UPDATED at 12:15 am: Amazing how these things work out. I wrote up this post because I was intrigued by the test of loyalty discussion, but also because I wanted something fresh tonight before I left the house for RVC’s big 3.0 tennis match against Setauket. I came home at midnight to what I believe is the best Comment thread since we started Point Blank.
Thank you for that. If you haven’t shared your thoughts yet, please get them in this morning. I’m sure we’d all love to hear from as many Islanders fans as possible. Thanks again…CB
7:15 pm - I really think the Islanders should draft John Tavares. Y’all, um, probably know that. Like many of you and Ryan Jankowski too, I wish they could also draft Matt Duchene and Victor Hedman.
Hedman and Duchene are no doubt future impact players and I was really impressed with both in our conversations. But there’s something I wanted to address tonight, and I really hope no one gets insulted – although I can understand how it could be taken that way. I sincerely mean no harm. Just want to provide some calm, hopefully common sense perspective.
As a general rule, fans who post in April, May and June on blogs called Islanders Point Blank and message boards like Islandermania will not – despite their proclamations – quit supporting a team because the team doesn’t draft the player they want. Or trade a great player. Or change the logo to an angry fisherman. Or are purchased by a schlemiel with no money.
As you are well aware, the Islanders have sorta pushed that theory to the limit over the last 16 years.
I get it. I have lived it from all angles.
I think the Islanders are going to draft John Tavares. I really believe it is what they should do. There will be some mayhem in Islanders Country if they do not draft Tavares, but I don’t see the fanbase dropping.
The drafting of Hedman or Duchene will make it a harder summer for the NYI sales force than if they took Tavares, of that there is no question.
As I said on XM this afternoon, the Islanders are in a really fortunate position. They get to draft the consensus best prospect available – maybe not by a landslide, but a solid majority – in John Tavares. By incredible coincidence, Tavares also happens to be the only player in this draft that could help the team sell around 2,000 full season ticket package equivalents this summer. Goshdarnit, they are one lucky franchise.
Perhaps ultimately Duchene or Hedman can make the Islanders a better team 3-5 years down the road. In the end only a consistent contender will consistently fill Kate Murray Arena. If the Islanders have that kind of patience and vision along with confidence in their scouts, bless their hearts.
If I’m dead wrong and the Islanders don’t draft Tavares, there will be some raw negative emotion at the packed Draft Party on Friday. But eventually, around the time of the opener in October, at least 95% of the proud and the many will likely still be there to root, root-root for the home team. It’s not like Hedman and Duchene stink.
Comment on THIS STORY ONLY in this thread. If you really think I’m wrong about this test of loyalty, please take the time to think about it and declare your true intentions. Identify yourself in Comments and this will be permanently archived on the Internet for everyone to check back next season and see where you stand.