Election day 2019 is coming up. Many people take these
elections off because they are odd year elections. There’s no one running for
President, there’s hardly any congressional seats up for grabs, and most people
have no idea who the local candidates are, so they’re not sure whom to vote
Most people. Not this guy. I know someone who is running in Nassau
County for a gig she doesn’t deserve, and frankly should just get the fuck out
of politics. That “person” is Kate Murray.
Kate Murray was a Town Clerk who was appointed- not elected-
to become the Supervisor of the Town of Hempstead. Under Murray’s leadership,
the Town saw its credit rating slashed so often – three times in one year
alone- that you’d think her maiden name was Krueger. Or if you looked at her, Cruller.
In case you aren’t sure what slashing a credit rating means,
here’s the simple version- the Town of Hempstead has a credit score just like
you and I. Under Murray, she turned the Town into an equivalent of a score of
400. So when the town wants to borrow money, they pay way higher interest rates
than someone who, you know, pays their bills on time? And is responsible?
Also, the mythology of Town of Hempstead Republicans
lowering taxes? Yeah, just look at the tax rolls over Murrays term, and fuck
Donald Clavin, too. Under Murray taxes became so lopsided that the Town now has
to correct the many, many errors left in Murray’s walrus like wake. But that’s
not the point.
Murray fucked things up. Big time. Just drive along Hempstead Turnpike or any major road in the TOH. Count the shuttered businesses. Count the vacant stores. On a main road. Nice job, tubby.
And yes, Kate is fat. This leads to nicknames like Cake
Murray, Kate Morbidity, Kate Munchie, and Big Fat Whaleass Lard Gunt.
But even this egregious governance will still find a loyal
following of sheep who think politics works like sports, where there is a
winner and a loser and nothing in between. And oddly, this is what sank her
like the iceberg she is to a Titanic.
In short, she fucked with something people love.
Kate Murray opposed the redevelopment of the Nassau Hub. For
those who don’t know, the Nassau Hub is the area presently occupied by the
Nassau Coliseum, a Hotel, a giant parking lt, and now a Sloan Kettering
building. And by opposing the redevelopment of the Hub, Murray specifically
told the Islanders to beat it. Look at this quote from May, 2012, a season that
the Islanders missed the playoffs:
“Our work has been completed. We
adopted our zone for the Coliseum area. Because this was such a jewel in the
crown property, we created a zone that is sustainable from an economic
standpoint…These are low days for the NHL. With the Rangers, it’s exciting.”
Ranger, it’s exciting? Well Chunk, it’s exciting to live in the Town of Babylon
where they actually manage to assess property tax without an entire cottage
industry of lawyers fighting tax errors. It’s exciting to live in the Town of
North Hempstead where there are Gold Coast mansions. What’s exciting about the
Town of Hempstead, south of people throwing hay on the floor of your office and
watching you do what you do best?
someone handing you a paycheck for hundreds of thousands of dollars each year-
maybe millions, KNOWING that you’d piss every penny away on nothing, and you
turn around and kick them in the nuts? That’s what Murray did. Check out this
other quote from Quasimodo:
“While we were making these
investments, what were Bettman, the NHL and its wealthy owners doing?
Seemingly, nothing except casting the occasional stone our way. Well, it’s time
for them to put their money where their mouth is. Why can’t the league and its
owners put together a financing package for Wang so that he can build his new
Coliseum with private funds, in much the same way that former Red Sox owner
John I. Taylor did with Fenway Park?”
point, she’s not entirely wrong. Sports leagues should not expect or receive public
subsidies for sports arenas. It’s a losing proposition and hurts taxpayers who
pay for rich people to get more rich. And she’s right that Wang never offered
to pay for just a new Coliseum out of his own pocket. However, sports leagues generally
don’t pay for arenas, because most areas see having a sports team as a matter
of local and civic pride. As an item that unifies the surrounding areas that
brings people together. But I guess it’s impossible to expect someone to have
pride that lets themselves look like that.
we approach this current election, Murray has said that it was never about the
team but about the land. The land that she did absolutely nothing with. She
also said that Islander fans should move on because we’re back at the Coliseum-
despite her efforts against such- and are successful so that’s enough.
Understand that up to this point in time in writing this, I had no idea who was the Town Clerk for the Town of Hempstead, or even who running against Murray. I had to look it up to finish writing this mess.
Here’s what I do know- I would vote for a tin can before I’d vote for that Moe from the Three Stooges haircut having slob. People say in politics that they want a uniter, not a divider. Well folks, Murray has united Islander fans. How do I know? Because as I drove home one day from work, I saw a Kate Murray campaign poster on my block. And someone spray painted an Islanders logo over her name.
We don’t forget our heroes- their names hang in our rafters. And we don’t forget our enemies- their names fall out of our mouths with disgust. Fuck you, Dale Hunter, Fuck you, Mark Messier. Fuck you, Kirk Muller. Fuck you, John Tavares.
In the most meaningless endorsement ever given, I am on record endorsing Sylvia Cabana. I mean, unless she’s a kid toucher or a crackhead, of course. I don’t know her, so I can’t vouch for that. She seems nice. But I know who she’s not, and I know she’s never spoken ill about the Islanders. And she even wants us to have NHL hockey games in our backyard.
According to Kate, #Isles fans have “moved on”. Let’s send her a message on November 5th to show we haven’t forgotten! Progress is on the ballot! Thanking you in advance for your contribution and support!https://t.co/iiVbfSf4KY— Sylvia A. Cabana (@SylviaCabana) February 22, 2019
So on November 5, Islanders fans, do not forget who the political equivalent of the Rangers are. The difference? If Kate heard the chicken dance, she’d eat it. Vote Cabana. And maybe find a town patronage job for fatso. I understand the weeds by the Coliseum need some grazing.
The NBA is
performing its annual world exhibition series. This series of games is part of
the goodwill of the best professional league in the world, but also reflects
the ever growing global popularity of the game of basketball. Basketball is
popular because it’s as cheap to play as soccer, and is an accessible game to
pretty much anyone. Fans in China especially love basketball and are very
supportive of the NBA.
literal shit hit the fan. Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey spoke in support of
the protests presently going on in Hong Kong. In case you weren’t sure what was
going on in Hong Kong, here is the short version:
Hong Kong has been a part of China after being a British colony. The residents
have historically had decades of autonomy from China, and built a thriving
economy. China has mostly left Hong Kong alone as it has been a cash cow, but
every now and then China pokes at Hong Kong just to remind them who is really
protests originate from a bill that was introduced that would allow Hong Kong
to deport suspected criminals to mainland China to face trial there. Many
people feel that such would guarantee extraditions initiated by China, more criminal
convictions and violate their rights, so the residents took to the streets to
protesting police corruption and brutality, and at least one protestor has been
killed by police during these protests. And the protestors also want the
promises of expanded democracy from a 2014 bill enforced. Lots of moving parts,
but basically, they want democracy.
Morey tweeted support for the residents of Hong Kong because generally, the
United States should be supporting democracies all over the world. It has been
a foreign policy of ours since World War Two, one of the main reasons that we spend
billions of dollars to support Israel today, and the impetus for at least four
military conflicts in the last 50 years or so.
A tweet is
so innocuous, right? WRONG. Morey was bombarded with HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of angry
tweets from China. League officials started to speak out of both ends of their
mouths. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he supports free speech for NBA
employees, and in the same breath said there are consequences for your free
speech. The message was received by the rank and file of the NBA.
coaches Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr danced around supporting Hong Kong
despite being vocal critics of the United States. Lebron James called Morey “uneducated,”
which is interesting. I’m sure there is no direct financial tie between Lebron
and China. Also Lebron managed to firmly plant his foot in his mouth in the
process. But more on this later.
Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai wrote a rambling letter attacking Morey’s knowledge
of China and explaining a history of foreign imperialism in China and why
Chinese are so sensitive to western commentary on Chinese life and culture.
Tsai is from Taiwan, a state that has been long backed by a Western nation that
has preserved their autonomy. Tsai came to America and got a degree from Yale,
and worked hard to earn a $700,000 annual salary from a Swedish investment firm
in Hong Kong before he took those earnings back to the mainland to start the
Chinese equivalent of Amazon, an American idea.
Even more interestingly,
all of the aforementioned actors are silent on the current Chinese persecution
of the Muslim Uighur population, who are pretty much presently sitting in camps
which the Chinese say serve the purpose of reeducation. Any person who has ever
read a history book knows what reeducation means. You would think a guy that
makes profits in China and became an internet billionaire like Tsai would want
all the people in China to be his customers and be free to shop on line, but he’s
predictably quiet on the subject.
I get the
feeling that Joe Tsai is an asshole, but it’s just a feeling. Based on
anecdotal data. I’m sure he gets birthday gifts for his kids or something, but
I don’t have a source on that.
So you may
be asking, why is the NBA so afraid of China? Why are the players shutting the
fuck up? Why are North American arenas taking away not only protest signs, but
also informational campaigns out of their arenas? And the answer is simple-
collective bargaining agreement (CBA) creates a split in league generated
revenue between players and owners at basically a 50-50 share. The players
share of revenue is generally expressed in the salary cap. If you’ve followed
the NBA, you’d know that revenues grow annually, meaning the cap grows annually,
so every year players get paid more and more.
example? When the New York Knicks gave undrafted bench energy player Ron Baker
a contract, it was for a two way roughly $540,000. That’s like sports minimum
wage. However, Baker had a management team that believed in handing out bad
contracts more than they believed in him. Baker as a rookie averaged 4 points,
2 rebounds and 2 assists a game for that season. Those stats made him a
gave Baker $9 million dollars over the next two years. I’m pretty sure I can
post those same stats for $530k over 50 games like Baker did, and would gladly
sign a 2 year deal for $9 million. And not even see the end of that contract,
as he was waved by both the Knicks the Washington Wizards last season.
Why the fuck
would you give Ron Baker a $10 million net value as a human being? Because the
NBA prints money.
cap for the upcoming season is $109 million, and is expected to more to $117
million for the 2020-2021 season. Why go through all of this?
China. If China decides “Nah, fuck you” to the NBA and stops showing games,
supporting teams, cutting off apparel sales, the conservative estimate is that
the NBA salary cap for 2020-2021 is going to be $99 million, and the doomsday
estimate is $94 million.
million to $94 million? That means a team loses $46 million in revenues. And
the players on that team combined lose $23 million. But that’s not just all.
There are 30
teams in the NBA. That’s $690 million of player salaries that will go away.
Raises that will be reduced. Unrestricted free agents what will see pay cuts
for becoming a better player. Veterans who will have prematurely ending
careers. Do you think that players want to see nearly $700 million go up in
smoke? And owners see almost $1.4 billion not hit their bank accounts? FUCK NO.
So you want
to know why Lebron is toeing a line? Or Popovich? Or Kerr? Or every player in
the league? Or arena security? Because everyone has jobs and money on the line.
The NBA players union assuredly wants the cap to escalate, not return to 2016-
which was $94 million.
As American citizens, we enjoy the ideas of democracy and freedom. We believe on some level that we should support sucj ideas if they are in our best interest. And people are looking at a guy like Lebron- a guy who has never had loyalty to anything in a career but Lebron and opportunity- who made some hypocritical statements and are calling him a dick. Lebron actually said that in this matter he does not want to be political. He doesn’t want to be political? He mocked the current president. He campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2016. He’s gotten involved in public schooling in Ohio. He’s been vocal in the Black Lives Matter movement. He’s absolutely political.
He’s China’s bitch. So…maybe he has more in common with the president than he
I talk to
people. I have yet to meet one that has said “I agree with what Lebron did. He
has to cover his ass.” Pretty much everyone sees him as full of shit, which is
easy to realize if you every watched that self-absorbed shit ESPN “The Decision”
many people who are yelling that Lebron should have made a statement about the
Hong Kong situation. They say things like “You have to express what you feel
even if its in the face of losing money” or “If you believe in the cause, who
cares what your boss says, because freedom is important!” A lot of these people
are right leaning, which I find interesting.
they’re fucking hypocrites.
How did I
make that jump? Remember that Colin Kaepernick guy? The guy that expressed what
he believed in despite losing a lot of money? And they spoke out for freedom
and social issues despite his bosses asking him not to? Oh, they guy was
buried. “Shut the fuck up and play!” How DARE you take a knee during what
historically has been…a commercial break. When TV networks- like right leaning
Fox and left leaning CBS- have taken a knee for the anthem, too.
same douchebags? They were the ones saying about Kaepernick “If I did whatever
I wanted to at my job without a care about what my boss said? I’d be so fired!”
So, to be clear, you’d shut up and do as your told? Like Lebron is doing?
Yes, I know
you’re not worth half a billion dollars as Lebron is. But while there is some
courage in having “fuck you” money, most people like to get paid to do things.
Can Lebron never work again and be ok? Sure, absolutely. Can you and I? No. So
he should live by different rules than you do? Who else is subject to your
whims? So, here’s what I’d suggest.
Shut the fuck
up. It’s easy to have armchair courage. But fact is, people love to just
complain and never fix shit. And I’m not even talking about the racism angle
here, which absolutely has something to do with it. I don’t recall anyone
complaining when Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas refused to meet then
President Barack Obama. Seems people liked the freedom of expression back then
that they presently hate with the Golden State Warriors announcing that they’ll
do the same.
In short, is
the NBA scared about potentially losing billions of dollars? Absolutely. Is
Lebron James a douche? Absolutely. Is Joe Tsai a selfish fucked up
opportunistic individual? Absolutely. Would you rock a boat at work about your
feelings? Not a fucking chance. So when we complain about Kerr and Lebron, are
we hypocritical? Well…you are. I don’t have the suck up gene.
In short, people don’t just want nice things. They want to complain. They want to bury someone and will dance around their reality to do so, like those fucktards that are incels or the skags that are social justice warriors or the jerkoffs who gossip at the office. The NBA and China encouraged people to be douchebags about this specific topic, but if it wasn’t them there would be some other nonsense to blame. So feel however you want about Lebron or China or the NBA. Just don’t pretend that you’re better than any of them. And try to be as good as Daryl Morey.
New York, N.Y.- Monday night provided yet another platform
for the biggest stars of the NFL season to help determine the outcome of a game,
and I’m not referring to any players on the Packers or Lions. The officials
stole the show yet again, injecting themselves into a game that eventually saw
the Packers win the game on a Mason Crosby game-winning field goal as time
The referees were front and center yet again due to a couple
of brutal gaffs in the fourth quarter that helped keep the Packers hopes alive.
Lions defensive lineman Trey Flowers was flagged for two “hands to the face”
penalties in the fourth quarter that after a quick replay showed both plays
were legal and the flag should have stayed off the field. Troy Vincent, the
NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, admitted Tuesday that the
second penalty on Flowers should not have been called, a too little too late
consolation prize for Lions fans.
Penalty flags have been flying at an alarming rate this season.
As Paul Hembekides pointed out on twitter,
there has been an extreme spike in flags per game this season. From 2016-2018,
there were on average 15.8 penalties per game. In 2019, there have been 18.3, a
jump of 2.5 extra flags per game. In Sunday’s Jets-Cowboys game, there was a
penalty flag thrown on six consecutive plays. Six. Consecutive. Plays.
This is a trend the NFL can’t have. With the rules in place
to protect players and world-class athletes training all year, the game has
never seen a more talented group of players on the field. It should be these
players whose jerseys we wear and social media handles we follow that determine
the outcomes of games on the field.
Herein lies the true problem: a solution is easier said than
done. One common fix tossed around is the addition of a “sky judge” to each
game’s officiating crew, which would place an official in the booth to buzz
down to the on-field refs to help correct any egregious calls made in real time.
Two issues I see with this are: 1) We’ve seen with the new
pass interference challenge system that officials are rarely changing the call
on the field. If referees are still deferring to the call made on the field,
even if it’s obvious during the review that the wrong call was made, I don’t
have much confidence that having an official in the booth buzzing down to
correct any missed call would work all that differently 2) As the Washington
Post points out, the NFL is leery that they could even find 17 qualified
officials to fill these new jobs.
The only plausible solution I’ve come up with so far has
been to re-train officials and insert a mindset that the less flags thrown per
game the better. Part of the problem I believe is that it’s easier than ever to
know if the call is right or wrong because television broadcasts can provide
every angle of a questionable call. This has made trying to officiate a game
harder than ever, as us fans on the couch sometimes have better angles than the
referees do on the field.
I’d like to think I’m with the majority when I say I’d
rather see a probable penalty not called than a phantom flag thrown to give an
undeserving team a second chance. If refs are trained to stay out of the way
and only throws flags for obvious penalties, the game will profit in the long
The setback with any solution is that it can’t fix the
here-and-now problems of the 2019 season. Officiating is a fickle profession
that relies on humans to make snap judgments without the benefit of replay like
we have at home. The NFL knows this is a problem. It’s up to them to make sure the
biggest headlines after the game are about the players on the field.
Every now and then we have a writing contribution from our wonderful audience. This column is written by one of our fans, @AmazingInsights from Twitter. Enjoy! – Dan
Let’s get right to the point – If you think the Islanders are going to be anywhere NEAR 103 points this coming season, you really REALLY need to read this blog. Oh, before you do, may I suggest you first turn OFF your emotions, put down the #isleskoolaid and then consider these very real issues.
To appreciate what
happened last year, you had the following themes:
1. Lou became GM
and changed the mindset of the lockerroom
2. Trotz became
Coach and got a coaching staff with a clue
3. We had the
“eff John Tavares” Battle Cry
4. We had the
emotional feel good Lehner Story.
5. A number of
players were playing for Contracts
From where I sit, a LOT
of emotional energy across all those items is what truly drove this team.
But did you notice something after the sweep of the
Penguins? A week off and – to be honest – they lost the emotional
“mojo”. It really is a hard thing to turn
The 2019 Season
So far, I don’t think I haven’t raised anything that can be considered confrontational. But that’s about to change. Now it’s time to take an HONEST assessment of the team as it sits on August 26, 2019. No emotional thinking, no “isleskoolaid” logic (is that an oxymoron?) and no “I bleed Orange and Blue” nonsense. Just an honest assessment.
So first, you might want
to open this link in another tab, because you may want to have it as a handy
reference for the sections below:
A. And that would be – SCORING. For all intents and they are
bringing back the same team (more on this in a second). While there are
NO new impact players, we now have SEVERAL players who played well in their
contract years to get absurd over termed contracts. And if you
think Bailey is finally going to show up to score 20 this season, you might
want to put down the “Bailey Bahama Blue Koolaid”, because Bailey
hasn’t ONCE scored 20 in a season.
PowerPlay. You can argue that for the first time in AGES we have a
Powerplay coach with a pulse – or clue – with Jim Hiller. With
luck, Hiller can have the same effect that Mitch Korn did on our Goalies.
But lets NOT forget that the #isles have a “Hey we have two entire
minutes to pass the puck before we take a shot” mentality on the
Powerplay, so Hiller has his work cut out for him.
Both Lehner and Greiss
benefitted from the Mitch Korn the “Goalie Whisperer”.
The fact this duo won the Jennings Trophy speaks VOLUMES as to why last years
team got 103 Points.
Oh and a quick News
Flash !!! Lehner isn’t here anymore and we now get to see what magic can
be sprinkled on Varlamov. Oh, and Varlamov is a little older than
Lehner – and – has some injury history.
Let’s be honest.
There was a TON of emotional energy that was channeled last
year. So the “everyone thinks we will suck because JT isn’t
here” mantra is history – as is the “feel good” story around Lehner.
Here is hoping that
Trotz knows what buttons to push to get this team ready, but I think he
has a MUCH harder road this year. MUCH MUCH harder.
4. They aren’t
going to surprise anyone
The Islanders surprised
a lot of teams last year. I believe a LOT of this was emotionally
driven (ie JT) but it was also coaching that turned around the hellacious
Snow/Weight “coached” teams. Using the word coached when
it comes to Snow/Weight is insulting to even beer league coaches.
But now other teams know
the Islanders M.O. and as such they will have lost the “surprise”
element to their game
Check out ALL the ages
(notice a theme here) on the CapFriendly link, including our so called
“Top 6”. The NHL is now a “young man’s league” and
here come the Islanders with a number of key players 30 or older.
The Islanders suddenly
look .. shall we say .. O L D.
Lets NOT forget
Clutterbuck at 31 is coming off MAJOR back surgery. Keep repeating
that until it sinks in. Major Back Surgery. For those old
enough, remember what happened to Mo Vaughn after his injury. And
for those young enough, look no further than Robinson Cano. And
those guys play BASEBALL. Hockey is MUCH more physical.
And Varlamov – he is 30
as well. And he was hurt last year as well.
I don’t know many
players whose body becomes less immune to injury as they get older
I use this term to
describe a player who magically decides to show up in the contract year, gets a
large contract – and then returns to his normal output.
Be very worried about
the contracts given to Nelson and Lee. The biggest problem is the
term, because how long do you expect to get that production from either player.
Always fear the year after signing a contract, because the focus on
playing for the contract is now over.
7. The “4th
Remember what I said
about getting older and a physical game. The 4th line likes to
hit. The question here, what exactly can you expect from
Clutterbuck after surgery ?
I have focused on age a
lot in this entry. This really isn’t a young team, and it really
starts getting ugly 2 years from now (again go to Cap Friendly and start
adding 2 or 3 years to the players ages) Lou is going to have to
unload a LOT of people in the next few years – and QUICKLY
Lesson: The NHL is
a young man’s league.
9. Roster and Cap
While you are looking at
Cap Friendly, now look at the total the Islanders and spending this year.
Do you see any “elite” players? I sure don’t – yet we
don’t have a lot of room to sign an impact player.
This is why the Mitch Marner talk was absurd. Remember at the END
of this coming year you need to sign Barzal AND Pulock. That 7-8
million cap space is likely going to consumed by those 2
So where are you fitting
Marner? Which contracts were you getting rid of to get the
Keep repeating THAT AND
Analyzing it until reality sinks in
Oh, and a comical side
note. Look at all of the guaranteed contracts. Lets say
Josh HoSang plays “lights out” in camp – who is he going to
Trotz and the coaching
staff REALLY have their work cut out for them this season.
For those wondering
“where is Lou” – take a look at the current roster and ask yourself –
we are paying HOW MUCH for this lineup ? And Chiarelli is LONG
GONE. Which sucker .. er .. GM is going to take any of the players on the
islanders roster you would want to get rid of ?
So set your expectations accordingly for this season. I have the
feeling it’s going to be a long one.
If you’re a New York Islanders fan, you probably are thinking that the Islanders have taken a step backwards from last season. After all, they lost their Vezina nominated goalie in Robin Lehner, the super bottom 6 producer Valteri Flippula, and the free agency contest to sign Russian superstar Artemi Panarin. That’s not great, especially considering that after the team’s season ended in a sweep against Carolina, the biggest need identified by coach Barry Trotz was for more offense. He was rewarded with an offseason of less offense, which technically is offensive.
But really, what’s worse for the Islanders is the fact that, based on the way this team is constructed, they are currently in “Win Now” mode. I’ll explain how that conclusion was reached shortly, but here’s a hint- it starts at forward. Check the link below to see the nightmare that two GM’s have created at forward.
The New York Islanders currently sit at just under $7 million under the salary cap, with a restricted free agent deal awaiting 28 point scorer Anthony Beauvilier. This means they’ll end the offseason somewhere around $4-5 million under the cap. Feel free to name an impact player that gets paid $4 million dollars in today’s NHL to swoop in and save the season. I’ll wait.
This in itself is a problem. But it’s not the primary problem. As pointed out by my buddy @AmazingInsights, time is our primary problem. Let’s look at who has the longest life on their NHL contracts with the Islanders. Anders Lee tops the list in both time and money. Now look at the age column. Anders Lee is 29. And a player starts a decline at what age? About 30 (https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/why-athletic-performance-declines-with-age/)
Next longest contract? Our favorite Beth, Brock Nelson. Nelson checks in at 27, so he is in his elite period of experience and performance. That got him a deal that runs until he’s 33, well into a decline. And anyone watching Nelson play over the years knows Nelson had a “contract year” last season and should expect a decline back to his lollygagging, streaky playing, and generally ineptitude this upcoming season.
Up next? Jordan Eberle. Ebs will turn 30 this year, with 4 more years after on his deal. Time is not on his side, either.
These are three of your key forwards. Thus, why I say win now. But let me beat the point in further, for the #IslesKoolAid out there.
Next up for term? Andrew Ladd. Already 33, already DONE. But with 4 more years at $5.5 million dollars. Untradeable, unless you throw in something significant like a first and second round pick, or a valuable prospect and a first. A wasted roster spot for a player that used to be good and play physical, but whose style of play has ground him down by 31. A year and change older than Anders Lee is now.
Then we get to the Josh Bailey deal. A Garth Snow gift to his favorite son to try to convince Tavares to stay on the Island- like THAT would do it- we see that Bailey at his age 29 season has $5 million cap hit until he is 34. Also, Bailey himself had a few break downs last season. He was on a 30 goal pace in November, but barely finished with only 16. He also lost 15 points from his prior season, but that was when he was bounced off of the first line this year for playing like shit. If he’s not riding coattails again? Ge ready for 14-21- 35 to return. You know, Bailey’s average pre-Tavares line stats.
Players turning 30 this year? Eberle and Bailey. Ladd is already there. This is 5/6ths of your top 6. This is 3 of your key forwards at 30 or more in October. This is 35% of the salary cap. This is win now.
And why now? Easy. How many productive forwards on the
Islanders are under 28 (Nelson turns 28 in right after the season starts)?
Definitely one, arguably two. The arguable one is Beauvilier, who has averaged
19 goals a year in the NHL. No assists, but goals, which IS the more important
stat. Beau is due for a raise this year and will see a few million. But the
definite one? Mathew Barzal. Barzal is due a raise after the season. Think
he’ll get $5 million or more, considering what the RFA contracts of Connor
McDavid, William Nylander, Austin Matthews, and the rest of the new crop of
budding stars got paid?
What’s worse is the bottom six of the Islanders. Yes Matt Martin is in the final year of his deal and will give some cap relief based on what you should pay someone with that kind of production, but Leo Komorov is not. Nor is Cal Clutterbuck. Two more untradeable contracts without giving up assets, which is our next problem- where ARE the Islanders assets?
Generally, within 3-4 years of a draft, players emerge from
those drafts into the league. For top 10 picks? It can be weeks after a draft.
Let’s see how the Islanders have done in this range by looking at the 2015-2018
The 2015 draft has been productive for the Islanders. Well,
the first round anyway. Beauvilier made it to the NHL after one more season in
juniors, where Barzal needed two. So, within 2 years all of the first round
picks of the Islanders made the NHL. So that means the 2016 draft should have a
player entering their sophomore year, right?
Wrong. The 2016 NHL draft has produced ZERO NHL games played for the franchise. ZERO. The expectation would be Keifer Bellows having 80 or so NHL games under his belt. Nope. Zip. And Anton Golyshev seems to enjoy Russia, so that’s another shitball.
The 2017 draft? A whopping 22 games. All on defense.
The 2018 draft could be blossoming for the Islanders this year. Which is interesting because the Islanders will have 15 forwards and 7 defensemen already holding contracts. Some of those contracts are albatrosses and aren’t going anywhere, so those kids are generally dicked over. Like the fans. Or Cord’s neck. #DickedStraight
I’m going to stretch this analogy for three more years- the
2012, 2013 and 2014 drafts. What forwards came out of those drafts?
2012: Snow took 7 defensemen in that draft. You can argue that it was a deep draft for defensemen that year, which was true. You can argue that Griffin Reinhart got the pick that got them Mat Barzal. You can also argue that with the 4th overall pick, the Islanders could have had Filip Forsberg, who was the 3rd highest forward drafted that year, was available when the Isles picked Reinhart, and was the first forward taken after 3rd overall pick Alex Galchunyuk.
You can also argue that if Forsberg was an Islander, Tavares would also be an Islander today. You could argue that if Snow took Dumba or Trouba instead of Reinhart that Tavares would be an Islander today. You could argue that Snow isn’t an absolute fuck up and was an NHHL GM because no one else would accept that job after Neil Smith quit after a month WITHOUT BEING PAID, but that’s a losing argument.
2013: 84 games of Alan Quine. Fucked.
2014: Two first round picks, including a top 5. These guys have both burned their entry level deals while COMBINING for under 90 games played in the NHL. Worth about the same output thus far as Alan Quine. Michael Dal Colle is officially a bust. I said this to my buddy Kool Aid Rob a couple of years ago and he called me crazy. Which is why he is Kool Aid Rob. Josh Ho Sang is on a one year two way deal, meaning that his career as an Islander is over July 1, 2020.
And for shits and giggles, the 2011 draft? Three forwards made it, but only one played more than 11 games. Ryan Strome was the 5th overall choice in the draft, had one good season with the Islanders, and eventually acquired Jordan Eberle. So at least Strome did something useful. He left. Buh-bye!
If you’re keeping score, from 2011 through RIGHT NOW the Isles have produced one impact forward by trading a 4th overall, and used a 5th overall to acquire another impact forward. I’m going to leave out 2010 when we used a top 5 pick to obtain Cal Clutterbuck – an impacted forward- but I guess I just didn’t. From 2011 to today, the Isles have produced at most two useful forwards from their system, and one from another one. That’s over an eight year span. Which included two top 5 picks, a top 4 pick, and 11 first round draft pick overall. Eight years. That’s longer than many NHL careers.
This is also drearily worse than I realized. The drafting of Garth Snow can be summed up in one word- Asshole.
Even if you have hope for Keifer Bellows, 73% of that first round is already in the NHL including everyone with offensive talent. And if you’re counting on the vaunted 2018 Islanders draft? Which of those 15 contracts will the Islanders jettison for Oliver Whalstrom? And Otto Koivula? Will he be as effective as Brady Tkachuk or Andrei Svechnikov from that same draft? Because they’re already producing in the NHL. Probably because they have offensive talent. Didn’t Derek Brassard just take Koivula’s job?
I’m going to give Simon Holmstrom a pass, because he’s at least a year away from the NHL. Which just compounds the lack of assets issue and reinforces the point of the win now mentality of this club, as its at least another year before a prospect is ready to help a win now team.
At least the defense is in good shape…kind of. Feel free to click on the link and go to the defense section.
The Islanders have 4 useful defenders under 28. But again,
the salary cap nightmare rears it’s ugly head. After this season, Devon Toews
and Ryan Pulock also need contracts. Those are definitely needs. But look at
that top three, paywise. One guy under 30, Nick Leddy, but his deal will carry
him right into his decline as it ends when he’s 31. The other two? Oh boy.
Thomas Hickey is on the wrong side of 30, and has 3 years to go on this deal- all what our science article would call a decline era. And Johnny Boychuk is already in decline yet has the highest paid contract on defense that lasts until he’s 38. Another unmovable contract…but at least you can ask for that 8 team list that you can try to send him to, as his absurd “no movement clause” is done.
The Islanders do have a defensive asset ready to step in, and with 4 younger defensemen it will make a solid core. Except…there’s 7 defensemen presently under contract, and the two with short terms are going to be resigned. What raise do you think Pulock will get? Toews? Because that’s cap space, too.
So who with a long term guaranteed contract sits down for
When the season gets rolling, the Islanders with the addition of Brassard will have 10 of 24 players on the squad including both goalies at or older than 30. They will have 3 more guys the season after turning 30. They will be a cap max team. And as we’ve seen no trades in the last almost 14 months (!), we can not assume help is coming. Besides, we have no young forward assets to offer in a trade, no one is taking many of these bad contracts written by the last and present GM’s, and where the team needs the most help? There are contracts cemented for 5/6’s of the top 6.
I wanted to remind you all here that the Islanders also do not have a single elite player. What team has won a Stanley Cup in the last 15 years without an elite player? They don’t have an elite player in their system, either. If they offer sheet Mitch Marner or Patrik Laine? Neither of those guys are elite players. Marner’s averaging 23 goals a season on his career, though to be fair it has increased every year. Laine has one dimension, although it is the best one to have, but 30 goals last season on a good team and he was still -24? Not elite.
Mathew Barzal? Not elite. Not even a top 20?
All of those long term deals, lack of prospects at forward, and complete lack of elite players tell us one thing: the Islanders are a defensive minded, win now team. Just without the horses to win now. The Drive for Five? It’ll have to wait another generation.
EDIT: The Islanders just signed Derek Brassard. 14 goals last year. Wrong side of 30. But this is a win now team, so I’m sure that’s the missing piece to the cup!