a strong puck mover and offensive force during the season. He was their defensive assists and first assists leader. The UFA market saw possible replacements go quickly to new teams. Right now, the Isles remain without a left-handed top 4 dman that would be across from Scott Mayfield (who looked very good in that playoff defensive/grind strategy). Don’t expect management to hand the keys to prospects or kids on the cusp like Sebastian Aho, Robin Salo, or Samuel Bolduc. Nobody is slating a kid for a top 4 role for a playoff/cup contending team with big expectations next season. ...
Wang Loyal To A Fault, But There Was No Fault In His Loyalty to Long Island
History, NHL, NY Islanders

Wang Loyal To A Fault, But There Was No Fault In His Loyalty to Long Island

I always have had mixed feelings on Charles Wang. He left Mike Milbury in charge far too long. The Town of Hempstead complained of an unwillingness to reduce the Lighthouse Project. Yet, later on, Wang and Kate Murray had met for lunch to have their principles hash out those differences. So no matter the ToH's public complaints, Charles tried to cross that divide. Which is why their failure to have it come to a vote would always let the blame fall on them instead of Charles. This was something Kate Murray, and then Anthony Santino failed to understand. Both toppled from their political trajectory since. Charles Wang was so loyal to Tom Suozzi that he did not answer Ed Mangano’s phone-calls for months. He was personal friends with Rick DiPietro and negotiated his longterm deal him...
Goodbye, Farewell and Amen
History, NY Islanders

Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

This is about closing out the past and moving on.  As you well know, I was big on some aspects of the Garth Snow regime. However, in the last few years, many forget that I was one of his largest critics, along with criticism of the Isles org and Charles Wang’s handling of the Lighthouse Project. So much so, that before Chris Botta had his credentials removed, I had also in the heat of the Lighthouse Project battle. I had warned him if they came for me, they would come for him. Indeed they did.  However, our circumstances are different. And the past… well is the past. I have been able to get credentialed access since, besides access with the NHL all along. Though I still wait for the NY Islanders to explain and sort those old items out. C’est la vie. They have never been pr...
Lou Lamoriello And The Deathly Hallows
History, NY Islanders

Lou Lamoriello And The Deathly Hallows

A meeting with Lou in the post-Lou run Isles runs like a cross-examination during a court case. There will be Yes or No questions. There will be no room for personal opinion, extra descriptions, or any spin. His face will put Garth Snow’s poker game to shame. It belies absolutely no read whatsoever.  And the meeting will probably be about 10 minutes, at best.  The longer it goes, the more it starts to mimic one of the Dementors of Azkaban where Lou starts to suck your soul. Just ask the last GM and coach... Voldemort... err... Lou has taken over Hogwarts and kicked Bumbledore and Doug Weight right to the curb. The rest of the staff are shell-shocked and unsure if they have jobs or just need to dance at Lou’s request to survive.  Yes, Lou says everyone else is st...
All The Right Things
History, NY Islanders

All The Right Things

In the spring of 2017 John Tavares would tell a group of people at a local Manhasset bar that he was moving from Manhasset to Garden City “so to be closer to Belmont”.  It is one of the items that haunts me and likely haunts some of his former teammates these days in the smoking wreckage of the NY Islanders free agency period.  It is one of the items that burn the many who rode through the rocky season in the hopes he was onboard the future. Because he always said the right things.  The NY Islander management and staff were always taken in by this. They were very sure that his future was tied to the Belmont RFP.  Except when the Belmont RFP finally came, he still didn’t sign.  But he said all the right things. Just as he said when he wasn't traded l...
Fear Of An Old School NHL GM
History, NY Islanders

Fear Of An Old School NHL GM

LOU #1: There are Stanley Cup rings from a bygone era of clutch and grabbing, the trap, and a totally different NHL. There is LOU #2 which is the post-lockout GM signing older vets to overpaid and longterm contracts in NJ’s later years. LOU #3: Then there is the question of “How much Lou, how much Shanahan, and how much Dubas” that was in Toronto the last few years? And a few mixed results.  So far Lou has shown in his first NY Islanders free agency thus far a tendency to be the 2nd Lou.  Yes, both NHL UFA Day 1 signings of Valtteri Filppula and Leo Komarov have uses as role players in the bottom six. God knows the Penalty Kill sure sucked last year. No argument there. However, Komarov got a 4 year deal with No Trade list (can list up to 7 teams h...
No Joy In Mudville, Mighty Lou Strikes Out
History, NHL, NY Islanders

No Joy In Mudville, Mighty Lou Strikes Out

It is probably not fair to Lou Lamoriello to blame him for not retaining John Tavares. After all, what organization shakes itself up when trying to retain their best player? Especially so late. I mean... if they were going to do it... do it as soon as the season ends. It was done months later. That would be on the Isles owners.  Sure, perhaps the team needed it. I’ll give you that. But ask yourself how many teams changed their GM and Coach when their franchise player is about to be a free agent? Yeah, exactly.  Furthermore... especially when that player has good relationships with those people. This seems ignored by just too many. He was very close with Doug Weight and liked Garth Snow. Plain fact.  I get that John Tavares is the enemy and many fans are bewil...
Lou Sweeps Out Isles Offices – Could Trotz Be The Target
History, NY Islanders

Lou Sweeps Out Isles Offices – Could Trotz Be The Target

Leave it to Lou to cross every hockey operations taboo this offseason. You never sweep out staff this late. The NHL draft is only a few weeks away. Well, guess what, they never met Lou Lamoriello. Lou's evaluation churned like a buzzsaw today as the NY Islanders announced that both Garth Snow and Doug Weight would no longer be in their current roles in the organization. They do remain in the organization in another capacity, however.  Lou took over as GM and sits in the driver's seat this NHL draft with all scouts and draft staff now reporting to him.  As Mel Brooks once said: "It's good to be king!" Hilariously, it isn't even SUMMER yet! Which begs the question of why so fast? Just Lou's normal speed? Sure. But also notice that Washington Capitals ...
PIRATES OF THE EXPANSION DRAFT – Expect Vegas To Use Cap Space As Asset Which Dictates The Isles Future
Analytics, Expansion Draft

PIRATES OF THE EXPANSION DRAFT – Expect Vegas To Use Cap Space As Asset Which Dictates The Isles Future

Say you are George McPhee. You would want a bevy of picks and low-cost players to mesh together for a long-run. Sure, the NHL installed a rule to say they need to be some-what competitive. But if you are GM (and IF the owner is on-board) you sit back and do the best foot forward for the long-haul … and that means collecting 1st round picks. So here come the NY Islanders who would love to remove Grabovski from their cap, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple. Despite all the fans barking about LTIR (Long Term Injury Reserve), it has never been so simple. The issue is Grabovski WANTS TO PLAY. You CANNOT place a player that feels he can play on LTIR. It would then become a longer drawn-out issue of the NHLPA/NHL, requiring testing done with independent doctors to determine this. So since...
The Battle Between Jack Capuano & Garth Snow
History, NHL, NY Islanders

The Battle Between Jack Capuano & Garth Snow

A GM who builds his team based on analytics best practices and drafts conducted by their Director of Analytics since 2006 is bound to piss off an old-time coach eventually. When the pressure built last season there were rumblings of a discord between Capuano and internal staff. There was also blowback from players on Capuano’s methods. Overall, most veteran players liked Jack Capuano, but they did not like some of the items coming from him as they struggled last season. We can only assume it wasn’t very pretty this season, as well. We saw the result of these as we called Cappy’s non-analytics moves as Cappylytics, which also helped sink his ship this season. The fact is that this fundamental split was shown when Cappy ran out of coach skill-set and options on h...