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It’s New York Islanders day on PHT

Aug 26, 2013, 9:07 AM EDT

John Tavares Getty Images

Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The New York Islanders.

Last season was one to remember fondly for Islanders fans. The team returned to the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-2007 season. John Tavares earned a spot as a finalist for the Hart Trophy, the first Islander to do that since Bryan Trottier did in 1982. And better yet, Tavares is only getting better.

While the team is headed to Brooklyn eventually, their focus now is finding out how to stay in the playoffs in the revamped Metropolitan Division where memories of the old Patrick Division come flying back. Rivalries with the Penguins, Rangers, and Devils stay in tact while memories of old playoff wars with the Capitals come roaring back. Let’s just hope Dale Hunter is nowhere to be seen.

Hope can be a dangerous thing to have, but the Islanders have all the reason in the world to have it.

Offseason recap

The Isles’ summer turned out to be one that had them feeling Minnesota. They dealt away problematic (for them) prospect Nino Niederreiter for rugged winger Cal Clutterbuck and then added Pierre-Marc Bouchard in free agency. Picking guys off the Wild roster isn’t always a recipe for success, but both should do well for the Islanders.

Dealing away captain Mark Streit to the Flyers opened up the “C” for Tavares to (likely) take hold of it this year and beyond. Elsewhere in free agency, they brought back goalie Evgeni Nabokov after staying out of the goalie trade wars and added center Peter Regin from Ottawa. They’re hoping his friendship with underrated Danish countryman Frans Nielsen can pay off.

New York has a good handful of younger prospects looking to crash the roster for bigger roles this year. Staying out of a tepid free agency class was by design. Names like Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, Matt Donovan, Griffin Reinhart and Calvin de Haan will be talked about a lot during training camp and beyond.

Related:

Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series

  1. multiplemiggs - Aug 26, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    it took time but I love what this team has done. The Dynasty shall return!

    • lordfletcher - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      if NYI didn’t have JT, they would be drafting top 3 again for the next 3 years.

      Dynasty talk, good luck with that

      • bcisleman - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:22 PM

        True dynasties are a thing of thing of the past in all sports. If the Isles can figure out their goaltending, they will be a Cup contender.

  2. bcisleman - Aug 26, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    As the next piece notes, goaltending is an issue as well as replacing Streiter’s blueline offense and especially his booming point shot.

  3. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 26, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    I was REALLY surprised that they chose to stay as they are regarding goaltenders.

    Nabokov was a disaster in the playoffs, posting an 840 save %. And they kept playing him, which was effectively a vote of no confidence in his backup.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      Yup goaltending is their achilles heel. They don’t even have a legitimate backup in case Nabakov falters. And I think he showed against pitt that he’s not the one take this club deep into the postseason.

  4. multiplemiggs - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Poulins development was disrupted when DP got sent down forcing Poulin to be called up to sit on the bench in the NHL in the middle of his full legnth AHL season. Goalies take longer to develop than other players. Not saying Poulin is the teams future, but he deserves more of a chance than to be judged now on just what little we have seen.

  5. multiplemiggs - Aug 26, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    hahaha learn hockey u useless clown, good luck winning anything with Sather around another ten years

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