Photo credit: Amy Irvin (38Photography)
Author’s Note: This post is NOT written by a member of the Pattison Avenue staff but rather a blogger for the team we’re exploring. Today’s guest author is Dan Saraceni from the NYI Blog Lighthouse Hockey.
What was NYI’s biggest addition this off season?
The offseason was a quiet one, and the team only added back-up goalie Thomas Greiss and defenseman Marek Zidlicky to basically the same team they had last year. Flyers fans may remember Zidlicky as one of the interchangeable old-a** defensemen the New Jersey Devils have been employing since forever. He’ll be on the Islanders third pair and power play, and as long as he keeps Brian Strait the hell off the ice, Islanders fans will probably love him. That might not be a sexy write-up, but at least I refrained from saying “Barclays Center” like every other Islanders preview on the internet.
What was NYI’s biggest loss this off season?
They traded speedy gremlin Michael Grabner to Toronto a few weeks ago, but injuries, emerging younger players and curious coaching had marginalized him anyway. Still, there’s no way he doesn’t score at least two hat tricks against the Islanders this season. They let Lubomir Visnovsky walk, possibly due to concussions concerns and despite the fact that he was everyone’s favorite goofy Slovakian uncle.
Metropolitan Division Rankings:
1. Rangers (Until further notice, they’re still the team to beat. Unfortunately.)
2. Washington (Still very good but whether the veterans they added actually help and aren’t more of the same remains to be seen.)
3. Islanders (I’m afraid that if I list them higher, the hockey gods will smite me.)
4. Pittsburgh (Their top five is sick. The rest is a huge bag of Who Knows and/or Why?)
5. Columbus (Hard-working but still a work in progress, especially on defense.)
6. Philadelphia (Just enough talent to scare you, but not enough to actually, you know, be good.)
7. Carolina (Ron Francis has a lot of scrap metal to sort through before he knows if he can build something.)
8. New Jersey (See you guys in five years.)
What is your opinion of the moves the Flyers made this off season?
I’m a huge Colin McDonald fanboy, so I like that move. Another former Islander and current Flyer is Michal Neuvirth, who didn’t make much of a case last season to remain as Jaro Halak’s back-up, so I have no opinion of him whatsoever. I’ve always wanted the Islanders to add John Tavares’ buddy Sam Gagner and I’m interested to see how he does for Philly.
The thing I hate most about the Flyers is that, as a franchise, they’re never that bad for that long. They already have some intriguing prospects that will no doubt start terrorizing the Islanders very shortly. Once they shed some older dead weight, they’ll be right back in the free agent game, too, and probably back at the top of standings.
In other words, I’ll need to enjoy the Andrew MacDonald Era as long as I can.