The John Tavares Hype Machine is fully operational. Things kicked into overdrive yesterday with his introduction to fans and media* on the Nassau Coliseum floor.
*And by "media" I mean those who think a brilliant question is "Will you name Tavares captain?" or "How discouraged are you to be joining...?" Mercifully, there were only a few of those, as real questions came in the media scrum afterward.
It's a funny situation, this: No fan wants to be taken for a purely promotional ride of kool-aid. (No reporter, either, as Greg Logan rightly marvels at the ease of this PR campaign.) Yet in one sense, this business (or obsession, depending on your perspective) is built on hope and passion and slightly misplaced priorities: Our hopes and happiness, at least when considering this object of attention, are predicated on how well a collection of 18-40 year-olds do playing a game.
And the Islanders have just added a very important 18-year-old to that game -- easily the most important piece they've added in nine to 15 years. So while at some point I will scream, "Enough!" with the Tavares-Buy Tickets!-Get a Jersey! bonanza, that point is a ways off. Particularly during this summer of promise after last season's winter of pain, the Islanders deserve a long leash to celebrate -- and build -- good times. We all have varying degrees of healthy cynicism, but we wouldn't still be paying attention if we didn't check some of our sanity at the door.
That said, is Garth Snow going to add another established veteran? Is this it? News and reviews after the jump...
- Mike Carey of Islanders360 was at the Tavares intro, Twittering away and posting a quick recap of the media scrum.
- Alex at Hockey Night on LI also Twittered the event and had a recap.
- Chris Botta live-blogged it.
- Logan's profile piece (also linked above) is full of Tavares quotes. Damn, this kid gets it.
- I've wondered this before guesting on radio shows: Tav-ARE-es? Tav-AIR-es? Herrmann clears it up: It's either. True to my linguist father, I'll be going with the root Portuguese way (ARE).
- 7th Woman Dee checks in with Mrs. Tavares at Dee's HockeyBuzz gig.
- More (yet fewer) quotes in the AP story.
- Another fantastic round-up from Nick on Tuesday's meeting and the next steps.
Free Agency: Islanders and Beyond
- Voice of the Islanders Fans has a deep look at the Islanders depth chart and free agency. He pleads for Tanguay.
- But will the go after anyone? B.D. hears conflicting whispers about their intentions.
- Elsewhere, another Finnish fish, er duck, has landed: Saku Koivu is in Anaheim. Nice price.
- Lowetide explains why Islanders castoff Robert Nilsson is probably not long for Edmonton. Then he tackles Denis Grebeshkov. This is why the Smyth trade, though short-sighted, struck me as a calculated risk.
- Classy Joe Sakic retired. Mile High Hockey has a bevy of tributes in the main thread and FanPosts.
- That big Chris Pronger deal? It's a cap problem in that if he retires early, or if he stinks late, he'll still be a nearly $5 million cap hit until he turns 42 (a.k.a. 2017). Mirtle has the round-up of opinions.
- Meanwhile, the point about Chicago's cap situation -- as perfectly outlined at Birdwatchers Anonymous -- is that this year's expenditures are a problem because last summer's were insane. Brian Campbell is one thing, but Christobal Huet -- cripes. You simply don't give a goalie $5.6 million unless you're absolutely sure he's top five in the league.
- Speaking of which, Antero Nittymaki is off to the KHL. I've been expecting this flooded market effect for a while: Salary cap + only 30 NHL jobs + advanced technical coaching means a lot of decent goalies can't find jobs.