Michael Haley was only up with the big club for 14 games in the 2011-12 season, all of which were against
Wales Eastern Conference teams, over which half of the 14 games played were against Divisional teams. The fact that he played so few games was a bit of a surprise, and disappointment, not only to many diehards in the Isles fanbase, but to Michael as well. Many fans who have witnessed Michael’s body of work (especially the 2/11/11 cult classic) over the past two seasons, screamed from the mountaintops about his passion, occasional offensive capacities . . . . and loyalty. I think many fans see a player who provides pointed toughness and grit, and more than just a ‘goon’ willing scrap.
In the 14 games he played with the Islanders, primarily for which he was called up for his toughness, Michael had 0 points, -1 rating, and 57 PIM. Pretty easy to digest and analyze those numbers. A closer look reveals the team’s win/loss record was an underwhelming 2-5 in the games through December and 1-6 the rest of the way. Now, we all know Haley wasn’t single-handedly responsible for losing those games, but perhaps the staff didn’t see much point in having him up for more contests when he wasn’t having a huge impact on the outcome. It also may partially explain why Michael hasn’t officially been inked for the 2012-13 season.
Because of Haley’s abbreviated Isles season, we’ll take a look at his numbers under new Isles assistant coach Brent Thompson down in the ‘A’ last year with the Sound Tigers. In 51 games played, he posted career highs in goals with 15, and points with 25. He tied a career high in assists with 10. He logged 125 PIM. Again, his numbers didn’t exactly have him banging on the door in Unionadale.a
Combining his contributions for the Sound Tigers along with the Isles, I think it’s fair that Haley earned a C for the ’11-’12 campaign.
What the future holds for Haley and the Isles organization is yet to be determined. As of the time of this posting he is not under contract. But given the departure of Trevor Gillies to the KHL and the subsequent increasing dearth in ‘toughness’, it would be nice to have Haley on a 2-way deal for the upcoming season.