Every time a player on the trading block submits a list of teams he refuses to get traded to, we around here always assume that the Islanders are on it. Rarely does one of these lists get published. But on a radio hit yesterday, TSN's Darren Dreger divulged Jason Spezza's list of no-fly zones and it specifically included Long Island, as well as Columbus, Nashville and Florida and the other Canadian cities.
The Islanders' 2014-15 season doesn't hinge on acquiring Spezza. The price is high, he's a UFA in a year and Bryan Murray sounds reluctant to trade him anywhere east of Chicago, so it's probably best to just drop the whole enterprise.
Still, part of me is rankled that the Islanders are, definitively for a change, on a player's no trade list. Whatever Spezza is looking for - money, a different role, a Stanley Cup, security, an American address, less media pressure - he doesn't feel he's going to get it on Long Island (although I guess no one told him that the Islanders have exactly one regular beat writer and that Larry Brooks only comes to Nassau Coliseum when he can hitch a ride on the Rangers team bus).
I'm going to assume Spezza's not alone in this thinking. How many other no trade lists are the Islanders on?
Spezza's rejection means that the Islanders' sad song remains the same. John Tavares hasn't changed it, Jaroslav Halak hasn't changed it, Brooklyn hasn't changed it, some intriguing prospects haven't changed it, one playoff trip didn't change it. Of all the failures and missed opportunities of the last few years, this is the biggest and most demoralizing. When incremental alterations don't add up to a lot of wins, they might as well have not happened. That's the message you get back from the rest of the kids in the clubhouse: "come back when you're older."
I don't hate Jason Spezza for not choosing the Islanders, but his ambivalence makes me appreciate even more the players who have chosen to stay. And I hope for them and us that the tune quickly changes.
- Capitol District Islander says the spirit of "1940" still lives on to this day.
- LHH community member North Dakota Red Eagle posted a very comprehensive list of historical comparisons between this year's draft class and other recent ones.
Buyouts and Broadcasters
- How much is UFA Anton Stralman worth? Hm. I don't recall anyone mentioning his name around here. [Oilers Nation]
- Justin Bourne talks about agents and preparing kids for the pro game. [The Score]
- Doug Wilson isn't screwing around. He calls the Sharks a "team of tomorrow" and all but promises a rebuild in San Jose. I'm not even a Sharks fan and I'm nervous. [Mercury News]
- The day we never thought we'd see has arrived: the Sabres will buyout Ville Leino's horrid contract and Die By the Blade celebrates with a gif party.
- Vancouver is also moving on from David Booth, who Harrison Mooney says is one of the weirdest dudes the Canucks have ever had. I'm going on record as saying I'd like to see the Islanders make Booth's weirdness their annual bargain winger this year.
- Sportsnet has a sad list of the the priciest buyouts in the NHL. Congratulations to all the Islanders on the list for not being No. 1.
- SI's Richard Deitsch sits down with renaissance man Doc Emrick.
- Elliotte Friedman and Scott Oake make the trip from CBC to Sportsnet.
- Drew Remenda won't be back as Sharks color analyst, as the team did not renew his contract. I'm kinda bummed. I enjoyed his repartee with partner Randy Hahn when watching games on GCL. I have no doubt that Remenda won't be out of work for long. [Fear the Fin]
- Oof. And the news gets even worse for Sharks. Their cable deal is so bad, it might affect their future in San Jose. It's like all their good luck is coming back to bite them in one summer. [Inside Bay Area]
- The Texas Stars are your 2014 Calder Cup (AHL) champions, defeating the St. Johns Icecaps in five games. [that's Dallas over Winnipeg for you NHL-only fans]
DUDE WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING? Also, notice the Brooklyn Nets hat on Byfuglien. A subtle hint of a trade to King's County, perhaps....? Yeah, probably not.
- New York Islanders Top 25 Under 25: Matt Donovan, #11 and expecting company
- [Bits] Dunk Tank, Coaching Carousel, Test of Strengh and other carnival attractions
- New York Islanders Top 25 Under 25: Scott Mayfield inches up to #12
- Islanders add Cronin, Corkum to coaching staff; Weight named assistant GM
- [Bits] Compliance Buyout Day Beach Party!