GET USED TO THIS SCENE–Mar 28, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Hope all are enjoying a restful Labor Day Monday. (Nothing celebrates the concept of Labor better than not doing any! Now that’s a Labor ‘Party’ anyone would be willing to join, no?)
So, grill the last of the hot dogs and Bubba hamburger patties stored in the freezer; rid your wardrobe of those white pants, white shoes, and god-forsaken white blazer; store away all patio accessories; take down the over-sized storage bins from the closet; take out your respective Islander jersey(s)/sweater(s) from said storage bin and take said Isles paraphernalia to equally respective laundromat and/or cleaners.
Afterwards, as the day slowly fades into night, gather the family, go to the yard/porch/driveway, look up, take a deep breath and one last long gaze into the sunset, smile and bid “Good Bye” to Summer ’13. (Unless you’re a student or teacher, or student-teacher. Then just cry.)
And if you haven’t blinded yourself by then, or simply drowned in sorrow, play some Don Henley to top it all off, because the wait for hockey and the fall season is almost over.
Taking a look around the league, of some intrigue is whether or not New York Ranger Derek Stepan will join his teammates come training camp. Newsday reported back over a week ago that this RFA will assuredly be suited up regardless of where the negotiations stand:
"I [Stepan] don’t expect either side expects me not to be [at camp] […] Both sides are working at finding the right number and a fair deal […] I don’t think anybody wants it to stretch out longer than it should."
Past experience has, for the most part, dictated that a team finishing its season below expectations, and then follows up said disappointment with off-season distractions such as firing its coach, (and with it losing a game plan and an organizing principle), only to couple it all with a contract disagreement, is cooking up a recipe for disharmony that may very well translate into a extremely strenuous year.
Crude conjecture notwithstanding, Rangers’ training camp will assuredly be overshadowed by learning new approaches to their game, rather than reacquainting, readjusting, and restrengthening oneself with proven strategies and ideas. Not to be undersold, the Rangers will be in the mix come May, but how they get there is, obviously, another story for another website.
Garth Snow, on the other hand, shielded his organization from the aforementioned, securing proven talent early in the off-season for the respective years their merits deemed worthy. Fans clamored over his decision to re-sign Evgeni Nabokov and not scooping up Roberto Luongo, or his ‘inability’ or ‘lack of initiative’ in obtaining Thomas Vanek from Buffalo. Notice that the noise emanated from Islander fandom and not Islander camp.
Be thankful the Islanders had a genuinely cohesive and concerted summer in comparison to their cross-town and cross-state rivals–an off-season absent of tense contract disputes, sudden departures, and begrudging restarts, not to mention deftly parting ways with otherwise lukewarm and/or self-centered players.
All the aforementioned should dictate one obvious fact, however: the New York Islanders’ rebuild under GM Garth Snow is in full effect, and the fruits of his labor shall be made apparent, for better or worse, in relative short order.
In Case You Missed It
- Unsurprisingly, John Tortorella burned some bridges after leaving New York, as reports surfaced that neither Ryan Callahan nor Brad Richards are on speaking terms with their former coach. (SNYRangersblog.com)
- EOI’s Andy Graziano made mention yesterday of Zach Bogosian’s efforts to make the USA Sochi squad, and the apparent tension that may or may not exist between him and Kyle Okposo. Whatever the case and whatever the scenario, keep your eyes on these two, for drama will ensue one way or another. (Winnipeg Sun)
- Hockey fantasy people, check out Michael Amato’s breakdown of NHL goalies. Find out why Evgeni Nabokov and Kevin Poulin are in the ‘4th Tier’ scheme of things. (Dobberhockey.com via Puck Daddy)
- See what John Tavares has been up to this past week. (Newsday)
- Rob McGowan on whether or not the New York Islanders a true playoff contender (The Checking Line-Isles Edition)
Two Minutes For Tweeting
- The Maven responded to a recent tweet sent regarding Cal Clutterbuck. Above is his take on the Islanders’ recent acquisition. Do you agree?
- Indeed. Something about Labor Day weekend that makes everyone antsy for some hockey. Anyone who attends the Barclays NYI-NJD matchup should hold onto that ticket stub, for it may very well come to symbolize the beginning of a new Islander dynasty.
- Somewhat of an older tweet from the thread, but its tonality and implications are quite lively and palpable, no? Mr. Shawn Taggart is a comrade-in-arms for all things Fansided, and someone to be read and respected for all matters Rangers. But this display of ‘blasphemy’ is somewhat perturbing, and beckons a need for intervention. Raise your hands, everyone. Pray for Brother Shawn Taggart, yes? Come on, everyone. Raise those hands!
In unison: “Oh Brother Taggart, you are lost but shall be saved, for one day soon someone will visit your squared and disarrayed ‘garden’, one dressed in White (with orange and blue trim, and a tuft of hair slightly jetting out of His blesséd headgear) enlightening and leading you and others forth upon the ways of righteous scoring slots and capitalizing upon open passing lanes in this wondrous hockey life of ours. His snap and wrist shots will prove that talent needn’t always be bought; talent is harnessed and nurtured with patience and pride. Oh Brother Taggart, if you’re willing to open your eyes, nay, if you’re willing to open your heart, you can bask in His glory! And then, maybe, you can see the beauty that, sadly, you and your people are missing out on. Amen!” —Your Brother in Tavares, Rich Dias
- Mr. Williams with the most ironic tweet of the last 24 hours. (Follow this man, for he knows his hockey.)
- Thanks to Mike Willhoft for sharing this tweet. College Football + Labor Day Weekend = Summer is gone. Oh and hockey is almost here. Was this said already?