This has been an interesting 24 hours, let me tell you.
It started with sitting in my seats in section 309 last night and my seat neighbor Anthony from Brooklyn and I are talking about alternate captains and who else is wearing an “A” other than Hunter with Witt out. We canvass the ice and bench and cannot find anyone. Tony from Islesnation (who sits directly over my left shoulder) says – “Uh, where is Guerin?”. The three of us break out of phones (two iPhones and a Blackberry) and begin to read every website for a hint of information. We find out that Guerin took place in the warmup and was removed after a conversation with Garth Snow. Cue bells and whistles.
Ok, we knew Guerin had agreed to waive his no movement clause for only Eastern Conference contenders – so he was likely on the move someplace. A few phone calls up to my contacts in the press box produced nothing concrete – everyone up there was scrambling as much as we were. Chris Botta, as always seemed to have his finger on the pulse of the situation and began frantically exploring every angle possible, but would not get positive proof of any specific move. Cue drama music.
Based on some of my own guesswork, I had narrowed the teams down to three, possibly even four based on the mileage factor. Earlier in the week I had heard something about a possible deal with Montreal, but heard nothing of specific names involved. Earlier yesterday I had heard that there were two Islanders scouts in attendance at the Washington – Bruins game. Why would TWO scouts be at that game? Perhaps they were each scouting a different team? I added those two teams to my list.
Just about everyone on the net seems to have a different opinion on what is going on, so that is what makes the speculation fun and exciting. However, everything seems to move back to Washington and Montreal and it can only mean one thing – Garth Snow has a bidding war on his hands and is playing this hand of poker absolutely perfect. Has he bluffed his way into having the better player muck his winning hand?
Let’s think this through hypothetically, Bill Guerin is going to be moved – you know it, I know it, Billy knows it – the league knows it. Snow’s phones begin lighting up and he has a few deals that interest him. He talks to team A and they offer X – team B offers Y – Garth tells team A that he has a better offer on the table and in an attempt to fire up both pulls Guerin from the warmup to make it appear a deal is imminent. Perhaps he is playing both teams (or even a third team?) and forcing them to up the ante. This is what makes an excellent GM in my eyes – the ability to squeeze the most out of any deal (look no further than last weeks transaction with Ottawa).
Where we stand today is even more confusing as Greg Logan wrote an article claiming a divide in the locker room. I already posted that I was concerned with three players speaking out against Gordon (Comrie, Campoli and Witt), this would make four if true. Could it be sensationalism to sell the Sunday editions or drive traffic to the Newsday site? Certainly, but what I don’t understand is that two to three weeks ago Guerin was apparently content being an Islander and preferred to remain one for the future. Logan even cites an anonymous player as another veteran whom has questioned Gordon – which could make five players. To quote a great movie line that needs no explanation “What we have here is a failure to communicate”. Something that needs to be taken into consideration is that Scott Gordon is a rookie coach in a really tough situation. His is in the middle of a full on rebuild and playing the kids as much as possible – he works well with the kids because he was in the AHL. Maybe he has been making assumptions about the veterans not needing the same type of attention – which by the article seems to be the case. Who knows, it’s another story line we must keep an eye out for.
Update 1:05pm -Everything just came full circle, Greg Logan updated his blog while I was typing this piece. Seems he is also thinking the way I am in terms of the two teams being Montreal and Washington.