Isles On the Clock; Coaching Coral Beings
April 16, 2009 by Big Tony
The Stanley Cup Playoffs (previews: EAST, WEST) are off and running and has been quite entertaining thus far. There will be much more on that come this weekend when all of the series have gotten underway. In the meantime there is some news not related to playoff teams to be discussed. First off, the New York Islanders won the NHL’s draft lottery earlier this week officially putting them on the clock. Many think the Isles will take young sensation John Tavares who has had an enormous amount of success at the junior level. I got a chance to see Tavares play in the World Junior Championships in December and if that is any indication of the potential he has the Isles would be foolish to pass him up without some incredible trade offer on the line. Tavares is the type of player who can be the start of the resurrection of a team who is down but has a very strong tradition. Although the Isles made the playoffs just two years ago, that seems like it was decades ago as on ice success has been hard to come by and the future of the team on Long Island is in the balance. Drafting Tavares can give Isles fans hope for a better future, at least giving New York a strong base to build upon for the future. The situation on Long Island is similar to what the Penguins faced in Pittsburgh when they drafted Sidney Crosby. There are indeed a lot of other factors to put the Islanders in a better situation to give them a more viable long term plan; however, drafting a player who can give them hope for a successful on ice future can be a great catapult toward a solid future.
In other news, the Edmonton Oilers have fired long time skipper Craig MacTavish after missing the playoffs again. The Oilers enjoyed a lot of success under MacTavish including a 2006 finals appearance where they ultimately lost t Carolina in seven games. And in related news the Minnesota Wild decided to fire General Manager Doug Risebrough after coach Jacques Lemaire decided not to return to the team following the Wild’s ninth place finish and first playoffless season in three years. These are the first of what will undoubtedly be many offseason moves for teams across the league. The interesting part to make watch here is who each team puts into their vacant positions, what player changes are made (if any) and how long they let the changes stand before making a change if things improvements are not made right away at the commencement of next season. That’s all for now, we’ll see you for playoff talk this weekend. Enjoy the games everybody!