Islanders: Triantaphilisms – 10 Things I Think I Think 8/22/14

Posted on Aug 22 2014 - 12:00pm by Chris Triantafilis

Ownership change is always an exciting moment in franchise’s history. It’s a passing of the torch, a new voice for an organization.

I remember when Charles Wang and Sanjay Kumar purchased the New York Islanders in 2000. Alas, I was only 10 years old, but I remember skimming through Newsday (yes, I actually read the paper when I was 10) and feeling as if it was an every day occurrencethe change in ownership, that is.

For the fifth time since 1996, there had been a shift in the Islanders ownership group. For all I knew, it was a revolving door. Like coaches and general managers, owners bought hockey teams to “get fired.”

But here were are, 15 years later. Wang still owns the Islanders and, whether you like him or not, he gave the franchise a form of consistency they hadn’t had. Ever.

I know there are a lot of people who don’t like Wang, but I think, at the end of the day, he’ll leave behind a legacy of doing what he could to keep the team in Nassau County and, eventually, in New York. Two more seasons of Wang being “the guy” and then a new era begins.

Anyways, the 10 things I think I think heading into the weekend…

1) I know many bashed a lot of the moves made under Wang in hindsight, but I’ll never forget the excitement that 10-year-old Chris saw when he acquired Alexei Yashin from the Ottawa Senators. I still stand by that move. While he was certainly overpaid and the Islanders certainly gave up a lot for him (again, in hindsight), his contract came during a time that there was no salary cap and the Islanders had been BAD. The Islanders made the playoffs four out of the five seasons he was here. Until John Tavares collected 81 points, it was Yashin’s 75 in 2001-02 that stood as the highest total for an Islanders player since Zigmund Palffy’s 90 in 1996-97.

2) Don’t get me wrong: Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin should be a nice change for the Islanders. My only fear about the two-headed monster ownership group? It usually never works out in business. Egos get in the way. Remember that time, recently, with the Tampa Bay Lightning? When Oren Koules and Len Barrie bought the team and basically disagreed until they almost destroyed the franchise within one season of owning them? Koules and Barrie hired Barry Melrose to coach the team and almost traded Steven Stamkos to the New York Rangers. I just don’t want that happening in Brooklyn.

3) Islanders prospect Joshua Ho-Sang is famously known for being outspoken. Earlier this week, he was in the news again after he called Hockey Canada’s decision to leave him off its summer developmental camp “insulting.” Good. Just keep lighting the fire underneath him, Hockey Canada.

4) Also noteworthy is that Ho-Sang said he wants to be better than Tavares. Hey, if Ho-Sang can achieve that, I’m all for it. Some say he’s cocky, but I see it differently. I see Ho-Sang as a kid that will use everything to motivate him. Go for it.

5) Oh, and Ho-Sang’s shootout goal the other day? Oof. I know it barely means anything, but he has a ton of talent.

6) The Islanders released a new patch to be worn in commemoration of their final season at the Nassau Coliseum. I like it, but no Spongebob? I kid.

7) Did anyone else hear Howie Rose the other night on the Sports Zone podcast? Phenomenal stuff on the team and its final season at the Coliseum.

8) Darryl Belfrey trains many top NHLers in the offseason, including Tavares and Kyle Okposo. The other day, he says both players are at the best “he’s ever seen” and he expects the duo to take another step forward. That’s encouraging, especially following Tavares’s injury back in February.

9) Does anybody else hope Rick DiPietro is eventually an adored figure by Islanders fans? The other day, he tweeted that his “biggest regret in life is not bringing the Cup to LI.” I still believe that. When he was healthy, he was an All-Star. His body broke down on him. Maybe I just have a soft spot for Ricky, but I hope his legacy goes down as a player that would have done anything for this teama player that wanted to be here when nobody else did.

10) Less that one month before training camp. Come on!

-CT (@christriants)


Chris Triantafilis

Chris Triantafilis

Chris lives in Merrick, New York with no wife and kids, but a passion for ice hockey. A freelance writer with one medal and/or award (third-place honors in some Italian poetry contest in 11th grade), he is looking for his next break. Comment on his posts, so he can comment back and you and him can have a conversation or two. He says "y'all" instead of "you all" even though he's from New York.
  • Charlie

    I’m with you on DiPietro. My wife worked for a big sponsor of the US Olympic Committee and when they came to Washington DC for their post Olympic dinner and tour of the White House, she got me a seat right next to Rick for the dinner. Remember, 2006 was not a banner year for US Men’s hockey in Torino. But after a 1-3 tournament (no fault to DiPietro) he was the only member of that “team” that had the pride and respect to show up for the USOC dinner. While everyone at the dinner was obsessed with Tanith Belbin and other skaters I don’t remember, I sat and talked to Rick for hours. We talked about Long Island, The Sopranos, golf, and his growing affinity for LI wine. He couldn’t have been more gracious and down to earth. On that night he showed his appreciation for the fans of hockey, the US, Long Island and the Islanders. I wish it could have turned out better him.

    • Chris Triantafilis

      Wow, that’s a great story. Only puts him higher up there for me. Thanks for sharing.

  • Rob

    It was never a lack of effort from rick. I thought he was a really good goalie with mind numbing bad luck!

    • Chris Triantafilis

      I agree, Rob. Effort was always there. Talent diminished with injury.

  • Colin Smith

    We sure dodged a bullet with Stamkos. I dont even want to think about how bad that would have been

    • Chris Triantafilis

      Worst nightmare, or worst nightmare?

      • Colin Smith

        That would have erased Scott Gomez, Darius Kaspaitis, and Wade Redden. And they would come out ahed. Thank God they got the invisible playoff man (Nash) instead

  • Colin Smith

    Anyway, is it that far out of the question that we finish second in the division?

    • Chris Triantafilis

      I think it’s possible, but I had the Islanders second last year. When you think about how many goals the Isles could have saved with this year’s expected goaltending, I can see it in 2014-15. Clearly. And that’s before other offensive additions.

      • Colin Smith

        I think the Rangers are due for a step back this year. They lost a lot of depth. The one I think that will hurt them the most is Boyle. (not the scum who turned us down for that other NY team) The guy anchored an elite 4th line, won faceoffs, and killed penalties. Definately a heavy loss. Stralman will certainly hurt too. What do you think the chances are we trade for a dman like Boychuk or Hjalmarsson before the season?

        • Chris Triantafilis

          I also think that the Rangers will take a step back, but with Henrik, you never know.

          And chances? 50-50 haha. They either do or they don’t. I honestly don’t think the Isles are done, but when could a deal take place? Who knows. It’s possible the chips don’t fall into place until October-November, similar to the deal that brought Thomas Vanek here.

          • Colin Smith

            Can you think of a better team to end our playoff drought against? I can’t. If we beat the Rags in round one and the Pens in round two, I would be estatic. As would every other Islander fan I’m sure

          • Chris Triantafilis

            Would be the happiest of days