After staring at two screens all day yesterday -- while I was stuck "working," honest -- Islesblogger Mike fell into a wee bit of a post-trade deadline coma. (I assume Official's Outlook is there, too, given his marathon session.) Luckily, three cans of Islanders Havoc were enough to revive Mike so he could help me sift through the ashes of yesterday's massive trade for the Big. Fifth. Rounder!
What follows is our Blogger v. Blogger, post-deadline edition: Topics include Garth Snow, league moves, and who replaces Bill "McNulty" Guerin as next Islanders captain.
As always, you're encouraged to provide your own two cents in comments. (New readers, you can create a SBN user name or log in with your Yahoo! ID.)
Did Garth Snow get taken in the Guerin maneuvers?
Michael: I don't think he got taken, I think the original deal was better with the mystery team and Garth was limited as to where he could trade Guerin once that team backed out.
Dominik: True. With all the veterans clearing waivers (Enjoy retirement, Gary Roberts; sad to see it, Miro Satan), the market obviously was weak. Throw in Guerin's no-move clause, $4.5M cap hit and declining production, and I suspect Pittsburgh had all the leverage once the original suitor either balked or couldn't clear the cap room.
The only way Snow got taken is by forcing Islanders fans to root for Pittsburgh now. Very clever, Mr. Shero. Very clever indeed.
Could Snow have done anything different -- whether with Guerin or anyone else?
Michael: We can always assume he could have done things different from our perspective. However, the Islanders were labeled "sellers" but did not have much to sell in reality. He got a good return for Mike Comrie and Chris Campoli, unless Guerin was packaged with a prospect we wouldn't have seen higher than a third rounder.
Dominik: "Not much to sell" is a key point. Fans complain about the team being bad, then complain that those "bad" players aren't fetching prized picks from contenders. It doesn't add up. In the context of the Campoli pick and the Guerin one, Snow did fine. Whether it was right to ask too much for Brendan Witt, we'll only know this summer or in the coming years.
How disappointed were you at the lack of activity for the Islanders?
Michael: This is always a question I have a problem answering. As a fan I love the anticipation of deadline day, but I never want to see unnecessary moves for the sake of making moves. Going in my expectations were low so I wasn't disappointed.
Dominik: As a greedy fan, my adrenaline still rushes at the thought of Deadline Day movement. It's pathetic, I know, which is why the league can name its price and I'll still follow NHL events like a lapdog. I did hold out hope for one other Islanders move -- Hilbert? Weight? Witt? McAmmond? But in reality I know the demand wasn't there.
Around the league, who do you think helped themselves the most for this season?
Michael: Time will tell who improved the most, but the two most active teams should theoretically be better on paper. The Rangers got Morris and Antropov, so they got bigger and have more scoring. Let's not forget the re-addition of Avery... [Dominik edit: No really, let's try ...]
Calgary will certainly be more of a threat with Jokinen, but there is always a question about his character now that this is his third team in two seasons. He's also never seen the playoffs, so his team expects his performance to be the difference maker. I cannot really speak Leopold because I don't know much about him.
Dominik: Come on, bloggers are supposed to pretend like they know everything! Just make something up: "Leopold has good hands and knows the organization well."
I'm tempted to cite the Rangers as well. Obviously Calgary scored, but the Rangers were in a fix where they had to do something. I don't think Torts was enough to rescue them this late, with that roster. Antropov was sort of a wild card who could work out well for them (before crashing, like Zherdev). Worse, he's hard to hate, although I'm sure Rangers fans will find a way.
Who do you think helped themselves the most for the long-term (i.e. franchise management-wise, not necessarily this season)?
Michael: The teams who didn't make moves, i.e. Devils, San Jose, Detroit. Everyone else got UFA's - but Boston seems to have gotten a few players with time left. They are already a powerhouse in the east along with the Devils - so they are both teams to watch.
Dominik: "First, do no harm." The teams that didn't panic deserve credit. But Anaheim may have made the smartest moves. Battle of California's Sleek seems to be talking himself down after the shock of Sami Pahlsson's departure. Brian Burke left behind quite the UFA list and payroll crunch, and Bob Murray seems to have carefully set to work netting assets for those expiring contracts. Between yesterday and the Ryan Whitney move, I think he's just boosted Ducks' chances of being good again soon. Making painful choices is so important in the cap era.
Who is the next Islanders captain?
Michael: I think we will see a few alternate captains the rest of the year - Park, Witt, Hunter and MacAmmond. Next year it will have to be the player who comes into the room and is a clear leader. I'd say Witt -- but possibly MacAmmond if he is extended.
Dominik: I agree that it's three 'A's for the rest of the year. But next season, I think it will be time to slap a 'C' on everyone's Trent Hunter replica sweaters.
Thoughts? Quibbles? Incriminating photos of Olli Jokinen? ... You know what to do.