A week ago, I wasn't too happy with my boys. As recently as Friday I was still ranting. But you know, that wasn't a half-bad weekend for the Islanders: Mike Comrie and Bill Guerin. Along with Fedotenko, it's three of the best five second-tier players in the market, and they may yet close the deal on Sheldon Souray.
So what's with the "Isles suck, they always suck" bunkum in the comments over there? One poster actually said something that made sense - Mike Sillinger would be an excellent captain. The rest are just fourteen year olds who don't know crap about hockey.
To digress - I am a Mets fan as far as baseball is concerned. If I were an idiot, I'd hate the Yankees, right? But you know, I'm also a baseball fan, and the Yankees have been not only a great team for most of the past 12 years, they've also been classy doing it. Torre, Rivera, Jeter, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez, etc. etc. There are relatively few jerks in that clubhouse. On the other hand, you had the Mets of the early 90's, whose two best players were the sullen Eddie Murray and the sullen, almost-washed-up Bobby Bonilla... a team that tossed firecrackers at fans, squirted bleach at reporters from a water gun, and conducted themselves with all the grace of a camel at the ballet.
It didn't matter that they were a bad team - I've rooted for some first-class stinkers in my time - but it did matter that they were a miserable lot of joyless turds.
So, here are the Isles, bereft of every first-class player in the current free agent period... looking like a mortal lock for the basement. Of course I complained. Everyone who loved the team did - but again, that's why we're not running the team. Contrast with this "wisdom" from "johndogg31":
Isles blow! Who cares about Bill Guerin and some scrub FA's?? Isles fans- look across NYC, and take a gander at Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shannahan, Sean Avery, Henrik Lundqvist etc., then look back at me with a straight face and tell me you can compete. You're kidding yourself if you think you can. Your a team in NYC, one of the largest markets (if not THE LARGEST) in the WORLD, and you are pleased with scrub FA's and a distant hope of the 8th seed. Give me a break.
DUH. What, Garth Snow was just going to resign? They were going to fold the team and burn down the Coliseum? Well, gosh johnny, you done opened our eyes! Let's run our jerseys through the shredder! Really, your team is soooooo awesome we should just give up, right?
Of course they're going to regroup and get the team into some sort of shape. We'd rather have Drury and Gomez than Guerin and Comrie - who wouldn't? But we're not going to turn up our noses at what we do have. Considering how free agency started it's a wonder Garth Snow signed anyone at all. Comrie, Guerin, and Miroslav Satan is not a bad top line.
And as for your team - well, this is why I hate the Rangers in a way that I don't hate other rivals. The Rangers haven't exactly lit the world on fire since '94, but their fans talk as if they've already won this year's Cup: with an old Shanahan, an old Jagr, one of the poorer defensive units in the conference, and Sean bleepin' Avery, who is a dirty player and a punk. How can any fan possibly be proud of that guy? How can anyone complain about Chris Simon and embrace Sean Avery?
Personally I think the Isles should cut Simon for his slash-happy habits, the way they ditched that little rat Kasparaitis. It's got no place in hockey. As for results... well, the Penguins are going to be a good team, the Devils are still a good team, the Flyers look respectable, Ottawa is still good, the Sabres can still make the playoffs, Washington has improved... The Rangers probably won't have a top-four seed, so unless they get lucky again and draw a weak division champion in the first round, how are they any better off in the long run than the Islanders?