The recent news of Pierre-Marc Bouchard’s release is one of the last attempts the Islanders and Garth Snow has to rattle the team’s cage before getting extremely drastic and making changes to the coaching staff.
As the season approached, there seemed to be a divide on who wanted to see young center Ryan Strome with the big club or down in Bridgeport. I was one of those who believed that Strome should spend the season in the minors to put the finishing touches on his development, mature a bit more and gain some sort of composure.
Composure and attitude was most important to me. Strome was going to come up in a tough situation, many thought it was pressure of having a lot of talented forwards on the roster and how he would co-exist with the team. Turns out he’ll be thrust into the limelight with a squad beyond struggling.
No pressure, Ryan.
But before I go any further, let me just say this now: Do not expect the world from this guy, yet. One transaction, no matter how surprising it may seem, is not transforming this team into a playoff contender again. They might not go on that 10-game win streak to right the ship, they might lose their next three games, but let’s be honest. It couldn’t get any worse as it has been now, correct?
The Canadian currently leads the AHL with 33 points and will bring an excitement to a frustrated fanbase. Obviously it remains to be seen if it will do anything to a team that has to be asking, “how?”
I said this at the beginning of the season, but it is imperative that this team is extremely careful with Strome. This is not the kind of player that when you bring up, you stick on the third line and have him carry a unit.
Surround the kid not only with talent, but with patient players. Put him on a second line even if that means shuffling up some combinations, then go for it because the current depth chart isn’t doing it at the moment.