Already battle-hardened from his years spent traversing the lawless wasteland known as #IslesTwitter like Kenshiro in Fist of the North Star, Newsday’s Arthur Staple stepped into even more dangerous terrain today, taking part in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit, “the Internet’s homepage” and an often wretched hive of scum and villainy not fit for man, woman, child, beast or troll.
Over the course of about an hour, Staple fielded questions about the Islanders from fans all over the NHL and offered the usual straight answers he gives in 140 characters on Twitter or his bi-weekly mailbags at Newsday. Topics ranged from Jaroslav Halak’s status and standing with the team to the expansion draft to how a lone beatwriter goes about his work (and his eating habits, for some reason).
Here’s a small sampling of some of the most interesting questions and answers from the AMA. You can read the full thing here and I recommend you do. As we always do when Art takes our questions, we thank him for his time and congratulate him on making it out of Reddit with his sharp wits still intact.
The Word on Weight
No surprise here as the results and relationships will probably work in Doug Weight’s favor. Later, Staple says that even if Weight doesn’t remain as head coach, he could still retain his assistant GM title.
A Day in the Life
There were a lot of questions about the job of being a team’s lone beat reporter and Art, as always, was honest and straightforward about his take on the job, the role of social media for sports writing and the difference between a columnist and a reporter. This is just one example but there were maybe a half dozen more in there.
Staple says he believes the team will explore trades in the offseason while not adding much via free agency. So maybe the Matt Duchene Islanders jersey you had your eye on might still yours one day.
The Halak Issue
Staple says he believes Halak will get the call up from Bridgeport, possibly next week with huge games against the Rangers, Penguins and Bruins. As for how he’ll be received...
As for other goalies in the Islanders system...
Staple was asked a few questions about possible expansion draft moves, but this was sort of a big one:
Should Boychuk agree to waive his no movement clause, it would allow Garth Snow to protect another player and maybe make a world of difference. Boychuk’s $6 million a year salary through 2021 might prove too much for George McPhee to take on in the Golden Knights first season, or he might be on the move again. But that would be a huge favor to the Islanders.
And finally...Hey Oh!