I thought, I'd take a step back to the begining of the rebuild and try to figure out what any team needs to be a playoff team and then see how much of this is in place with the Islanders and how much more time will Snow need to complete this.
I had thought a team would need at least 5 to 6 top line forwards, 4 defenseman plus a #1 goalie. The team would also need an overall consistent team defense and depth to withstand injuries or one poor season from one of your top players.
If you agree with the above or not, where do the Islanders stand going into next season and seasons immediately following it. However, first I think we would need to agree on what is a top line forward and a top 4 defenseman. I would think a top forward is a player capable of playing on the powerplay and scoring 20 to 25 goals for the season, or over 60 points. How many players well the Islanders have on next years roster like this? If the resign Parenteau, they should have least four (Tavares, Moulson, Parenteau and Okposo). I think Strome, Nino, Nelson and Bailey could all turn into this type of player but, when?
Regarding the defense, a top 4 defenseman needs to be able to log 22 to 25 minutes, on the PK and PP. The Isles have three of the 4 going into next year but, who will be the 4th? Is MacDonald really a top 4 defenseman? Would he be a third pair on a really god team? When will Donovan or deHaan be ready? If the Isles are able to draft Ryan Murray or Matt Dumba when will they be ready? How many more years does Scott Mayfield need?
Will Kevin Poulin or Andres Nilsson turn into a #1 goalie.
Since I don't think the Isles yet have the 5 to 6 forwards, 4 solid defenseman or #1 goalie, they therefore don't have the overall team defense or team depth needed to challenge for a playoff spot.
If they can't sign a player like this through Free Agency and can only secure these players through the draft, how much longer will it take? I do think the slow rebuild is working, but it's slow. Once done, the Islanders could be a very good team. If, Strome, Nino, Bailey and Nelson develop into top players to join Tavares, Moulson, PAP and Okposo. If a defense of Murray or Dumba with Hamonic, MacDonald, Mayfield, deHaan and Donovan is realized. If Poulin and/or Nilsson are the real deal. That's a lot if IFs?
But, this may take two or three more years or more? Since the lease expires in 2015, can we wait that long? So my question to you is. How much more time are you willing to be patient and wait for the Islanders to be a playoff team. Not just a sneak in and be out in four games but, a team that could be a 4 or 5 seed going into the playoffs.
How much more patience do you have?