Lots of news to cover quickly before the Isles take on the Bruins with Yann Danis starting in goal, backed up by Peter Mannino...
Isles in KC
Don't you love it when there's news that you couldn't even have imagined before it breaks? The Isles moving to Kansas City? Yes, that you could imagine as news. But the Isles agreeing to play an exhibition game in Kansas City, thereby sparking debate of exactly what that means? I don't know how you see that one coming.
Certainly, it could all be just a big coincidence: a city with a brand-new arena wants to host a pre-season game and the Islanders jump at the chance to gain some revenue that wouldn't normally be available on the exhibition schedule. But you also can't ignore the symbolism of the Islanders being one of the teams participating.
Charles Wang has refused to play hardball with the local government where the Lighthouse Project is concerned. No threats, no ultimatums. It has been suggested that he may have to give up his Lady Byng-like conduct in order to push development forward. (Note: I actually wrote that before I saw Jim Baumbach join the fray today.) Just the mere association of the Islanders with Kansas City could be one step toward doing that.
But it's also too early to assume this is a major milestone in the history of the Islanders or the start of a more aggressive political game by the club.
Oh, Dubie Boy
That was supposed to be "Oh, Danis Boy" but current #1 goalie Yann is no longer the big story. In one of the easiest reconciliations imaginable, Wade Dubielewicz returns to the Islanders to fill their ever-growing hole in net. Or maybe he won't so much fill it, if you take Scott Gordon's words to heart:
"He stops the puck. You look at him, and you say to yourself, 'There's a lot of net there.' But I imagine he competes really hard.Perhaps Dubie should pay a visit to Lighthouse Hockey for tips on how to make himself look bigger in the net. No bears required.
I can appreciate any attempts Garth Snow makes to bring more skill players into the organization. Any time "Hobey Baker Award Winner" pops up in conversation about a player, my ears perk up a little. That being said, when you take into account Lessard's age and professional track record, I don't have any expectation of him being a solution to the Islanders' goal-scoring woes. To make the obvious Heisman comparison, Lessard is proving to be more Gino Torretta than Vinny Testaverde.
Anyway, as discussed in the comments on IslesBlogger, the real impetus for this trade may have been simply to create more ice time for the remaining Bridgeport defensemen.
Join me this Saturday, January 17th, as I fill in for Alex as co-host on Hockey Night on Long Island. I've co-hosted with Steve twice before and it's always fun to do the show from the other side of the mic. Check the show blog for details on this upcoming episode and visit the show page on Blog Talk Radio Saturday at 3:30 PM to join in.