Fans, the 2007-2008 NHL season is finally over. Congratulations to the Detroit Red Wings, who won the Stanley Cup with hard work, determination, skill, and some great goaltending by a former Islander, Chris Osgood.
Heartfelt congratulations are also in order for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who provided a wonderful six-game series but just did not have the firepower or experience to hang with the Wings, although they gave it a damn good try. Friends, if you couldn't get excited about watching NHL hockey during this postseason, and especially this series, then you've just missed the boat.
The fans of Pittsburgh should be commended for the loud and spirited support of their team despite having a mostly young side, an aging arena, and having been under the threat of relocation just a few seasons ago. We Islanders fans can certainly relate to those situations, and hopefully we can copy your team's model for success in the near future. Take heart, Pittsburgh, your guys are young and scarily talented and will be back in the Finals soon.
Speaking of the future, it certainly appears to have come to Nassau Coliseum. It seems clear that Dubie, Satan, Vasicek, and Fedotenko have all been voted off the Island by management in favor of continuing full-on with the youth movement. We can expect to see Kyle Okposo take a larger role on next year's squad, assuming all goes well in training camp.
And while we're thinking about training camp, let's not forget that the hockey-starved among us will still have plenty of chances to mingle with the young Islanders. The Entry Draft is just about two weeks away (June 20th), and while we're not going to Ottawa with our friends Mike and Tom, we will be at the Coliseum draft party. We heard that prospect Rob Figren and others will be on hand too, and there will even be some parking lot tailgating. Sweet! The staff of Okposo Net will be happy to meet and greet anyone and everyone, and even talk some hockey with you. After all, the draft is really one of the special days that fans get to enjoy.
Lastly, remember that on July 12th the Isles will be hosting a Kyle Okposo meet and greet, also at the Coliseum. You can check the official team website for details on that. It should be a good chance to get to know Kyle and ask him a few questions; maybe get your jersey signed by him too if you're lucky...
Before we do all of the Isles' promotional work for them, let's hope that this time next season we'll all be a lot happier about our team's standing. While we probably won't be celebrating with the Stanley Cup, perhaps we'll have just enjoyed a solid playoff run and will be discussing how this team can be where Detroit is now. With this dreadful season now finalized, we say again, there's nowhere to go but up.