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:
- Friday was Islanders Day at Pro Hockey Talk and the NBC site ran a few articles about the team for mass consumption: John Tavares is very good at hockey | Can Kyle Okposo continue to be very good at hockey? | Griffin Reinhart looks to hit the big time | PHT Exclusive: Garth Snow Sucks.
- The official site checks in with Michael Grabner's summer.
- The Junior Islanders are playing in China and the Jesse Eisenberg is keeping a running blog of the Harbin Tournament.
- Bridgeport signed four free agents, including a lesser Seabrook. [Sound Tigers]
- Chris Triantafilis of Islanders Insight does a "thoughts" column every Friday and this week's installment mentioned a few interesting ideas about the dangers of co-owners and the emergence of Rick DiPietro, radio voice.
- 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]
- [Bits] My God! The Dukes are going to corner the entire frozen orange juice market!
- Islanders finally unveil final patch for final season at Nassau Coliseum
- NHL New Draft Rules: All your tanks are belong to luck
- Selecting the 15 Greatest in New York Islanders History
- Zeitgeist: Buyers Ledecky, Malkin ready to find new ways to disappoint Islanders fans