Entering the 08-09 season the Islanders weren't definitively in rebuild mode. The 07-08 team only fell apart once Rick DiPietro went down. He was rumored to be returning at full health and the Islanders had added some grizzled vets to the roster. They even looked to the past in picking up Doug Weight, hoping he and Bill Guerin could catch some of the old magic. Although no one thought they would be a playoff team, they were expected to at least be competitive.
Unfortunately reality came crashing in hard for the Islanders. A new young coach clashed with some of the vets. DiPietro not only missed all of preseason but in his rare appearances during the regular season did not look good. The plan of letting Wade Dubielewicz escape to Russia meant the crease was filled by two goalies who should have never left the AHL. The grizzled vets quickly broke down as the season went on, including an injury to Mike Sillinger which ended his long journeyman career.
Without further ado, your "Where Are They Now?" for the 08-09 Islanders is after the jump.
The list is ordered by games played. Italics is with the team and
Strikethrough left via Trade, FA, Waiver or retirement.
Today: Still with the Islanders, the one bright spot for the team that year.
Today: Unsigned Free Agent, appears to be the end of the line with the Islanders
Today: Signed with the Calgary Flames after becoming a UFA this offseason.
Today: The Chef continues his Islanders career, despite fan horror when he's anywhere on the ice.
Today: Part of a group of youngsters who hopefully will lead the Islanders to the promised land.
Today: Took a one year hiatus with Minnesota (well the AHL) before coming back to likely play in Bridgeport.
Today: The Islanders finally bought out the elder warrior. Rumors have him winning a string of demolition derbies.
Today: Allowed to leave the team as a UFA, Tamby signed with the Canucks this offseason.
Today: Another of the important youngsters for the teams future.
Today: Traded to the Penguins during 08-09, Won a cup with Sid The Kid. Currently a UFA
Today: The Austrian left North America after 08-09 and spent last year in the Swiss League.
Today: Allowed to leave as a UFA this offseason. He signed with "Genius GM of the Moment" Stevie Y for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Today: The great Dane is still an Islander and should be for a long time.
Today: Looks to be an Islander for at least as long as his current contract (expires in 12-13) and possibly longer.
Today: Still an Islander, but with an expiring contract looming he is looking to prove he is more than a two-month (March and April) wonder.
Today: The Islander Captain and JT's tutor should be back for at least one more season.
Today: The oft-injured defenseman is hoping to return to form in a contract year.
Today: After being traded to the Senators, Superstar Chris Campoli actually turned down some reasonable offers from the Sens and nearly went to arbitration with them before signing a one-year $1.4 million deal.
Today: Allowed to walk away from the Islanders, he signed with Toronto and was traded twice during the season. Is back in the Red Wings system for the 2nd time in his career.
Today: Is still with the Islanders, but signed a two-way deal. Looking as though he might spend most of the year in Bridgeport.
Today: Claimed off of waivers by the Lightning, he's still there today.
Today: Traded with Chris Campoli, he's a UFA who recently married Hilliary Duff.
Today: The promising youngster suffered a bit of a setback after stopping an Alex Ovechkin shot with his face. Still with the Islanders.
Today: Allowed to walk following his one season, signed on to be the Devils backup. After a season in which he basically was a glorified season ticket holder, Danis has signed on to play in the KHL.
Today: Played another season with the Islanders before becoming a UFA and signing with the Thrashers.
Today: Traded last season to the Senators. As a free agent he signed with the Ducks.
Today: Not retained following the season, he's now gooning it up for the Lightning AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals
Today: Was acquired in the Campoli/Comrie deal simply because of his expiring contract. Spent last season with the Devils and is now a UFA.
Today: The "Recher" was recently bought out of his contract by the Islanders.
Today: After his stint with the Islanders, spent the last two seasons playing in the AHL. Signed to play in Europe this offseason.
Today: Spent last season playing in the KHL for the Riga Dynamo, a team that also had Marcel Hossa and Sandis Ozolinsh.
Today: Was mostly a Bridgeport player for the last two seasons. He's signed with the Ducks, most likely to play in the AHL.
Today: The much respected and traveled Sillinger had to call it a career after suffering an injury in 08. Funny enough he moved to the front office of one of the teams he never played for, the Oilers.
Today: The talented youngster is still trying to prove he can make it in the NHL.
Today: The former Islanders 2nd round pick has moved his game to Europe.
Today: Still an Islander and still recovering
Today: Signed with the Devils last season and played mostly with Lowell. This offseason he signed another two way deal with the Avalanche.
Today: The Ontario native has moved his game to the European leagues.
Today: After nearly setting a record with the highest recorded GAA in league history, he joined the Thrashers organization where he continues to play today.
Today: The hard working defenseman proved he had what it takes to be an NHL player and was rewarded with a multi-year contract.
Today: He signed with the Wild after his one game appearance. Is still with them today.
Today: The one game wonder played last season in Bridgeport and is currently a UFA.
Out of 43 players who played at least a game for the Islanders in 08-09, only 15 players are still (or have returned to) the Islanders organization. Out of that, a few of them are question marks as to whether we'll see them in the NHL at all next season. That means roughly two thirds or three quarters of the roster has turned over in two seasons. It makes you wonder how different the team might look in another two seasons.