It was a decade ago that the Islanders had their second worst team point wise. During that offseason the Islanders (well Milbury) went on a spending spree to make the Islanders a contender. Gone were a boatload of prospects and young promising players. For one season the Islanders had finally seemed to turn it all around, a 40+ point turn around and the toast of the town.
It was a mirage. The team never returned to those same heights again, and nearly every youngster traded has proven to be worth more then that 1 good season. The Islanders prospect system was stripped so bare that almost nothing remains from the Islanders draftees of those days. They are not only back to square one, but worse off then when they started.
Yet to hear Islander fans talk, you would think they’d give up everything to be competitive for just one season again. Is Mediocrity that great?
There seems to be a misunderstanding of how the NHL works. Despite the Rangers having the leagues highest payroll year in and out while they failed spectacularly, everyone in NY seems to think you can buy a winner in the NHL. For this I blame the Yankees and Mets especially, but the Knicks too. For whatever reason though, it just doesn’t work like that in hockey. Actually on a regular basis teams that have tried to buy a contender have had it completely backfire nearly every time.
Yet it seems that Islander fans are living in a fantasy world in which a new owner with deep pockets is going to show up, start throwing around money left and right, sign every big name on the FA Market and start winning. Let’s not even get into whether or not players will come to the Isles instead of a contender, or that the new owner would be more then willing to just start spending.
I don’t know anymore. Everyone screams about Parenteau and how the Islanders should have spent more on a winger. Yet one of the wingers who the Islanders could have signed, Frolov, is having a near identical season to Parenteau. Meanwhile Parenteau is making 3 million less.
It seems like everything that has to do with the Islanders now suddenly becomes some crazy conspiracy theory.
Did you hear about Cody Rosen’s dad having something to do with his drafting?
Did you hear that Wang prefers the team to be bad so he has a writeoff?
Or that Wang refuses to spend above the cap floor?
Look, it was one thing when the string of horrible owners were cutting costs in the mid 90s. But now it seems like all these myths could be busted if you took a logical look at the situation. I almost feel like a broken record at this point, but to believe that Wang or Snow want to purposely hurt the Islanders is just silly.
It’s gotten to the point that I want to tell some people to just back away from their computers. Go outside, get a breath of fresh air. Anything to get your mind off of this.
Look, I was critical of Don Maloney, I was critical of Mike Milbury, but did I ever believe they had anything but the best intentions for the team? No. I can sit down and look at a majority of the Milbury trades and put a positive spin on at least what he was trying to accomplish.
The real litmus test will be this offseason. They have to keep Moulson and the other RFAs who are important to the future of the team. There’s almost no reason I can think of for Moulson to leave the Island, unless they offer him an insulting contract. If that happens, and the Islanders struggle to sign Bailey/Okposo, then I’ll admit that I was wrong all along.
But it should be obvious that the future for the Islanders involves Okposo and Bailey and Moulson and Schremp and a few others. The Islanders have the space under the cap to sign them, and Snow has repeatedly said he is given free reign to spend. We’ll find out this offseason who was right.