Ok, so now we're back to it. The regular season and playoffs are over. Stanley cup is awarded and we are in the stretch barreling down to the draft with the UFA shopping spree not long after. Every single hockey writer (those supposed "experts"" are contemplating who goes where and how great every player is in the top fifteen or so in the draft.
It's almost as if "No player in the top fifteen ever busts and every UFA signing leads to instant Stanley Cup success!!!!"
This year everyone expects the Islanders to be big players Free Agency. Right now the big rumor is the possibility of Versteeg in an Islanders sweater and maybe a rerun of Sopel. Why am I not enthused?
Sopel; Has resurrected his career as more of a defensive defensemen. Resume now includes a Stanley Cup but looking at the overall package does he really address a NEED on this teams blue line? NOPE!!!
Just reviewing some of my takes on last seasons game the one consistent factor still stands. The Isles biggest need on their blue line is a mobile defensemen, with size, that has end to end ability. One that can also execute a stretch pass or two. In this regard Brent Sopel hardly fills this need. Doesn't even come close.
I'd rather attempt to see what happens with Andy Sutton and how Tony Ludman works out in Buffalo before I look to dance with Sopel again. Resurrected career or not. Lydman and Sopel are both the same age but Lydman can do Sopels job plus put up 20 pts.
Versteeg; As much as Botta is playing Eklund today I really do not see the need to acquire a twenty goal scorer off a cup winning team so I can give up assetts. Especially when this team has wracked up so many draft picks over the years that this role should be easily filled.
Quite speciffically, I really don't want to wast my time in this area when filling the need for a puck moving D with size and end to end ability, moves Okposo off the point on the PP. Given this team need for size I really don't see Versteeg's 182 Lb 5' 10" body having much of an impact on this team. He's still another smallish forward to go along with all the other smallish forwards here. And as I mentioned before, or at least alluded to, with all these factors combined, I don't see this guy coming here repeating a 20 goal performance.
The Draft; Oh the hype!!!!!! The more I read about it the more it sounds as if every guy in the top six is a sure fire hall of famer deserving to go first overall. Lots of schmutz for a top ten loaded with guys many scouts proclaim are a year or two away from stepping foot on NHL ice.
So I'm holding out for better evidence.
Overall, I would really like to see one writer break with the pack and do some real analysis. Instead of boring me to death with the same ole' crap. How about giving us the skinny on how all these headline grabbing UFA signings RARELY lead to success. How about looking at the draft and giving us the probability of each of these guys actually playing more than four or five seasons at a high level. Nevermind the All Star Selections (given that each team is required to send at least one player) or even the Hall of Fame.
Then give us the actual cost of what it would really mean to sacrafice picks to move up or acquire picks to drop back.