New York Islanders sent Ryan Strome back to Niagara and the OHL (where he’s flourished as of late,) Griffin Reinhart to Edmonton and the WHL, while picking up Keith Aucoin from Waivers. Thank you, Leafs?
Having seen Strome practice and scrimmage, I must say that I find this move a bit perplexing, but I’ll write it off as management simply being overly cautious about their future ‘stars’ well-being and success, etc. Maybe Strome will have a permanent spot once the team arrives in Brooklyn. Who knows?
Rushing young prospects hasn’t worked well with the Islanders, just ask Nino Niederreiter for starters. Patience is key, one must agree, and Islanders fans must pray that by 2014-15 this move will see Nino and Strome as the Lords of Flatbush. (Been dying to use that line. That and “Flatbush Five.”)
My small community of Islanders fans have been asking my opinion as to Strome’s return to the minors, wondering why such a potential breakout star is being returned to sender, and initially I shared in their head-scratching.
But if one is honest with oneself as one should be, the Islanders just haven’t had the luck to see one of these kids just spring up and explode onto the scene. At the risk of sounding redundant, Nino, Bailey, et al. have proven that the waiting game is the only game in town for these gents.
Aucoin, on the other hand, is a proven AHL scorer and point producer, etc. just waiting for his chance to play full-time at the NHL level. As of 48 hours ago, Leafs reporters setup a nice “journeyman’s tale” for him (http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/01/16/keith-aucoin-could-finally-get-his-shot-with-the-leafs/) only to relegate said story to a by-line that should read: Keith, we hardly knew ye.
The Islanders hope Aucoin transfers over his play-making abilities (and channel his inner Gary Howatt in the process) being as much a spark-plug as a player to rack up points:
Aucoin is the 10th-leading scorer in American Hockey League history, with 814 points in 707 regular season games, more than any active player. After signing a one-year contract in Toronto last summer, he has averaged a point-per-game with the Marlies. Eakins routinely features his hard work and smart play during film study with the rest of the team. (http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/01/16/keith-aucoin-could-finally-get-his-shot-with-the-leafs/)
I guess we wait and see what and who the Islanders bring to these next two games, and from there we can decide whether or not today’s transaction amount to success or to jack-squat.
Follow Rich @eyesonisles