First thing we learned about Thomas Pock after our last post was all we needed to know. Pock is on a one-way salary for the 08-09 season at $675,000.
Folks, NHL teams do not pick up 26-year old defensemen (that have played 57 NHL games over 5 pro seasons) with one-way deals on waivers unless…
1. They have a spot for him at the NHL level
2. They really like him
3. Injuries have caused a depth problem
4. All of the above
In the case of Pock and the Islanders, it is No. 4. Make no mistake: Thomas Pock will be a member of your 2008-2009 New York Islanders. We still do not have confirmed details of the injuries that prompted the Islanders to take a player from their top rival, but you have to believe Chris Campoli and perhaps Andy Sutton have ailments that could keep them out a few weeks. At least.
Let me reiterate that because the Islanders are not issuing complete injury reports to the media – and therefore to you, the ticket and merchandise-buying fan – this is simply guesswork. But having been there before, let’s call it educated guesswork. You can also call Pock’s acquisition not the happiest of news for Brett Skinner, Chris Lee and maybe Jack Hillen.
The GMs that hide injuries will tell you Garth Snow keeping the Campoli and other injury news close to the vest may have bought him some time to acquire a defenseman like Pock at the right price. If every GM in the league knew the Islanders’ blueline was hurting before the opener, they all could have held out for a third round pick for a fringe player. If Pock is what the Islanders think he is, Snow did okay for himself – the sneaky bastard. As I grumble about the injury report thing, only fair to explain the other side of the story.
I’m always interested in what the fans have to say on this subject. Bring it on in Comments.