This is my first ever post but i have noticed something this year that really caught me by surprise
The NHL for the most part has been a league dominated by mostly European and North American players with the very rare South American (here's looking at u Regehr) and Asia (and you too Park), but has pretty much been a 75% North American 25% European roughly. Though it looks like to me that the Islanders didn't get the memo.
The Islanders can have up to 23 players on the active roster including scratches. If the the Isles folowed the status quo they would have 5,6, or maybe 7 Euros on the team. But a quick look at the team shows they are on the low end of the spectrum. With ony 4 true Euros that makes up about 17% of the team.
If you look at the rest of the NHL there are really only 4 other teams that don't have as few European's as the Isles, the Flyers, Flames, Sharks and Blues. Another look shows that of the 10 teams in the top third of the NHL standings (1-10) only one team, the Phoenix Coyotes have more than 6 European with 9 and they were not expected to be very good this year. While of the bottom third (21-30) four teams have more than 6 European players.
While these stats may show that better teams have fewer Europeans I don't see that as the plan of action for these top teams considering who is on some of these teams. Chicago (Hossa) New Jersey (Elias) Washington (Entire first line) Pittsburg (Malkin) all have Euros playing a lot of minutes and putting up big numbers. So many teams might not have a lot of Euros but have some pretty good ones.
Now lets look at the Isles case. The Isles are in the bottom five in Euros with 4 and two of those have missed considerable time this year with Bergy and Martinek getting hurt and then you have Nielsen missing a large chunck of time last year. Striet has been everything the Isles could ask for playing Aucoin like minutes and being in the positives during a year when the Islanders where in the minus 70's. So during the "rebuild" are we seeing the Islanders staying away from the Yashins, Kavasha's, and Federtenko's of the NHL. Many say that some European's don't have the will to win as many North American kids dream on hoisting the cup from the day they put on skates while the perception is the Euro's don't all have that dream. Or could this just be another result of the KHL rearing it's ugly head. Are the Isles just trying to avoid another Yashin episode where the player didn't want to be here and having to watch them play in Europe counting their buyout money.
I'm not saying that the Isles are purposely trying to not bring in Euros in fear that they may bolt at the first sign of trouble. But as we are starting to see the Isles are really starting to develop and sign real good character guys, Anders Lee and Harmonic just to name a few. In no way am I saying these views are correct and you can think whatever you want. But you can't say that the facts show there are only 4 Europeans on the team and I don't think that anyone is upset about this considering how well the Isles are playing compared to last year.