Tag: hockey

On the verge of losing their team captain, face of the franchise, and first overall pick in 2009, not to mention likely missing the playoffs for the eighth time in 11 seasons, the New York Islanders appear to be a team in disarray. Their General Manager, Garth Snow, has been around for all eight disappointments. Only once have the Isles made it out of the first round since 1993. An organization that consistently takes one step forward, only to fall flat the following season. While the outcome of the 2017-18 season is all but decided, it would be easy for Islanders fans to go into the off-season dreading what may come. Despite a few unknowns, the Islanders organization could go from being a middling failure to a powerhouse.

NHL Entry Draft Lottery

Most would assume that signing John Tavares is the first step to creating a team to be reckoned with. This may be true, but certain chips falling the Islanders way could ultimately lead to Tavares re-signing with ease. During the 2017 Entry Draft, the Islanders sent defenseman Travis Hamonic to the Calgary Flames for a first round pick in 2018, a second round pick in 2018 and a conditional second round pick in 2019 (which if Calgary misses the playoffs this season will remain in 2019). This trade seemed a good one for both organizations at the time, but Calgary has free-fallen out of a playoff spot and Travis Hamonic hasn’t lived up to the expectations of the Flames. All this will lead to the New York Islanders having a shot at two lottery picks

Only four times since 1979, has a team had two picks in the top five.

  • 1988 – The Quebec Nordiques take Curtis Leschyshyn third overall and Daniel Dore with fifth overall pick.
  • 1997 – The New York Islanders select Roberto Luongo with the fourth pick and Eric Brewer with the fifth.
  • 1999 – The Vancouver Canucks grab Daniel & Henrik Sedin with the second and third overall picks.
  • 2000 – The New York Islanders opt for first overall pick Rick DiPietro and fifth overall pick Raffi Torres.

Ironically, the Islanders also had three picks in the first ten selections in 1999 where they selected Tim Connolly fifth, Taylor Pyatt eighth and Branislav Mezei tenth. Count it up, that’s seven top ten picks in three drafts. That’s incredible. The only player of real value was Luongo, whom they ultimately traded to the Panthers for the opportunity to take Rick DiPietro. Perhaps Tim Connolly could be included on that list as he had a decent career but almost exclusively for the Buffalo Sabres.

In any case, one may look at the list above and say that if the Islanders were to get two high draft choices in the upcoming draft, there’s no guarantees and knowing the Islanders, they’ll probably miss on both. To look at it this way would be short sighted. The draft was not seen as important back in the late 1990’s as it is now, and teams have gotten much better at hitting on first round picks, especially top five selections. Garth Snow has at least shown competency in drafting after selecting Matthew Barzal with the 16th overall pick in 2015.

Odds the Islanders Win Draft Lottery

Admittedly, the odds are slim. Right now, due to where the Flames sit in the standings, there’s only a 2.7% chance of striking gold, and with enough points between them and the next crop of teams to assume they won’t fall lower. The Islanders pick, however, have a 5.4% chance of grabbing a lottery pick and could easily fall a couple spots to increase their odds. Essentially, the Islanders have about a 10% chance that they’ll have one pick in the top ten in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. At worst, these picks will likely be in the eighth to 12th range. Which still gives them a great opportunity to draft a couple impact players. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that one or both could make camp right away (although it’s likely they’d give them one to two years to ripen).

Even if the most likely scenario occurs, and not the dream situation, the Islanders will add some potential core pieces to their team. Adding to an already strong core of Matthew Barzal, Josh Bailey, Anders Lee and assuming he remains an Islander, John Tavares.

Re-signing John Tavares

Given what is on the table for the Islanders at the Entry Draft, and based on his many comments about wanting to stay with the Isles, John Tavares will re-sign with the Isles. To hold out this long, to be a trooper during all these years, and to watch the perfect storm that has culminated in having Barzal center the second forward line, it would be unwise for Tavares to bail now. Even with a 10+ million dollar cap hit for Tavares, and assuming the cap goes up to around 78 million, the Isles will have over 20 million in cap space to improve their team in the off-season.

Garth Snow may not have been the ideal candidate for GM back in 2006 when he took over. He has made mistakes, but the experience of failure may be paying off. The New York Islanders organization is poised to become one of the next powerhouses in the NHL if they can keep their house in order. It appears that John Tavares will remain with the organization for the long haul, and that his patience paid off.

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Each week, Overtime Hockey Talk will compile the best headlines and articles from around the league for each team. The order has significance, as it will follow the league standings from top to bottom. In this week’s case, the St. Louis Blues get the honor after their 4-0 start.

  • St Louis Blue – A great start can be your ticket to the playoffs (see 2016-17 Columbus Blue Jackets). It was easy to pick the St. Louis Blues to fall in the Central after losing Robbie Fabbri, and not having made any external acquisitions of note♪ over the offseason. The Blues will have to rely heavily on Jake Allen (which is great for children’s cancer research), but this Blues team looks pretty real, especially Tarasenko…[Bleed In Blue]

  • Chicago Blackhawks – No other team has made more adjustments to their defensive core than the Chicago Blackhawks. Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brian Campbell and Trevor van Riemsdyk are all gone, leaving head coach Joel Quenneville some work to figure out who pairs well together. Connor Murphy being scratched for Cody Franson is a situation to keep eyes on. [Chicago Tribune]

  • New Jersey Devils –  The Devils are 3-0 and doing it in such a way that is very un-Devils-like by scoring 16 goals in those 3 games. They look fast & exciting and Cory Schneider looks like he’s worked hard to return to form. All that said, former Devil’s goaltender and analyst Chico Resch has come out of retirement and returned to the broadcast booth and he’s on Twitter. If you haven’t seen #ChicoEats, you’re missing out…[Twitter]

  • Vegas Golden Knights – No one expected to this team to win their first three games but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. They beat an Arizona Coyotes team that looks to be a mess right now. However, the story that may effect this team long-term is the fact that Vadim Shipachyov, Shea Theodore and Alex Tuch have all been sent to the minors because GM George McPhee hasn’t been able to move all the extra defensemen (9 on the active roster with Clayton Stoner on IR) that he took during the expansion draft. Shipachyov wasn’t happy about it and McPhee apparently waited until after the fact to explain why he did it. Yikes. [Knights on Ice]

  • Colorado Avalanche – Nail Yakupov has seen early success playing on a line with Matt Duchene and Alex Kerfoot, but what if the Avs finally trade Duchene? For now, it’s good to see the biggest bust of the salary cap era leading his team in scoring with 3 goals and 2 assists, already matching last season’s goal totals with the Blues. Maybe he can avoid  [Denver Post]

  • Toronto Maple Leafs – The Leafs have been off to a torrid offensive start becoming the first team since the 92-93 Penguins to score 18 goals in the first 3 games. But in the battle of the last two year’s #1 overall picks, Nico Hischier’s Devils exposed the Leafs defense with a relentless and speed-driven forecheck. The Devils even scored a shorthanded goal on a 5 on 3 penalty kill! Later in the 5 on 3 though there should’ve been a cross checking penalty, but the ref decided against it…
  • Calgary Flames – Jaromir Jagr is back in the NHL, this time with the Flames. His first game was uneventful and he said that he didn’t feel he had his legs back yet, but he’s just made the Flames a go-to when deciding which west-coast game to watch. Here’s a great picture created by NHL.com in honor of Jagr playing for his ninth NHL franchise…

  • Los Angeles Kings – Dustin Brown has 5 points in 3 games playing with Anze Kopitar again and Kings fans are going nuts about it. I’m sorry but no, this isn’t a resurrection of the Stanley Cup days, the Kings are not on the rise yet, and I don’t expect Brown to be anywhere close to a point per game player. Will gladly admit to being wrong if this is still happening at the 30 game mark though! [CBS Sports]

  • Anaheim Ducks – Antoine Vermette, unhappy with a linesman’s placement of the puck on a faceoff (that’s my only explanation) decided it’d be a great idea to slash the linesman in the leg. It wasn’t nearly as violent as it sounds but it’s got to be the most out of left field player to be suspended I’ve witnessed. Have a nice 10 days off, Antoine! [Pucks of a Feather]

  • Pittsburgh Penguins – Ever wonder why the Capitals just can’t seem to beat the Penguins? [Pens Labyrinth]

  • Washington Capitals – If the Caps have a weakness, it’s their inability to stay out of the penalty box. They took the third most penalties in the league last year and have continued that trend with 20 penalties in their first four games. There’s no excuses for the new slashing enforcement either because every other team has to adjust too! [Washington Post]

  • Columbus Blue Jackets – It’s always hilarious when fans think that referees are out to get their team. Referees in the NHL are the best (one of the best blogs for former referees is Paul Stewart). They don’t care who wins a random regular season game. They call it based on what they see and sometimes, they’re going to miss calls. They’re human beings. [Union and Blue]

  • Tampa Bay Lightning – If there was one positive from last season’s debacle of a season, it was Brayden Point. He looks really good and a deep Tampa team is even more dangerous with him in it. [Tampa Bay Times]

  • Detroit Red Wings – If the Red Wings could somehow get a healthy Niklas Kronwall for one more year, it’d go a long way to keeping this team out of the basement and competitive for most of the year. Imagine if they can somehow find $600,000 for Andreas Athanasiou! [Hockey Buzz]

  • Ottawa Senators – Most people haven’t heard of Frederick Claesson but he’s being touted as the other Swedish d-man for the Sens. He played a career high 26:51 in a 3-2 shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks. He might be drawing comparisons to Karlsson but only because he’s from the same country and he played a lot of minutes that one time…Sens fans (and honestly any hockey fan) anxiously awaits a healthy Karlsson because he’s the reason to watch Ottawa. [Ottawa Citizen]

  • Philadelphia Flyers – Sometimes using your coaches challenge to reverse a goal isn’t the best call when you consider all the factors that play a part. Might just be better to leave it be according to the statistics. If you didn’t see our article about what should really happen to coaches when they fail at offside challenges you should check it out here!  [Hockey Graphs]

  • Vancouver Canucks – Brock Boeser was a guy a lot of people picked to contend for the Calder trophy. That’s not going to happen if he can’t get into the lineup over Derek Dorsett…[The Canuck Way]

  • Carolina Hurricanes – Can someone give an honest account as to why the Canes need to have a team in Carolina? Passionate hockey fans live in the area, but why don’t enough of them support this team by attending games? This team has a lot of promise and they’ve even won a Stanley Cup in the last 10 years but less than 7900 fans at the second home game of the year? [Charlotte Observer]

  • New York Islanders – Let’s hope the Isles can figure out this arena situation, and fast. The rumors are already flying and this team is a bottom feeder without John Tavares. [NY Post]

  • Florida Panthers – The Panthers lost too much over the offseason from a non-playoff team. My expectations for them are very low, although if they can stay healthy they may be able to stay in the playoff race for a little while. The hope would be that they can continue to get faster with the rest of the league and learn to play the speed game so that when guys like Owen Tippett are ready to come up to the NHL level, the Panthers will be ready to contend. [The Hockey Writers]

  • Dallas Stars – The Stars have one of the most dynamic lines in hockey with Tyler Seguin between Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov. Between the three of them, they might need to score upwards of 90 goals to get this team into the playoffs. Everyone was high on the Stars (and there’s no reason to panic) but when you stack your lines the way the Ken Hitchcock is doing with his Stars, you better be on every night. [Blackout Dallas]

  • Edmonton Oilers – Expectations of two top centers in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will have to wait since head coach Todd McLellan just can’t seem to separate the two. Could be a reason for the Oilers slow start. Teams will focus heavily on the top line and wait and see if anyone else can hurt them. Dylan Strome was supposed to be the answer but he looks like the same guy that played on the Islanders last season…who would’ve thought? [SportsNet]

  • Nashville Predators – Since the last guy decided didn’t want to share the limelight with Carrie Underwood, the Predators found a replacement for their regular anthem singer. But someone couldn’t decide so they just went with four. [The Tennessean]

  • Winnipeg Jets – Mark Scheifele wrote about the five toughest players he’s ever played against. The first four are pretty easy to guess (Connor, Sidney, Carey & Erik) but the fifth surprised me…[The Players Tribune]

  • Boston Bruins – The numbers don’t lie…Tukka Rask is an average NHL goaltender. [SB Nation]

  • New York Rangers – Trading Rick Nash is next to impossible unless they take back considerable salary. My assumption is NY hangs onto him and let’s him sign elsewhere via free agency. I couldn’t see Nash fetching more than a second or third round pick. [Blue Line Station]

  • Montreal Canadiens – When you sign a 7/8 defenseman and expect him to replace Andrei Markov, this happens…[A Winning Habit]

  • Minnesota Wild – Is it their lack of star power or Bruce Boudreau that makes me doubt a long playoff run is in store for this team? They’re fun to watch and I want them to succeed because of it, but its hard to forget the past. Boudreau doesn’t win in the playoffs. All that said, “measuring stick” games in the beginning of the regular season are silly. [Twin Cities]

  • Arizona Coyotes – The Vegas home opener may be the best ever from a new NHL franchise and the Coyotes ensured that it would be remembered for a long time. The players staying after they lost to salute the Vegas crowd was unexpectedly epic. This team has class, and while they may still not be good for another year or two, they’re doing everything right. [ABC Arizona]

  • Buffalo Sabres – It’s the battle of the two basement dwellers on Thursday night as the Sabres travel to San Jose. The Sabres will be more desperate than the Sharks, as I doubt the veteran laden Sharks are worried about an 0-2 start but the Sabres have given up 15 goals in their 0-2-1 start. Can Buffalo afford another season amidst the bottom of the league? [Sabre Noise]

  • San Jose Sharks – The Sharks sit last in the standings (albeit after only two games so it means next to nothing) so instead of focusing on a couple loses, just look at this poodle that got a San Jose Sharks makeover. It’ll make everything better, I promise. [Sporting News]

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