It’s that time of year again. I’ve been bad at pumping up the draft this time around – especially because I WILL BE THERE again.
Well, we all know how my draft wish ended up last time around, hopefully this year now that we have the number one overall selection, things will end a bit differently.
In the hopes I get this right, let’s just reuse most of the first paragraph of that post last season:
Not since the likes of one Zigmund Palffy have I been more excited or intrigued by a player like John Tavares. It’s not because he is the next Canadian sensation – (although it helps), but it’s because of the way he makes skating and other hockey skills (save for that pesky alleged defensive zone ineptitude) appear natural and free-flowing. Everything I have heard of Tavares, I have liked. He knows what pressure is like and feels that the New York Islanders would be a great team for him. He is excited about the prospect of returning glory to our storied franchise, digs the history behind the team, LOVES Long Island (although Hedman loves the women…) and wants to jump headfirst into the NHL.
Tavares is a sniper, plain and simple. He is the guy that just has a nose for the net and finds himself time and space to get open and put the puck in the net. His faults can be augmented by strong play by his linemates. So what, he may be less then stellar in his own end – the kid can score. He has broken tons and tons of records and has excelled as he progressed from level to level. He has been in the spotlight since he was 14 and been touted as a potential first rounder since then.
“I don’t envision us moving the (No. 1) pick,
“That’s the plan right now,” Snow said. “Don’t you think (the suspense) is a good thing? Don’t you think that’s the way it should be?”
He said suspense, think about a PACKED Nassau Coliseum with thousands of screaming fans not knowing who the selection will be, but praying for John Tavares. Do you think they are excited for Victor Hedman or Matt Duchene? Each of those players will be great in their own right, but do you honestly feel all the hoopla is for either of them? As of yesterday, the Islanders have given away over 18,000 free tickets to their Draft Party. That is a staggering number. With all the fallout from trading down from number five, to seven and then to nine for Josh Bailey at the very small draft party last year, I am going to be estatic that I am in a different country if things do not happen this way this time around. Charles Wang won’t even have to pay for demolition of the Coliseum to pave way for his Lighthouse Project, the place will be torn apart one section at a time for free Friday June 26th at around 7:15pm.
When prodded about how long he has known who he would pick, Snow replied:
“Well, when we won the draft lottery (on April 14) I was asked if I knew who we were going to take,” Snow said. “I said at the time that I had a pretty good idea but that I wasn’t firmly committed to it until we went through the process of doing our due diligence on all the top guys. Let’s just say the process re-affirmed what I thought back then. We want the same guy now that we wanted back then.”
If the consensus pick was John Tavares, their pick is Tavares.
Yes, the Islanders did due diligence in interviewing all of the top three. They had each player visit Long Island and spend time with Garth Snow, current players and even alumni. In the end, the player who spent the most time here, made a large impact on management and Doug Weight? John Tavares.
However, McKenzie gets the following warning out of Snow near the end of the page:
“Honestly, and this isn’t an indication of who we’re taking or not taking, but we can’t be concerned with public perception of what people think we should do,”
Public perception is funny, should we take any hints from what he says then at that point? Misdirection for the purpose of confusing your opponents is one heck of a way for a GM to make a name for himself. If you aren’t going to listen to fans and then have 18,000 of them show up – why should we even listen to your rhetoric? It’s a two-way street Garth.
I have been saying Tavares or Bust for months – I still feel that way right now. It may even make people forget that they passed up on Nikita Filatov last season, a player that most likely the same fans were just as excited about.