On Saturday the New York Islanders will make Anthony Beauvillier a healthy scratch against the New Jersey Devils. Let me be perfectly clear, that is 100% the right call to make. Beauvillier absolutely deserves to watch the game from the press box.
Beau has three goals and seven points this season. A pace that would see him score 12 goals and 27 points over a full 82 game season. That would be a career low for him if it held up. That's not acceptable. But it's more than that with Beau.
Sure the production isn't there, but he isn't executing on the simple stuff either. He's coming off the ice at the wrong time, he's blowing defensive assignments, his forecheck game is a shadow of its former self, etc. Beauvillier hasn't been himself of late and if putting him in the press box for a game or two brings him back then so be it.
New York Islanders creating precedent they probably won't keep
A tactic like this has worked in the past with Beauvillier. Remember back in 2017-18 when Beauvillier was sent down to the AHL for a hot second? Sent down in January, Beau had recorded just seven points in 31 NHL games before going to Bridgeport. When he came back up he scored 17 goals and 29 points over 40 games.
This could work to get Beauvillier back to his best. But the one problem I see with this decision is that I don't believe the Islanders will live up to the precedent they're created.
Sure Beauvillier has been poor this year. But is he the only one who's been poor this year? Absolutely not. Josh Bailey and Kyle Palmieri have been just as poor this year. But do you see Barry Trotz and his staff putting either of them up in the press box any time soon? Absolutely not.
That's the problem here. The Isles have effectively said: "we'll scratch veterans if they don't play well enough". Except they've been reluctant to do so for years and will likely remain reluctant going forward. This is a precedent I don't imagine they'll be able to live up to.
This is a good decision by the Islanders. And one they should have no issue making. But we'll see what they do going forward with some of the aforementioned veterans who haven't been performing well. If said vets don't turn it around and they don't get a trip to the press box Beau, and the U25 crowd are going to have a solid case for an unfair double standard in the locker room.