New York Islanders Mailbag: John Tavares Contract, Enforcers and More

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier shake hands with John Tavares
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier shake hands with John Tavares /

We started a New York Islanders mailbag this week, which essentially means people will ask questions on social media and we’ll talk about it here.

This is something I’ve wanted to try out here for a while, and now we finally have the opportunity to do so. It provides the perfect opportunity to get any questions off your chest and we can have a nice New York Islanders discussion based off of it.

I was really happy with the questions we got on the facebook and twitter page. So without further ado let’s get started with those questions!

From Heather on Facebook: Is greiss fit to play a full season as our #1 goalie once halaks contract is up (remember last seasons 8 game losing streak under him before halak got brought back up from bridgeport)?

This was a great question to kick things off. It’s hard to say, at times Thomas Greiss has been dominant for the Islanders, just look at the 2016 playoffs. Although when asked to be the lone number one, like when it was just himself and Berube from this year he certainly struggled at times.

I think Greiss is at his best when he can split his time up with another goalie. You want Greiss in that 40-50 range in games played. If you’re getting over that, then you’re asking too much of him.

I expect Greiss to play the majority of the games this year compared to Halak though. Maybe Greiss plays 45 games, Halak plays 30 games and a third goalie plays the remaining seven games?  That’s if everyone stays happy and healthy of course.

The Isles still need to find that goalie of the future, but Greiss is a solid place holder. Hopefully, that answers Heather’s question.

New York Islanders

From Rob on Facebook: Will Thomas Hickey End up in Bridgeport?

I think this could certainly happen. We know Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Calvin de Haan and Ryan Pulock will be in the lineup. After that, there’s some leeway. Thomas Hickey, Adam Pelech, Scott Mayfield, Dennis Seidenberg and potentially Devon Toews are fighting for the last two spots.

Hickey’s coming off a down year and it seems like the Isles are high on Adam Pelech so it wouldn’t shock me if Seidenberg off his 22 point, plus 25 season finds himself in the lineup regularly with Pelech as the third pair.

From Dave on Facebook: Why is Garth snow still our gm?

Lord knows Dave…

From Marcel: Who is our Tough Guy? and do we need one or are they overrated?

Right now I would say Scott Mayfield seems like the clear choice. He’s six-foot-four 225 pounds, so he could certainly hold his own. I’d probably through Cizikas and Clutterbuck into the mix as well because they LOVE to hit people.

As for the second part, I think having enforcers in today’s game overrated. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoyed “The Greatest Fourth Line In Hockey” with Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck, but I don’t think you necessarily need guys like that in order to win.

The game is moving towards more speed and scoring.

From Kevin: Do you think John Tavares’ contract extension is reliant upon a new arena deal?

Yes, I think a large part of it has to do with the uncertainty of where the team will be playing in the future. If the Isles figure out the Belmont situation rather quickly then they’ll be in pretty good shape in the Tavares negotiations.

I’ve said it before, but I genuinely believe Tavares when he says he wants to stay. Having a stable arena isn’t too much to ask for so I can’t say I blame him for holding off for right now.

From Rudy: Can we ever win a second round of the playoffs with this upper management in charge?

I think it depends. How long are they here for? If Garth Snow is still the GM five years from now, then yes I think they have enough talent if J.T. stays and if prospects pan out to get to the Eastern Conference Final within the next five years.

If it’s just a year or two then I’d have to say no, because Pittsburgh, Washington, Columbus and that other New York team are still better (for now).

Next: Player Style Based On Analytics

Well, that wraps it up for this first mailbag. This was a lot of fun, we’ll do it again in a couple weeks so be sure to be on the lookout for the next time and maybe your question will be answered!