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12-03-2010, 09:21 PM
  #1
CodeE
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Last place is better than mediocrity

The more I think about it, the more I believe this team is tanking. Not the players, they try to win every night, but Wang, Snow and company put together a team that throughout the course of an 82 game season will lose. This is because the '10-11 New York Islanders have absolutely no chance of winning the Stanley Cup. We could have signed Kovalchuk, Martin, Volchenkov, Nabakov any possible combination of free agents and we still wouldn't win the Stanley Cup.

So the season started, players got injured, and as expected, we're at the bottom of the standings. This is disheartening for the fans, Wang's gonna lose a ton of money this season, we all know this. But he would be an absolute fool to sell this franchise right now.

Simply put, it's all about the draft and exploiting a system that rewards failure. Last year we did better than expected but still finished 5th worst. While I like Nino and hope great things, I still think what the team would be like if Taylor Hall was wearing #4 instead of Mark Eaton. In today's internet age, these kids like Sean Couturier and Adam Larsson are picked apart by professional hockey writers and amateur hockey fans. Strengths, weaknesses, leadership, everything is poured over with a fine tooth comb.

Yes, some top picks have failed - but not recently. Since Stefan in 1999 (back when the internet was mostly geocities sites and you couldn't make phone calls when using it), every single first overall picks that is a forward has turned into a superstar. Kovalchuk, Nash, Ovechkin, Crosby, Kane, Stamkos, Tavares, and Hall. NHL scouting has gotten to the point where potential Angelo Espositos and Kabanovs are spotted early and fall accordingly. Forwards who go first overall become the faces of their franchises, compete for the Hart trophy. Crosby, Ovechkin, and Stamkos lead the NHL in points right now. The system can be exploited by losing, by being the worst.

Sean Couturier does more for this franchise than Gabriel Landeskog. Adam Larsson does more for the future of the Islanders than Ryan Murphy. Every year, the further and further you get down the draft ranks, the less quality NHL players you see. A player taken 1st overall will historically have a better chance to succeed than one taken 10th, who has a better chance than the player taken 20th, and so on.

So we lose, and we hoard. We greedily take all the young superstars for ourselves while leaving the Minnesota Wilds and Carolina Hurricanes to take their chances on a guy like Brandon Saad. Will Saad develop into a great hockey player? Probably. But not as good as Couturier.

Winning will solve everything, but we can't win unless we have superstars. Unrestricted free agents won't sign here, so the only way to get bonafide NHL superstars on this team is to finish as bad as possible. Be patient for now, our kids will come through eventually. This year? I'm hoping for the worst finish possible.

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