It’s getting more and more difficult to convince anyone that perception of the Islanders is any different than their true reality.
For a franchise that’s had several low points over the past two decades, March 5, 2014, might’ve been the lowest from an emotional perspective.
The Islanders traded for Thomas Vanek because of one simple reason: They are not the Rangers. They cannot sit back and let name recognition sell the franchise. They need to roll the dice to take the next step.
For weeks, the hockey world was kept on edge about 30-year-old winger’ Thomas Vanek’s fate. He has made his decision, and the aftershocks are being felt all across Long Island.
There will be no escape from Nassau County after this season. The Islanders will reportedly play next season, the final season of their lease, in the place they have called home since 1972.
The sports-centric saying “it’s getting late early” is a mantra the Islanders operate under, mostly because they always seem to put themselves in perilous situations early in seasons. That applies to the Thomas Vanek situation as well.
We know the Islanders want to succeed, but they need to start winning games. That’s all that matters now. Moral victories don’t get you points in the standings. Actual victories do.
A lot can change over the span of an arena lease and this particular case is no exception to that. Unless Ratner and the Isles hit a grand slam here, nothing is off the table.
The Islanders have been active this offseason, but maybe not in the way you had hoped. Don’t sweat it. They are improved and could get better as the summer progresses.
Mark Streit’s days on Long Island are basically over, but it’s by no means a death sentence for the Islanders. They just need to play their many cards in the right hand.
The Isles will assess and look to see what they can improve on this summer. However, the shopping list that has excited fans on Twitter, message boards and in regular conversation is simply unrealistic.
For the first time in ages the Islanders are not in rebuilding mode. They are in re-tooling mode. That’s an alien concept to many, but it’s the truth, and they need to act on it.
All season I’ve stated the Islanders needed 54 points to make the playoffs. They have used a 7-0-3 run to get there. But where they are now can be attributed to many more factors, all of which had to happen.
Is this a coming-of-age story? You’re damn right it is. What the Islanders have done over the last six weeks is basically force the rest of the NHL to open its eyes and pay attention.
Ok, so how are we going to keep this interesting? Because, to be quite blunt, the addition of Anders Lee to the NHL club from college is about as much action as Isles fans are going to get.