What Does It Say About Who The Islanders Brought to Long Island At Season's End?
The New York Islanders made the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season and a week ago, as a prelude to the beginning of their first round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team called up several players. The players called up to the big club were Matt Donovan, Calvin De Haan, Brock Nelson, Aaron Ness, Anders Nilsson, John Persson, Ryan Strome and Johan Sundstrom.
So what does that mean? Why were they recalled?
They were recalled, mainly, to give them a taste, an inkling, of what it's like to experience the chase for Lord Stanley's Cup. The Isles haven't made the playoffs in a long time and most of their roster have limited playoff experience at best. Having these kids up from the farm will help indoctrinate them to the playoffs. (Photo credit: Dougtone/flikr)
In other words, they are being acclimatized to the playoff atmosphere as preparation for next season.
You read that correctly.
Expect all of these prospects to have a legitimate opportunity to make the big club on Long Island next season. To add to that, do not expect any of these young ones to be a part of any trade unless Islanders GM Garth Snow is blown away on a deal.
Isles brass obviously believes in these guys and is expecting to count on them a lot in the next season or two or they wouldn't be here to get a feel for the situation.
True, it helps the Isles to have these extra guys to fill up the practice rink and give the boys in the Isles' locker room someone to go up against, but you can't deny who was chosen.
Or maybe as important, who wasn't selected.
Rick DiPietro, while not a prospect, could have easily filled a net for practice. It was more important, however, to give Nilsson, who missed a lot of the season with a stomach ailment, an opportunity to learn from a veteran like Evgeni Nabokov.
Nino Niederreiter was noticeably absent from this group. What does that say?
It may mean nothing. New York management may believe his experience last year served him well and he doesn't need to see the atmosphere of a playoff team. (Photo credit: Robert Kowal/flikr)
It might mean, however, that he may not be here next year. It may be a signal to the young man to not look for a house to buy on Long Island. In other words, he may be packaged to fill a need, say on defense maybe?
Kirill Kabanov is another notable exception to the list above.
As mentioned above, who is here is also telling. Fan whipping boy Calvin De Haan is here learning. That should tell fans to expect him to be in camp competing for a spot on the roster. The same can also be said of Aaron Ness.
Are these happenings etched in stone? No.
However, Snow has a plan, and always sticks to his plan. These gentlemen are here for a reason.
To reiterate, that reason may not be fully clear or guaranteed, but Snow isn't one to develop talent for other teams.
Keep that in mind when you think about an offseason makeover, as well as the draft coming in the summer.
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