New York Islander P.A Parenteau just returned to the fold this summer and has been waived before a single meaningful game.
The fans of the New York Islanders certainly did not expect this. Parenteau wasn’t just penciled in on their rosterbation exercises since July, he has actually been playing on that first line through the entire exhibition season.
Parenteau had his best statistical years with the Isles. He had personal and professional chemistry with franchise center John Tavares. He just signed a deal to return the team that gave him his first real shot at the NHL, after a solid goal scoring year in Toronto.
All those factors combined to make a large portion of the faithful forget an inescapable fact. P.A Parenteau is a pretty crappy NHL player. There is no place for a guy like this on a team that wants to get anywhere near a Stanley Cup. No place at all.
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He is to the Islander forwards, what Andrew Macdonald was to the defense. A port in the storm during lean years. And a casualty to be discarded as the team became respectable.
And yet, there he was, floating around on the first line.
Look at the rosters of the last 10 Cup finalists. Parenteau play for Pittsburgh? Chicago? LA? Tampa? Boston? He couldn’t have even helped those comparatively weak Rangers and Devils teams from the past few years.
The Islanders should be building a cup winner or at least a contender. P.A. has to go, as did popular fan favorites like Gerry Hart, Andre St Laurent, Dave Fortier in the late 70’s.
Thousands of posts on New York Islander message boards today contain fan shock and outrage. “But he was out first liner!” “He was going to score 60 points”. “He was a perfect placeholder tip the kids were ready.” And my personal favorite, “We just signed him, Snow looks like an ass. No free agent will ever sign here again”.
Look, free agents sign where they can get paid and win. And there isn’t a valuable NHL player on this planet who is going to say, “They released Parenteau, they don’t really want to win” or “They screwed with P.A., I’m frightened for my safety”
They’re going to say, “I want to play for the GM that isn’t afraid to cut his losses and build a better roster.” Maybe Parenteau will get taken. Or maybe he will pass through waivers and remain on the team.
Either way, I am suddenly WAY more optimistic for the coming season. Garth finally sees that this is the time to have a winner’s roster. Now… all they have to do is win.