Thursday, February 21, 2008

Back Up in Your Ass with the Resurrection

The question is how? How could the Isles lose seven straight, then turn it right around and win six in a row? Is it the influx of youth? Were the threats of trading the UFAs enough? Just plain luck?

Whatever it is, the Isles are peaking at the right time as it has probably turned Garth Snow into a buyer. With that said, if Snow is to make a trade before the deadline, it would hopefully be at most a tuck-in acquisition (namely to shore up the defense) that doesn't upset the newly found team chemistry. Snow could even afford to trade one or two UFAs and let the exciting youth movement take over the open spots, while gaining back draft picks in a deep draft.

One thing appears to be certain to me - Snow cannot try a Ryan Smyth-like rent-a-player trade this year and give up high draft picks without incurring the wrath of the Isles fanbase. While this has been a great recent run, the end goal of every season is to win the Cup. If the team cannot win the Cup, then you need to be planning long term, which I have been harping on on several occasions. In a weak Eastern Conference, I have no doubt that if the Isles play as they have in the past six games, they will be a playoff team (and what a change from when I was calling for the Isles to be like the Dukes and "SELL SELL SELL"). But a Cup-caliber team? I just don't see them getting past an Ottawa or Montreal - but if the cards fell right and both teams were upset early in the playoffs, who knows? I'd love to be wrong.

It will make for a very interesting deadline with so many teams as potential buyers this season. If Snow plays his cards right with his UFAs, he can be a strategic seller and buyer, at the same time, all while stockpiling draft picks to replenish the farm system. If he can pull that off, the future may indeed be bright for this franchise. Now about that Lighthouse project...

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