Your Tank for Tavares profile: New York Islanders.

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With the Avs firmly entrenched at the bottom of the standings, and fans "Tanking it for teh Tavares", I thought it might be a good time to look at some of the teams "competing" with the Avs for the best odds at the Tavares sweepstakes. For the record my position hasn't changed, I don't root for the Avs to lose. It's bad Mojo and even worse it creates a culture of losing and allows players to get sloppy and complacent. I still want them to win and play well. I am just cheering for the teams at the bottom of the standings to win as well.

The New York Islanders:

The Isles have been sitting comfortably in last place since about game one of the season. Everyone has penciled them in for the #1 spot in the draft lottery, with Long Island the likely home of John Tavares (well unless they move to Kansas City. No word on whether Tavares prefers Barbeque over Fish Sticks). after losing Rick DiPietro for the season the Isles have gone with a goalie rotation of Joey MacDonald, Peter Mannino, and Yann Danis, none of whom envoke, well anything really. The Islanders lived up to their lack of potential with a 2-10-2 record in December. They followed that up by being the last team in 2009 to earn a point, when they lost on January 19th in overtime to the Capitals.

If theirs any team that desperately needs an influx of talent... it's the New York Islanders. Despite the last 4 years of little to no success (1 playoff appearance, as an 8-seed since the lockout) the Isles are ranked a preposterous 25th in hockey futures organizational talent rankings. And here's their "premier" line for games these days:

Dean McAmmond - Mike Iggulden - Kyle Okposo

Ouch!. Only Okposo has the talent for being a true 1st liner, and he's still a bit young for that responsibility. Check out the entire depth chart. That's a roster that deserves a #1 draft pick.

Yet the Isles have put a bit of a run together. They are only seven points behind the Avs and have been better than decent in their last 10, going 6-2-2. It's still unlikely that they will catch the Avs, but the Avs have slumped in the second half of the season and the Isles have somehow been getting points.

Analysis: After thinking about it, I do not want the Avs to "catch" the Isles. Looking at their roster, and the injury troubles they have had this season, it would be beyond humiliating for the Avs to finish with less points in the standings than the Isles. The Avs have 2 300-goal scorers, and a $19M defense. Having a bad season is ok. Being a punchline is not. On the plus side if the Avs did finish with less points than the Isles I don't see how they could go into another season with Tony Granato at the helm. I want the Avs to get top talent, but not at the expensive of becoming a complete laughingstock.


  1. Don't you just hate the way all sports' entry drafts create that culture of losing, inherent in rewarding teams in reverse order?

    It's important for teams at the bottom to have a chance to rebuild, but sometimes it just ends up stifling the growth of a potential superstar (Kovalchuk, Bouwmeester). Other times, it has worked (Lecavalier, any number of Pens #1's from Mario to Sid), so I understand the whole desire for redistribution of power and all...

    Call me crazy, but I would totally support a draft that gave equal weight to all 30 teams, for all 30 picks. The lottery could be pimped out on TV, the way the Trade Deadline is now.

    If that's too radical for ya, I'd gladly compromise with an equally-weighted 14-team lottery, where you replace the current 14 numbered balls with the 14 non-playoff clubs' logos.

  2. For paying fans, who purchased late-season tickets a year ago, the Ti4T only represents the tip of the "inferior-product iceberg" that the NHL encourages every year. As more teams are eliminated, more specific campaigns will soon include the Tor/Otw version, "Schlack off 4 Schenn". By the end of the year, the Min/StL offshoot will be branded "Yer not a traitor, if U tank it 4 Schroeder".

    Call me a fiscal conservative I guess, because I don't endorse any system that rewards losing even the 82nd game of a lost season. And any version of a lottery short of equally-weighted will always do just that.

  3. I've never liked the idea of an equally weighted lottery.

    Yeah poorly run teams will be at the bottom of the standings, and it's a tough pill to swallow, however many of the teams at the bottom of the standings are victims of circumstance. The draft is a crapshoot after about pick #10 every season and injuries, which are all luck, play an enormous role on a team's standings every season. Even the pitiful Isles have had some bad luck.

    So i think you want to help teams that have had a little bad luck, in drafting and in injuries, and let them pick first t replenish their system.