Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Free Agents Who Loved Me

Not even gazing into the eyes of Rick DiPietro guarantees that St. Ryan Smyth will sign with the Islanders.

I don't think St. Ryan Smyth is going to re-sign with the Islanders. I never have. Do I think he could do well on the Island? Do I think they would go so far as to re-create the team in his image? Do I think he could be comfortable here, grow to love us, and recognize that certain areas of Long Island can double for the rural parts of Canada where Smyth is from? Yes. Yes. A thousands times yes. Per capita, Long Island probably has more mullets there are at most skating rinks on the prairie. Also, Long Island has about 4 country clubs to every 8 people, and I hear Smyth likes golf. But, I don't think St. Smyth is going to re-sign, so I'll let it go. An alarming number of Islanders are up for new contracts. I'll just introduce the ones that are weighing on my mind the most.

Jason Blake #55 W- St. Jason Blake is all things to all Islanders fans. Pest, sniper, Speedy Gonzales. It’s like Martin St. Louis, Sean Avery, and an Albino had a baby, and that baby was traded to the Islanders. Blake loves being an Islander, and Islanders fans love St. Jason Blake. When St. Blake scores, all hell breaks loose in the Mausoleum. The Islanders can’t afford to lose both Saints Smyth and Blake. And at least one of them has been vocal about how much he wants to be there. Supposedly, St. Blake wants 5 years at $18 Million. If this is even remotely true, the Islanders need to offer this along with some coupons to Chrebet’s and a sleeve of Win for Life scratch-offs. Blake is a beloved player who can play. Those two qualities rarely meet these days in the organization.

Trent Hunter #7 RW- I assume that most people who don’t closely follow the Islanders have little to no idea who this Hunter character is, but most Isles faithful would gladly hand over their children, wives, and kidneys if the Trent asked. The Trent can score. He’s a 20-goal man. That’s nice and all, but there are two things that make us hold the Trent to our collective bosoms. First is his hustle. I haven’t seen that much hustle since I watched Behind the Music: Studio 54. As I’ve said before, Trent Hunter has a second home in Cindy Crosby’s ass. I’m talking fully decorated and furnished with the expensive cable plan. If you can keep up with Cindy Crosby, then boffo socko for you. If you can stop him, you’re awesome. Second, is what appears to be Hunter’s fascination with trying to find out if it’s physically possible to hit someone hard enough to un-dam a river of snot in his opponent. If you are somewhere on the ice and show signs of life, the Trent will hit you. Hard. And the Trent is great on the PK and relentless on the PP. The Isles need to re-sign him, so I can go back to scribbling “I heart Trent Hunter” on my Trapper Keeper.

Viktor Kozlov #25 C/W- I’m divided here. Kozlov is streakier than a home highlighting kit. But he’s big and versatile, and was surprisingly effective when moved to Center. And one of the delights of watching Kozlov is how he can diffuse a corner scrum by working his crazy long reach into the mix like, “Why thank you, I’ll be taking that puck…” Kozlov is never going to be Mike Bossy. Hell, he’s never going to be Alexei Yashin. But for around $2 million, I can dig it. Anything more and I’m cool with walking away.

Arron Asham #44 W- Again, I’m divided. Asham can be great for energy, a booming shot, and a physical edge. And then on the next shift, he play a convincing Goofus to the ever-hustling Andy Hilbert’s Gallant. Asham needs to be used in the right way to be effective. They need to keep him with Jason Blake, so he can use that frightening shot in congress with Blake’s quick rebounding skillz, and Asham can use his size to make room for the diminutive speedster. Asham should be a bargain. I say give him a one-year deal.

Tom Poti #3 D- Tom Poti is a deceptive player. When you think of Tom Poti, you don’t really think of him as very physical, very strong, or very fast. I’m not sure anyone even thinks he’s very good. But he’s all of those things and a big-ass point shot. Poti is happy to put a bitch into the boards. He logs a ton of ice time. And he’s so big that his legs gobble up the ice like my roommates with a fresh jar of hummus. Poti is awesome. A rare blueliner who is an asset both on offense and defense. Nail him down for at least three years.

Sean Hill #6 D- If he’s cheap, keep him. Otherwise, it may cost the Isles more in urine tests than is really worth it.

Chris Campoli #14 D- Campoli makes a lot of mistakes. I suggest we change his name to the Human White-Out, because he always covers his own mistakes. He’s super-fast and has a deft (deft, I say!) touch with the puck. During the playoffs, Campoli and (m.c.) Bruno Gervais played like ten-year vets. And in the ill-fated Game Five, they were the two best Isles on the ice. Campoli is full-to-bursting with potential. The Isles will lock him down for a while and hopefully resist the urge to rush him into top minutes.

**And there is one rumor I have to address, because it seems to be picking up heat since Yashin was exiled. Michael Peca coming back to the Islanders. To say that I dislike Michael Peca is like saying that I dislike my severe, anaphalactic allergic reactions to milk. A lot of Isles fans think he's the pope of Islestown. I do not have truck with that at all. Let's just say I think his surname is an appropriate moniker.


Schnookie said...

I could not agree more about Mike Peca. If he comes back to the Island, I just don't know what I'm going to do with having to watch 8 games between the Devils and your boys. I might drape my TV with black crepe in protest. (Although to Peca's credit, it always gets a laugh to bring up his self-righteous demand that Darcy Tucker apologize about cheap-shotting him... but to his two-year-old son. "Mike Peca's son demands an apology!" is comic gold. At least it is at IPB Manor...)

Heather B. said...

5 years for $18 million? Sounds like a good deal to me. If the Isles aren't interested, send St. Blake to Buffalo, okay?

Jordi said...

No way schnookie, Peca's teeth would just burn a hole through that black crepe.

And yes, Michael Peca had found the perfect evil with the Leafs. I wish he'd stayed there.

KMS2 said...

Ryan Smyth actually looks...decent. That is probably the best I have ever seen him look.

Margee said...

Schnookie, if he comes back, I will refuse to be an apologist for Peca. And I was an apologist of Yashin's for years.

Heather B.- apparently St. Blake is going to test the market. If he goes to Buffalo, I trust you to take good care of him. If the Isles let him go, they are very, very stupid. That said, they're probably going to let him go.

Jordi- he has tusks more than teeth. And you're right about his marriage to the Leafs. It was a match made in the latrine.

kms2- Totally! He looks like Thor!

Isleschick said...

This is where we disagree (first time) about the Isles. I say raise the salary per season but nothing longer than 3 years for Blake. Love him, but starting to dislike longer contracts.

ChristineOnTheIslesScene said...

Not only am I an Islander fan who lives in NYC but also a vegan! Blake can go, Smyth can stay. EIEIO.