Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Slap Shot Finds the Island

In the name of fairness, I must point out that Slap Shot, the hockey blog of The New York Times, finally posted an Islanders item over the weekend. Blogger Lew Serviss called attention to the Globe and Mail article on Ted Nolan, which I first saw linked on New York Islander Fan Central and Islander Frontier last week. The Nolan piece, written by Roy MacGregor, brings out new details on the coach's life, past and present. Although the Slap Shot entry was brief, the MacGregor article was certainly enlightening and therefore worth mentioning and exposing to a wider audience in additional forums. The most worthwhile portion of the post, which is titled "The Islanders' Special Coach," is the last sentence:

Nolan’s 10-year banishment from the N.H.L., is surely one of the league’s bigger embarrassments.
The more I think about it, it really is startling that a coach who is so capable behind the bench and in the locker room was kept in the freezer for so long. But for a complete outsider in Charles Wang, Nolan might still be plying his trade in Moncton. I'd like to think that repeated success there would have drawn the NHL establishment out of its fog. Fortunately, Mr. Wang was not beholden to any unwritten rules.

And do we have a trend? Today, Slap Shot treats us to its first in-depth post about the Isles. This is the kind of coverage that should appear regularly. "Fighting a Drought on the Island" by Mark Pargas contains both compliments and criticisms, in most cases deserved. The idea that the team cannot compete without a true scoring star is a fair assessment. The Islanders' draft record is certainly a legitimate target. It is a little odd that Pargas chose to go back to the Bergeron-Gallant quarrel, which happened almost a week ago. I said previously that there were plenty of Islander storylines for Slap Shot to cover while the team was being ignored. This was one of them, and the coverage should have appeared within a day or two of the incident. What's more telling is that Pargas is forced to link to a story in Newsday instead of in his own paper to provide more background.

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