Monday, August 29, 2011

Weathering the Storm on LI

How you doing Isles fans?  Make it through Irene okay?  Mother Nature proving once again who is boss.  I don't know what was worse; the fear and panic leading up to the storm or actually having to live through it fearing the house would collapse around you.

As if the devastating wind and rain weren't enough, they had to add a tornado watch in there too.  It was 48 hours of non-stop storm coverage on almost every channel so you couldn't escape it.  So we packed our "go bags," boarded up the big windows and hunkered down in the lowest part of the house with mattresses on the floor and battery powered lights waiting for the inevitable power loss -- that luckily didn't happen for my block.

However, this is a hockey blog and we should be talking hockey as September fast approaches.  Let's see what we can do considering I haven't been able to get straight answers out of anyone for weeks and my contact list is short.

So, are the Isles "Open for Business"? Unlike my local Stop&Shop that had to board up quickly as Montauk Highway is a flood zone, the Islanders ARE open for business as the new season fast approaches.

We've all heard the rumors and rumblings that Garth Snow is trying to add to the roster that many feel could be a playoff team this year. They are "that" close. Youth, talent and enthusiasm can only take you so far. Also, as injury prone as they have been the past few seasons, contingency plans have to be in place as well.

Do the Isles have enough power to get them into the post season? Much like the battery shelves on Friday night, the feeling is the Isles are lacking some power on Defense. While Mark Streit will reportedly "be ready for camp," I am not sure if they should put that much pressure on a man who is just recovering from two surgeries and didn't play an entire season.

Are the shelves bare? When we look at the list of remaining available UFAs that are still shopping for a home, there are drawbacks with each of them. There are those that may be too old, too inconsistent or too injury prone to make the difference on the Island or fit well in that locker room. Then throw in the report that a certain veteran native to the area was offered an invite and declined "for now," and you have to start to wonder if Garth Snow will be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat and come up with that D man he's been shopping for.

The problems with the arena situation have long been deemed an issue in obtaining quality free agents. I believe the public rejection of the referendum for a new arena has made it worse. While their situation is difficult, it will not make them change their master plan or become financially irresponsible just to put a name on the roster.

Could it be that the only "new" names we see on the roster come October, are the Three M's we finally get back from injury: Mark Streit, Mike Mottau, Mark Eaton? Wait, have the Isles reached the cap floor yet?

Issues abound for the once proud team from the Island. Could there be just TOO many issues to overcome this year? Will the loyal and beleaguered fan base be able to put up with another year of failure and problems?

Or is there still be a rabbit in that hat.

Side note: Prospect game tickets now on sale for only $10. Come see Ryan Strome and all the young guns and start the season in September!

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