Middletown, N. J – The defense can never rest…It cannot be stressed enough the importance of the position to the functioning of a playoff contender in the National Hockey League. The New York Islanders have their system stocked with young, dynamic defenseman who will make up the future on the blue line for seasons to come. They further drove home their philosophy on this by selecting Ryan Pulock with their first round selection in the 2013 NHL entry draft.
But what about the immediate future? This season to be even more simple and blase about it? Nobody can predict the future, let alone what Garth Snow is thinking/doing at any given moment. But fans and those on social media love to play general manager and offer their opinion on who they want. We are no different. At the end of the day, we pride ourselves on being fans and passionate ones at that. We want to see the Isles succeed just as badly as anyone else.
With that being said, we also need to be objective, fair and honest. Snow has done a remarkable job rebuilding this franchise after years of horrendous mis-management. You have to think about it relative to the struggling economy we still find ourselves mired in. Even if someone comes into Washington with a good plan on how to fix and revive it (and that’s a BIG IF) we are 7-10 years behind the proverbial 8-ball in the financial sector. What Snow and owner Charles Wang have done is take that time and use it wisely. Even through losing a reported 20mm a season, Snow has managed to slowly construct and craft a hard working team on the ice and a stable, established farm system that was all but depleted of useful assets.
Once the revenue stream gets into the black, presumably when the team takes residence at Barclays Center, there will be no more reasons for Wang to keep the budget under such lock and key. It is then the youngsters will begin to mature and this team will be ready to soar into the upper echelon of the league.
For now, its bargain shopping for Snow. After taking a look at forwards here, a more arduous task was afoot when I glanced at the listing of available defenseman. For the purpose of this piece, restricted free agents are not included in the analysis. Let’s begin shall we?