NY Islanders News

Who do we pick…. A Fathers Day thought too…

By Gary Harding
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The Islanders have a big decision to make on Friday, as the NHL draft becomes a reality in Los Angeles.  It is not on the momumental level as Garth Snow had to ensure a year ago at this time, but nevertheless, it is a big decision that can further shape the future of this young Islander squad.

From the look of things, that are two young defensemen that are likely to be on the radar, as Mr. Snow heads to the podium.

The first of the picks, the one I like, is Erik Gudbranson – a 6’4″, 200 pound blueliner, currently playing for the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL.  The other is Brandon Gormley, a 6’2″, 185 pounder from P.E.I. playing for the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL.  Both of these defensemen are notes as  strong blueliners, with some offensive skill, that are expected to add some significant size to their physique before they hit their early 20’s.  Both are solid players, and good character men.

Gudbranson – won the Bobby Smith award for the top scholastic player in the OHL.

Gormley won the Mike Bossy award for top potential prospect in the QMJHL

My thoughts into who we should take, and mind you, both are solid players and good citizens, is that Garth really looks for the high quality character man.  Although Gormley is a solid guy, I would think that Gudbranson would be the choice.

What do you think?  Four days away to the pick.  Should be an interesting few days.

On a side note – Dan Hamhuis, a UFA come July 1, was dealt to Philadelphia for Ryan Parent who is an RFA.  Hamhuis was on my radar for a potential selection for the Isles.  A good two-way player who is not a ‘star’ but has some yeoman skills, and would be a nice addition to this squad.  But it would seem that the Flyers did not make this move to see him gone.  I am sure that they will sign him.  After the draft, we will look at the RFA’s that will be available to the Islanders, and what could be a possibilty for Garth to select.

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Also – a Fathers Day thought.

I wrote this for our main NHL Site:  www.toomanymenonthesite.com

Thought you might like this.

My dad took me to my first hockey game in 1969 (Rangers vs. Blues). At that time, as you can tell, the Islanders did not exist.

As I grew up – I didn’t develop that ‘cross town hatred’ that many Islander/Ranger fans had. I respected the team from Uniondale, but rooted for the Rangers. My dad, who took me to said Ranger game, did the full-time shuffle to the Islanders, and would remind me of it, every time Bossy or Trottier scored. He would just scream, Goooooooal (almost like Andreas Cantor). Although I made like I hated it, I thought it was funny!

He was always so happy when the Isles won; and made sure I knew about it.

My dad got cancer during the Summer of 82, and passed in the Winter of 83. I know that he would have loved seeing the Isles win their 4th Cup. He never went to the parades, but he was proud of them nevertheless.

At that time, until the late 80’s, I never dropped the one for the other, until Trader Phil Esposito did his work. I then become totally loyal to the Islanders, and have never turned back. I know that my dad smiled in heaven when I made the switch. If only he can talk to God and get the Isles to start winning more…

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