Everyone has an opinion. And that's the nice thing about the Internet; everyone's can be heard. Theoretically one is no more or less important than another. With that said, allow us to depart from our normal format for a moment and offer some friendly advice to the General Manger of the Islanders, Garth Snow:
The 1st overall pick has been debated to death. People are literally getting blue in the face making the case for "their guy." But this isn't about the #1 pick; it's about the 10 that will follow.
The hot rumor all summer long is that the Isles are looking to move up to the middle of first round by cashing in some of the picks that you stockpiled last June. While it's an idea that is very well intentioned, sometimes it pays to play it straight, too. This team needs talent, a lot of it, and at many positions. That's not exactly breaking news.
The difference this year with respect to others is that your team finds itself in a very advantageous position. One partially of your own making. Namely, the Islanders have leverage. Holding so many picks over so many rounds means that the Islanders can basically name their price. Let other teams come to you. Don’t appear so eager to deal. Don't be afraid to ask for proven talent if the situation calls for it. And most importantly, don't be afraid to pass on a deal if the return doesn't blow you away.
The last point is the one that some people are forgetting. Taking a quick look through the entry drafts of past years, the attrition rate for NHL prospects seems to be fairly high. As many "busts" as "stars" litter the early and mid-round rolls. So perhaps it's wiser to play the percentages and infuse the franchise with bodies, rather than trying to "hit the home run." Sometimes a few "cheap hits" get the job done just as effectively, if you will. Furthermore, unfortunately this franchise knows all too well that sometimes a prospect overlooked is an other's gold. As a few examples, we submit:
Mike Richards went 24th overall in 2003.
Patrice Bergeron went 45th overall that same year.
Mike Green went 29th overall in 2004.
Paul Stastny went 45th overall in 2005.
Milan Lucic went 50th overall in 2006.
And so on.
There is mid-round talent is out there if your scouting department has done its homework.
Long story short: As we said above, please don't be trigger happy and so quick to deal. Rebuild slowly and methodically. This year, it's okay to be conservative.
But you knew all of this already. You’re the GM for a reason, right? So good luck this weekend. IN GARTH WE TRUST!