Feb 14 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wingArron Asham
(45) and New York Islanders left wingEric Boulton
(36) fight during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Middletown, N. J. – As the Islanders continue to grow and mature into a consistent force to be reckoned with in the National Hockey League, as do we at EyesOnIsles in reference to news and opinion around the Internet regarding our favorite team and on occasion, general news from around the league.
With that being said, we would like to welcome our newest contributor, Kevin Kopf (@kevinakopf) and present to you his debut piece. For now, Kevin will be submitting articles as time allows and we will be posting here for your reading pleasure. Please head to twitter and give our newest blog brother a follow. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
We have another person in the wings as well who will be joining us shortly as a staff writer and I am absolutely thrilled to have this person coming on board. With tons of writing experience and a dedicated passionate Islanders fan, our roster is definitely shaping up to be a force to be reckoned with, just like the team we so affectionately follow.
To that end, no matter how we stock and align ourselves internally, none of this would be possible without a reader base. To that, we truly thank you and appreciate all the reads, follows on Twitter and likes on Facebook. We were, to be honest, totally caught off guard in relation to how quickly our site would grow and could not be more thrilled each month in looking at the analytic numbers. I speak for the entire team when I say it has been our pleasure to write for you all.
The below was contributed by : Kevin Kopf
Isles Report: Eric Boulton and Veteran Presence
Many people were baffled by the fact that Eric Boulton was re-signed this offseason, just a mear few days after the Islanders’ heroic season ended. The contract status looked as so:
- Length: 1 year
- Salary: 550,000
- 2012-2013 Stats: 15 GP, Zero points and 36 Penalty Minutes
You look at the stats and think- what? Why would the organization re-sign a player with little apparent value? Sure, his offensive presence on the ice isn’t all that relevant, but a team is based off of character players and veteran presences.
This veteran presence is especially important for the Isles. After coming off a playoff run that left most of the league in shock, even though they did not make it past Round 1, a new team on the rise is in a crucial state. The next few years of the franchise is determined on the success or failure of this year. That being said, they need a guide. Eric Boulton has been there and knows what it takes. The team is centered around young players such as Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo, John Tavares, Ryan Strome and company who are just getting their first taste of playoff hockey, and were seemingly rookies again at that most crucial period of the season.
That draws on the argument that a veteran presence is needed. With Mark Streit traded in the recent hours on June 12th, it leaves a hole in the captain spot. That leaves a few options for you, well, two actually: John Tavares and Matt Martin.
John Tavares is the obvious choice, and the alternate captain positions should in fact be occupied by Martin and Okposo after training camp commences, with Visnovsky also being a feasible option.
The team isn’t just centered around those players though, it’s all about chemistry. Eric Boulton could be a part of that.
What do YOU think when you hear “Boulton”? Do you think “scrub”, “waste of a roster space”, or “valuable player”? I think valuable player. Being a former Devil for a few years, he’s experienced winning. Boulon had also spent time playing regularly on the Buffalo Sabres and Atlanta Thrashers through the 2000’s. He knows the atmosphere and what runs through the players minds before a playoff game, whether you’re penciled in or not. He also brings a sense of pride and heart to the Islanders that make teams think twice about pushing around superstar caliber players and will stick up for his team, along with any other player when the time comes. Something that he proved to us all just this season.
Basically put, no matter if you’re a 40 goal superstar, or a 14th forward grinder, you’re important to the team, and don’t deserve to be overlooked. I will leave you with this question….what reasons do we have at this point anyway to not trust Garth Snow?
-Kevin Kopf, @kevinakopf
- @tazman19 (Andy Graziano)
- @RDNHL (Rich Diaz)
- @michaelwillhoft (Mike Willhoft)
- @christriants (Chris Triantafilis)
- @EJoneverything (Eric Bordin)
- @okie7321 (Michael Ristano)