Reflection and Restoration

My friends, @PucksandPixels (Purveyors of this fine shirt: http://skreened.com/pucksandpixels/ampersand-islanders-captains?direction=asc&field=order&query=&start=0&count=20) have a contest going abut one’s favorite hockey memory in 250 characters or less. I invite you all to follow them, peruse their catalog, and submit your own entries. Then vote for mine, which I’ve included here, as follows:

At the end of the regular season, long time Isles Kenny Jonsson and Claude Lapointe teared up.  The Crowd chanted ‘Play-offs!’ Thus, the New York Islanders set the stage for a vicious first round series against the Maple Leafs. It was the Isles first foray into the playoffs in roughly 2 Olympiads.  The Coliseum crowd was raucous, the vibe between the teams vitriolic. It was 2002. Yashin went board to board through the neutral zone to number 17, Shawn Bates. Bates was a career journeyman enjoying his finest hour on the Lucky 7’s line with Mark Parrish and Mike Peca. A busted change as the Isles came out out of their own zone led to Bates hitting the ice before his linemates and having an angle on Bryan McCabe.  McCabe laid out to swipe the puck, a move he’d executed repeatedly as an Islander, and failed. Referee Brad Watson’s arm shot up then pointed towards center. Bates collected himself, taunted the irritable Curtis Joseph, and calmly skated over to his bench to wipe down his visor, getting some sage advice from Captain Peca and Backup Goalie Garth Snow on Joseph’s tendencies as native L.I.er Billy Joel’s ‘Pressure’ spoke to the moment.  He strode in, the clock frozen at 2:31, pulling further towards the far boards with each deke. Off the third deke, he snapped a high wrist-shot glove side just inside the post and under the bar. The crowd erupted and Bates was mobbed by his teammates. “Play-offs”, indeed.

I’ve been blessed in that I’ve gotten to see a great many wonderful moments from my teams, as such I’ll seldom lament the myriad of new and innovative ways they fail me. A Tavares Hat trick. Dave Justice homering and the Braves winning the series. Marino’s fake spike. From 1-15 to 11-5. A plethora of good memories. I can’t honestly complain. It looks like the saga of the Islanders is heading towards a resolution, and Brooklyn is seemingly emerging as front runner.

That’s just fine by me, as noted here earlier.

The team (Mark Streit specifically) just notched out 10,000 goal. Here’s a video retrospective (including that Bates goal I remember so fondly) put together by the team: http://t.co/ASMBOIZa

One other tidbit, before I get into the reason I’m writing.

That Potvin’s Cup shirt is BOSS. Buy it here:

http://crosstownny.bigcartel.com/product/potvin-s-cup

I by the way, need a collaborator for a ‘chirping’ line of t-shirts. I have photoshop SKILLZ but no other artistic talent, and would like to make a dozen or so designs running down various franchises. Shoot me a link to your work if interested.

Anyhow, onto the jist of today’s piece.

With the SHOCKING DEPARTURE of Tim “I have less points then Rick DiPietro this season” Wallace, The Isles limp in to a rivalry meeting with the Enemy tomorrow. This will be a tall test. That’s fine. I’ve already kind of moved on to next year with the re-signing of The Frans and the courting of Nabokov on a two year pact.

This is what we should look like from the net out next year:

-Netminders-

1. Nabokov

2. Poulin

-Blueline-

1. Hamonic /MacDonald

2. Streit / Acquisition

3. Hamrlik / Child (Ness or Donovan, or CDH if ready)

3a. Reese (Good 7th D).

-Up Front-

Herein lies the rub.

Tavares will anchor the first line. That much is certain. Ditto for the 30 goal Accomplice, Matt Moulson riding shotgun. I believe The Islanders still intend to re-sign PA Parenteau. However, that is also looking increasingly less certain.

So, let’s discuss what should happen. Firstly, the 4th line should have Cizikas added with Reasoner carried as the depth forward. Haley should be opposite Martin on this line. Cizikas and Martin are both defensively reliable and capable of PKing. Reasoner is an accomplished enough vet to move aside as his deal is cap friendly enough where we won’t notice him in the pressbox.We’ll do this in reverse order.

4a. Reasoner

4. Martin / Cizikas / Haley

3. Grabner / Nielsen / Niederreiter

IF PA is re-signed

2. Strome /Bailey-Acquisition/Okposo-Acquisition

1. Moulson / Tavares / Parenteau

If PA is NOT re-signed:

2. Strome / Bailey / Acquisition

1. Moulson / Tavares /Okposo

Basically, The New York Islanders business model dictates most of these decisions. ELC Cap hit on Strome and Cizikas bumps the number to offset some of the cap departures of Rolston, Staios, Jurcina, Eaton, and Witt’s buyout.  Hamrlik’s 3.5 million dollar bandaid gets you closer. Parenteau’s extension or the subsequent replacement in the top 6 get you to the floor. The rub here is that I believe if Parenteau is locked up, either Bailey or Okposo will be dealt to facilitate that Defensive addition I speculated about along with Hamrlik.

Roman Hamrlik can be had for a song, is dependable, knows the Island, and will help develop our kids. He is not a top line acquisition. That will only be acquired by giving UP something or making a ridiculous Brian Campbell like contract offer to someone.

The lynchpin here is locking up Nabokov. That stability gives you a lot more wiggle room.

We aren’t desperate. Our farm system is finally showing the fruits of the rebuilds labor. It’s time to harvest some of that.

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