In the interest of a more perfect union, recent Lighthouse Hockey addition Isleblogger Mike (who will set up shop all day during the Trade Deadline) and yours truly are introducing a new periodic gimmick to Lighthouse Hockey: Blogger v. Blogger! Because sometimes the voices in your head aren't really just in your head.
In this episode, we measure anxiety about the franchise's future, guess wildly at this summer's top pick, and laugh at the Rangers (of course).
Question 1: I'm Not Nervous ... Are You Nervous?
With a Lighthouse Project "next step" cleared Tuesday, where do you put the chances of the Islanders being in the following locations in 2016: A renovated Nassau Coliseum; Queens; Brooklyn; Kansas City?
Dominik: 60% Nassau; 7% Queens (a dream); 3% Brooklyn (a fiasco); 30% K.C.
I'll be honest, I fear this financial climate and how it will affect Charles Wang's plans and access to funding. (I see Nick counsels: Chill out.). But I can't see any buyer thinking K.C. is a better play in this climate, unless there's just no hope for a new arena anywhere else in New York. The population density of this market is too great to pass up.
Michael: I don’t think the financial climate will really have as big of an impact as many think, based solely on the track record of both Rechler and Wang. Mainly because a bunch of this is going to be funded privately, there is startup capital that will come directly from the pockets of both men before much of the financing is put in place. Also, because the project will be spaced out over a period of two phases spanning about five years each, the economic climate will have already improved a year or two into its progress.
The economy is like the weather in Texas, wait five minutes and it will change. I give an 85% to the Islanders remaining in Nassau – I am forever an optimist.
Dominik: I thought even the weather isn't supposed to mess with Texas.
Question 2: State of Schadenfreude
Speaking of this "market," the Rag$ -- the Islanders' first post-deadline opponent -- fired Tom Renney but forgot to fire Glen Sather. With John Tortorella bringing "accountability" to the club, do you think they'll make the playoffs? How far will they go? Who will be the first in Torts' doghouse?
Dominik: The Rangers will make the playoffs, as the 8th seed, and lose in the first round in five games. Zherdev will be the first in the doghouse and Torts will lobby hard to have him traded in the offseason, but Sather will be on vacation and not hear his calls, causing Larry Brooks to stoke a feud between the two that must be patched up over a fishing trip and a good cigar.
Michael: I agree, the Rangers would not really be in this mess without the transactions, trades and contracts handed out by Sather. It was unfair to cast Renney in a negative light when he lost a majority of the personnel that made him successful in his previous seasons as head coach. Here Tortorella comes in mid-season – much like what is going on in Pittsburgh -- and is attempting to install a new system with existing players and salvage a season and a playoff berth. It’s not going to be easy by any stretch, especially with so little time to evaluate pieces this close to the trade deadline, and with very little room under the cap.
My guess is that the Rangers will have a strong finish and manage to finish 7th in the East. The first round will be tough but they will make it to the second and face a more formidable opponent and lose the series in six.
Dominik: Don't say that. That almost sounds like success.
Question 3: The Immediate Future
Explain where the Islanders will finish this season, what pick they'll have, and who they'll take.
Dominik: The Isles have 30th place locked up: Mission accomplished; the tanks are ready for refurbishing. But due to the luck that has smiled so many wondrous gifts upon this franchise, they'll lose the draft lottery and have to pick 29th. (Atlanta wins, picking Tavares to be Ilya's caddie.) This will be a blessing in disguise, however, as it will give Garth Snow the cover with fans he needs to select Victor Hedman -- who Snow would have picked anyway.
Michael: My guess is the Islanders will wind up finishing last and actually retain the first overall selection. If you look back through the previous draft years, more often than not a team lost the first round pick and a team around fourth or fifth jumped to first. This season is too important for that to happen to the Islanders, so after enduring two seasons of bad luck injury-wise, the balls will fall in their favor this time.
But should they happen to lose out on the first pick, finishing with the fewest points will allow the Isles to move no lower than one position down – securing the second overall pick to pick the next best available player. For all we know, Garth Snow could wind up with another first round draft pick here in the next week to make things even more interesting for us come June in Montreal.
Dominik: Let's hope so. But like my Czech ancestors taught me: If you constantly expect the worst, the next empire's invasion won't take you by surprise.
Thus concludes the first Lighthouse Hockey Doppelblogger. Have a different opinion? Want to participate in the next one? Leave a comment or drop us an email. New visitors via Yahoo! Sports can now sign in with your Yahoo! ID.