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The First Dent in the Armor?

By Danny Radical

I saw an eclipse on Monday, September 24. Both Isles Realists and Isles Kool Aid were united in their complaints. What brought them together? The “players who were reassigned” list from the New York Islanders.

Look at who made the team. Luca Sbisa. Thomas Kuhnhackl. Valtteri Filppula. Ugh. Was there no 22 year old that outplayed them? If so, that speaks volumes to the bad drafting or bad contracts of Garth Snow - take Michael Dal Colle’s 47th rookie camp as consideration. And if the kids did outplay the vets? It’s maybe a peek into what the Islanders plans are for this season, which will absolutely minimize winning.

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How can we say this is going to be a tank season? Let’s start with Lou’s offseason, which were full of suspect moves. The most suspect was the Leo Komarov contract. 4 years? For a 4th liner? This is a contract that if I didn’t know better I would have thought was inked by Garth Snow.

But why would they tank? Because Snow made such a shitshow of the roster and the prospect pool…what else is there? All Lou can really do is burn a year off of the MANY bad contracts that Snow handed out (HOW many years for Mayfield?), and hopefully moves a contract or two to other teams. Is it fixable? Not this season, unless Lou is a miracle worker.

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At this age, does Lou get the benefit of the doubt to rebuild this team? Lou isn’t a spring chicken, whatever that is, and it is very fair in looking at his acquisitions to wonder if he’s playing a game based in the 1990’s and 2000’s. 4 years for ross Johnston. 4 years for Komarov. Trading for Matt Martin. These aren’t players that will improve overall team skill.

And yet…Lou handled this situation in Toronto 3 years ago. He was able to move an unmovable Dion Phaneuf contract. He drafted Austin Matthews. In 25 months Toronto went from hopeless to 105 points…albeit with an embarrassing first round exit to Boston. He acquired a goalie for Toronto- a position Lou feels should be a team strength.

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Not firsts but...

And let’s not overlook the draft the Islanders had last June. They had a deal in place for Max Pacioretty until two players considered top 10 picks –one considered a top 4- fell to the Islanders. And another first round talent was around in round two. And an excellent third round prospect haul. Granted we will not know how these guys turn out for years, but I don’t recall anyone calling a Garth Snow draft the arguable best draft of the year.

So what should Isles fans do going forward? Should we start cringing that Lou may be the sequel to the Garth Snow “12 year of failure” era? Or do we give Lou the benefit of the doubt? This season is going to be filled with growing pains, but one thing is sure- it’s going to take time to clean up 12 years of failure. I’m going to wait until sometime next July to form a stronger opinion, but in the meantime I’m very curious about how this season is going to turn out.

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