You know what really grinds my gears? Hot takes. Except that’s what this column basically is. Damn.
Anyways, the 10 things I think I think heading into the weekend…
1) It sounds like the Islanders prospects dazzled at yesterday’s Blue & White Scrimmage at the Nassau Coliseum. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it, but it’s always a fun event for the fans and the players. I’m sure Joshua Ho-Sang, the Isles 28th-overall selection in this year’s draft, made it even more exciting. Ho-Sang tallied four points, including a breakaway goal that made the defense look silly. That’s good to see.
2) I really, really hope Ho-Sang holds on to No. 66. You know why.
3) On another note regarding the scrimmage: it was prospects facing prospects. I don’t understand why so many people are overanalyzing, or labeling players after a glorified practice. Seriously, there’s no need to say this play has “it” or this player “isn’t ready.” It’s a practice. We’re talking about practice. With KIDS! Relax, all.
4) Leading up to, and after, yesterday’s scrimmage, many began speculating about the Islanders possibly giving kids like Ho-Sang or Michael Dal Colle a nine-game tryout in the NHL. First of all, no. Second of all, doesn’t anybody realize the Islanders have sixteen (16!) forwards on one-way contracts for next season? There’s a possibility that Ryan Strome and Anders Lee are going to be sitting in the AHL to start the 2014-15 season. I give it a .0000000000000000000000000000000001% chance that a forward prospect gets an NHL shot this season. And no, I’m not saying there’s a chance.
5) On that note, I think it would be a huge mistake to have Strome and Lee begin the season in the AHL. I get that the Islanders have to evaluate their roster before seeing who starts the season with the big club, and I get that the Strome and Lee are the two players with two-way contracts…but the Islanders found themselves in a similar situation last season with Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Both ended up being the odd-men out on Long Island after months of losing hockey, and Strome and Lee joined the team and the Isles started to win. Last season was their time in the minors; they should play up this season. Of course, nothing should be handed to them, but they’ve proven they can earn their spots.
6) It really annoys me that TSN and others had to comment about the Islanders posting for the team mascot job, as if they just needed to stick it to the Isles because LOL TIRE FIRE AMIRITE? That posting has been there seemingly forever (I know, because I look for NHL things a lot), but now these media outlets have to comment on it? Get a life, Canadian news guys. You want to hear a joke? The Oilers. How about another? The Flames. One more? The Maple Leafs and the Senators walk into a bar….because they’re sad because they don’t win anything. Seriously, come on.
7) The Islanders have another one-year agreement with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL. That second farm team really comes in handy with the amount of prospects the Isles have coming up.
8) Griffin Reinhart is now 217 pounds, or up 15 pounds from last year. I expect him to be on the Islanders blue line next season, and it looks like he will be bringing that NHL-ready size.
9) While on the topic, Ryan Pulock is down six pounds, but Arthur Staple says the Isles prospect looks “jacked.” It seems like he, too, wants to push for the NHL. Fun fact: Pulock will be in the AHL next season, so he may very well make it to the big club if he performs well.
10) To cap this one off, Kevin Poulin filed for salary arbitration….OK, man. I think that’s probably the last of him, unless the arbitrator literally laughs at him. I like Poulin, too. I’d think he’s probably hoping for a ruling to be a one-way contract, honestly. It’s not so much about the money than it is playing in the NHL. Good luck.