Monday, June 27, 2011

The People Have Spoken

Thank you to all of those who voted in the 'Who Should Be Captain' poll. The results are in, and the overwhelming majority of you believe Mark Streit should wear the 'C' in 2011-2012.

Nearly 60% of respondents chose the Swiss native. I imagine he will be strongly considered for the captaincy. He is in the midst of a long term contract that tied him to Long Island, has been a top scoring defenseman when healthy, and has led by example. His quiet demeanor suits him well for the top role.

Finishing second in the polling was Kyle Okposo (24%). Kyle has become one of the young 'faces' of the franchise, but has he done enough to earn the 'C'?

Kyle has played under 200 games as an Islander due to various ailments over his first few seasons. He, like Streit, is more of a quiet leader who lets his game talk for him.

However, the ink has just dried on a fresh five year contract that keeps him an Islander through 2016. He is also one of the longest tenured "young" Islanders (at age 23) with parts of four seasons under his belt. And though people may be reading too much into it, he was asked to announce the selection of #5 pick Ryan Strome at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft on Friday.

John Tavares finished with nearly 10% of the total votes. I think this is just a case of him being too young, despite evidence of his overwhelming talent. I think he's certainly in line for an 'A' on his sweater this coming season.

Lastly, 'other' received 5 votes (8%). I'm not quite sure who people had in mind, as nobody left a comment proposing an alternative to the three listed. Trent Hunter and Rick DiPietro have the most tenure with the Islanders at this point, though I can't see either being awarded with a 'C' (and generally goaltenders are prohibited from becoming captains).

I think the people got it right. I expect Mark Streit to be named the new captain, succeeding the recently retired Doug Weight. I wouldn't rule out Kyle being the honoree, but I wouldn't bet the house on it.

If you have any further thoughts or names, I'd love to hear them.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bonne Chance, Bruno!

Just moments ago it was announced that Bruno Gervais was traded to Tampa Bay for future considerations.

It's bittersweet for me, as the 2003 draft pick was one of my first interviews as a member of the Blog Box. He is known for his wild sense of humor and as a great guy in the locker room. Unfortunately, his defensive shortcomings and contract status (Restricted Free Agent) have made this the time for him to move on.

In Tampa Bay, Gervais will be reunited with former Islanders Nate Thompson, Dwayne Roloson, and Sean Bergenheim.

I wish him success with his new team. 'Bonne Chance!' to the Quebec native.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Full List of Picks

Here's a handy guide to help you sort through the complete draft for the Islanders in 2011. Picks are subject to change, of course.

(Round) Overall #

(1) 5. Ryan Strome - Center - Niagra IceDogs (OHL)
(2) 34. Scott Mayfield - Defense - Youngstown (USHL)
(2) 50. Johan Sundstrom - Center - Frolunda (SEL)
(3) 63. Andrey Pedan - Defense - Guelph (OHL)
(4) 95. Robbie Russo - Defense - US Nat'l Development Team (USHL)
(5) 125. John Persson - Left Wing - Red Deer (WHL)
(5) 127. Brenden Kichton - Defense - Spokane (WHL)
(7) 185. Mitchell Theoret - Left Wing - Niagra IceDogs (OHL)

Draft Party Live Blog

Keeping with tradition, I'll be liveblogging from the NHL draft party (sorry, not the actual draft this year). Check this space for the pick at #5 and any other Isles related news and/or trades.

UPDATE: With Kyle at the podium, the Islanders selected Ryan Strome from the Niagra IceDogs.

ANALYSIS: I really like the pick. Stats aside, he trains with John Tavares and is friendly with Matt Moulson. So there's already familiarity, and perhaps a bond.

The overiding theme when discussing Strome is that he is a wonderful playmaker and makes those around him better. His whopping amount of assists on last year's stat line shows that.

Dishing the puck isn't his only game, though. He netted 33 goals with the IceDogs last season and was the Ontario Hockey League's top point producer with a very healthy 1.63 points per game. Searching for his name on Youtube reveals a heap of highlight video goals. What great stuff to watch.

The pundits on TSN and elsewhere are salivating over seeing him potentially teamed with John Tavares on the Islanders. Of course, we have to keep in mind he'll probably be slated for a little more seasoning down in the minors before he hits the Island. He will not be rushed to the National Hockey League.

It's nice to see the Islanders stacked with so much young talent. I can't remember the last time I felt this optimistic heading into an Islanders season.

As Trevor Gillies told the crowd at the draft party, 'I wish the season would start right now.'

I've been hearing that from a lot of people, for good reason.

Additionally, you can follow new Islander Ryan Strome on Twitter at @Strome18.

Don't forget, rounds 2-7 are tomorrow, where scouting departments really earn their money. You can see the full list of pick and names in the post following (above) this one.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Who Should Be Captain?

Since the NHL entry draft is still two full weeks away and my predictions on the subject are notoriously incorrect, let's take things in a different direction.

Since this is a Islanders blog and doesn't cover the full NHL, there hasn't been a whole lot to discuss since the captain retired.

There are a few candidates worthy of wearing the 'C' next season. I have my thoughts on the subject, but I'd like to see what the fans think. I have set up a poll on the right hand side of this page. Please click on your choice and I'll share the results with everyone (along with my thoughts) when the poll closes in two weeks.

If you would like to leave a comment or make a case for a player, the comments section is always open.

Also, friends, don't forget about the draft party on Friday, June 24th at Nassau Coliseum. I'll be there. Will you?