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[Bits] Islanders Party, Culture Shock, Summer Grabs, Kids Tournament

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Survey says!

Can you guys back up a little? You're in my shot.
Can you guys back up a little? You're in my shot.
Bruce Bennett

Hockey News contributor and blogger Lyle Richardson wondered on Friday if the Islanders new owners can erase the "culture of losing" surrounding the team.

First of all, I'm suing for (um, eventual) copyright infringement. Second, it's a harsh assessment of the team which, while not undeserved, plays a little fast and loose with the facts.

Charles Wang wasn't exactly alone in failing to secure a new Nassau Coliseum. He inherited a set of political handcuffs and came closer than anyone to wiggling out of them. No, the Islanders won't own Barclays Center, but they will be receiving a healthy annual payment from the landlords that they sure as hell weren't getting in Nassau. And to bring up relocation options like Quebec, Seattle and Kansas City as well as the specter of John Tavares bolting four years from now is just lazy sports fan fear-mongering.

It's difficult to call Wang's tenure as owner a success given that the team is still searching for a playoff win stretching back to before Wang bought the team. But slapping the old "sad sack" label on them completely dismisses the valuable players they have now, which could be expected from only the most pessimistic of pessimists.

The Islanders are a consistent non-playoff team. They're not a contender for the Stanley Cup. They're a charter member of the "There's Always Next Year" club. But if you're going to go run down a 15-year era and speak to a team's culture, I wish you'd dig a little lower than the surface before burying them.

More Islanders stuff:

The Rest

  • NHLers are in Slovakia to play a charity game to honor the late Pavol Demitra. [NHL.com]
  • Well, whataya know. Corey "@ShutdownLine" Sznadjer, mentioned in yesterday's Bits, gets written up by Scott Cullen of TSN and details the great work he's been doing on deep underlying stats.
  • How one Oilers fan keeps hope alive. [Copper n' Blue]
  • True story: the New Jersey Devils were once owners of the most potent, powerful offense in the NHL. [In Lou We Trust]
  • For the first time since 1922, EA Sports NHL video game series will feature a new play-by-play crew this year. How do they record that stuff anyway? [Sports Illustrated]