This is the first posting for Former Islander Watch (FIW) a site devoted to the continued progress and proliferation of one-time New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL). What makes FIW so interesting is that unlike other sports websites nd blogs that are devoted to league-wide coverage and blogs devoted to any issue of a specific franchise this site instead wishes to focus on the post-team impact of players.
Why the Islanders? Aside from the favored team here at FIW the Islanders are a famous for years of continued ineptitude in terms of preaning and keeping talent. This is larger due to the teardown of the team in the mid-1990s (see 1994 playoffs versus the rival New York Rangers), the turnover of ownership (see John Spano) and the reign of the now removed worst General Manager in professional sports (Mike Milbury). "Mad" Mike Milbury's impact as GM of the Islanders was so harmful in fact that every truly talented player that once called the Coliseum home are now sprinkled out throughout the league in many cases serving the cornerstone roles of those franchises.
This site will analyze the stats, look at the successes and failings of former Islanders and wax philosophical about the role this once-great franchise has played in spreading talent throughout the league. Since yesterday was the trading deadline and a renewed fervor has spread throughout Long Island with the acquisition of All-Star Ryan Smyth hopes are high for this franchise to once again vault to success, largely due it seems to the continued work of Ted Nolan and a surprisingly daring GM Garth Snow.
Some names (and bodies) bandied about yesterday that are just a few of the players the Isles once possessed include: Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Smolinski, Eric Brewer, Brent Sopel, Adrian Aucoin, Alexei Zhitnik and Bryan Berard. Other names of note in the pantheon of Isles history include: Roberto Luongo, Olli Jokinen, Zdeno Chara, Roman Hamrlik, Bryan McCabe, Mark Parrish, etc...
Enjoy the site and talk to you soon.