So I’ve been a fan of the Islanders since the 93 season (When I was all of 12 years old). To this point it’s still the highlight of my following the Islanders. When I moved in with my current roomie, it was during the Flyers run behind Biron to the Conference Finals. It was amazing, as the Flyers basically turned around one of the worst teams in the league the season before to one of the final four. It’s amazing that teams like the Devils and the Red Wings have been good for so long. The Blackhawks took one shot at rebuilding (once their penny pinching owner died) and managed to make a cup contender. Yet since 93 there have been quite a few rebuilding efforts by the Islanders.
GM: Don Maloney
Began: When Maloney traded for Kirk Muller, trading popular center Pierre Turregon. He proclaimed that the league was heading towards a period of Defense first, and that defensive forward Muller was an improvement over recently hurt Pierre.
Ended: When Maloney was fired because Muller refused to play for the Islanders.
Pros: We did get Eric Fichaud
Cons: Everything else about Maloney. Also this opened the door for mental midget Mike Milbury
GM: Mike Milbury
Began: When Milbury was promoted to replace Maloney. He promised a five year plan which would have us in Cup Contention by 00/01.
Ended: When Milbury ran out of patience and traded Bertuzzi and McCabe for Trevor Linden to “Win Now”. He also fired Rick Bowness and put himself behind the bench. The team proceeded to collapse and miss the playoffs.
Pros: Nothing wrong term. Anyone from this rebuilding/period was traded or dumped.
Cons: The win now mentality also included the trade of Berard for Potvin and other short term deals.
GM: Mike Milbury
Began: The trading of Linden for a 1st round pick in 99, the first of 3 such picks added to the Islanders pick that year.
Ended: Take your pick, either the deal of Conolly and Pyatt for Micheal Peca or Chara and a first rounder for Yashin.
Pros: We did get 4 first rounders in 99, considered one of the all time weakest drafts.
Cons: Once again Milbury lost patience and dealt a bunch of youth for Vets who were just good enough to win a handful of playoff games. Worst of all the Isles are still paying for Yashin.
GM: Garth Snow
Began: When Nolan was replaced with Scott Gordon, DiPietro couldn’t recover and Ryan Smyth decided to go elsewhere.
Ended: Not yet
Pros: Garth has shown patience so far and the ability to find surprising FAs. Home growns Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey and John Tavares, along with surprise pickups Matt Moulson, Mark Streit and Rob Schremp have show potential.
Cons: None yet
So in 17 years of watching the Islanders, they’ve announced rebuilding 4 separate times. That means on average every 4 years there’s a fresh group of players who are finally supposed to lead us to the promised land. This might almost be more re buildings then every team in NY during the same time line combined. Although the Mets with their “Generation K” might come close. Here’s to next year!