In light of the fact that the New York Islanders have failed to obtain a left or right wing worthy of playing next to Captain John Tavares, it is time, as a fan-base, to do something about it.
Since the New York Islanders have failed to acquire a top line wing via free agency/trade and are apparently unable to develop a top line wing through the draft, we will have to build one from scratch. This is not Viktor Frankenstein’s monster. This is John Tavares‘ Wingman.
First and foremost, our amalgam of a wing must have a shot. Tavares, while a wizard with the puck and certainly capable of scoring, is often a pass first center. You could make an argument for any number of classic scorers like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, or even hometown hero (and
You could make an argument for any number of classic scorers like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, or even hometown hero (and all-time goals per game leader) Mike Bossy. In the end, I’ll take the quick release and deadly accuracy of the active goals per game leader, Alex Ovechkin.
The next important part of our sewn-together wing for John Tavares is skating. Not necessarily too-fast-for-their-own-good speed a la Michael Grabner, Alexandre Daigle, or even Pavel Bure. The better choice is the all around skating ability of Sergei Federov.
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As much as I like to pretend that John Tavares is the greatest player ever, we all know he does lack in some areas, one of which is defense.
I was tempted to go with one of the centers who owned the Selke trophy like Pavel Datsyuk or Patrice Bergeron, but that feels like cheating. For this, I’d go all the way back to the original Selke winner, “Le Capitaine” Bob Gainey.
We all know those aspects of the game that can’t be quantified. They may be even more important than the aforementioned attributes. These are absolutely necessary as finishing touches for the perfect wing.
Sidney Crosby‘s ability to draw a penalty is a must have. Also important would is the ability to agitate the opposing team and no one could do that like Sean Avery. Lastly, I would top it off with Cal Clutterbuck‘s ‘battle level’.
Sadly, this hypothetical aggregate wingman for John Tavares is not and never will be real. Even sadder is the fact that it is unlikely this team will ever be able to secure or develop the kind of wing talent John Tavares deserves to be playing with. Considering the management style of this team, even if they did find a wing that fits this description, he would mostly likely be healthy scratched every third game.