Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Garth Snow's Gonna Do WHAT????!!!!!

Boy oh boy, have things really gotten interesting over the past week. Ever since the Islanders retained the 1st Overall Draft Pick last Tuesday evening, pundits, fans and NHL execs have been drooling over the prospect of what Garth Snow might do with the envious drafting position.

Seriously, how often is a franchise faced with such a gleefully difficult decision. Either you draft a sniper that has been touted as a phenom since he couldn't even shave (although if you we're talking about Sidney "Cry-Baby" Crosby that may still be a concern). A 6'6", 220lbs fleet-footed monster from Scandinavia, swinging his Battle Axe and killing anything that's within 15 feet. Or you could give another team a shot at these two beasts by making said team give away the farm first.

I'm happy to call myself an Islanders fan today, despite that crappy '08-'09 campaign. It's already a distant memory.

Here are the different perspectives as I see them:

Islanders fans are severely in one corner that we'll call, "I Love You, JT! I Want to Bear Your Children!". Also, don't forget to lump Toronto Laffs Leafs GM, Brian Burke in that group (watch that prospect tampering there Bri-dog). As my buddy Dom over at so eloquently states as the motto for his site: "Taking Bids for John Tavares that Start with your First-Born". Better stock that cupboard because offering up Bozak, Hanson or even your coveted Luke Schenn isn't enough for us, Burkie.

Pundits not known as Central Scouting are torn and are starting to get a little tepid on Tavares. Kyle Woodlief, former Preds scout and purveyor of The Redline Report, labels JT's lackluster skating ability and floundering attitude as cause for concern. In the same breath, of course, he also mentions Tavares will score "40 or 50 goals a season in the NHL". I don't see a problem there and neither did Mike Bossy when he scored 573 career goals. However, the Brett Hull comparison does have me a tad worried.

One player that seems to be flying under the radar and impressing everyone as the OHL playoffs march on, is Brampton Battalion Centre (yes, I used the Canadian/English spelling), Matt Duchene. Talk about a prospect that is tailor-made for Scott Gordon's "Go-Go" System and is defensively responsible to boot. Hmm, makes me wonder...could Garth pull a fast one on everyone (I'll get to the possibilities in Part Deux...tomorrow).

Lest we not forget, our Scandinavian Axe-Wielder. When people have been talking about this kid who "skates like wind", to use a phrase from Garth himself, that is 6'6" and 220lbs and could chew up minutes better than Leif Erikkson eating moose meat, it makes you stop and think. We could use a franchise blueliner, a la Denis Potvin. Although, I think Ken Morrow put it best last Tuesday when he said, "There Can Be Only ONE! HIGHLANDER! There's only one Denis Potvin".

When Garth was asked during the conference call following the Draft Powerball Drawing/Dumb Luck, Picking out of a Pot Gold with a Skittles Rainbow flowing into it Lottery if he had a clear-cut favorite in what many believe is a two-horse race, he responded, "Yes, I do. But I'm not going to divulge that information." Good for you Garth. Playing it close to the vest. As close as having a good relationship with Pat Brisson, agent to both Tavares and Duchene over the past several years.

So, those are the conventional routes that our now thrust into the spotlight GM is facing. What about the more...unconventional routes? You'll have to come back tomorrow for those gems. Yeah, they might be off the wall, but with the way things are shaping up it could be like the New York Lotto Jackpot's motto goes: "Hey You Never Know!"

What do you think? Leave a comment in the section below.


Anonymous said...

what is hockey?? i just think the writer of this blog is so sexy.. i just want bang bang bang

Dominik said...

I voted "Tavares," but I really want all of the above.

Doug said...

I don't know. Having watched a few videos of Duchene, I'm starting to warm-up to the kid. His outside speed is fantastic and his vision is similar to Bailey's. I would not be disappointed if Garth went with him. Tavares and Hedman are both needs and wants but like I said Duchene might be a better fit.

Dominik said...

This is no time for reason. :)

Actually, the stuff you cite about Duchene has had me thinking. I've seen so little of him (of all of them, really), that I'm just following the various scouting reports and thinking, "Yeah, that'd be nice, too."

Doug said...

That's the unfortunate problem we're all facing at this time of year. Now that the scouting services are starting to release their final findings as the different leagues finish up, you'll run the gambit of who's done what and how well.

People are extremely disenchanted with Tavares after London got eliminated last night. Hedman is gaining steam as "a player that only comes along once in a generation". And Duchene has been labeled as the "most complete player in the draft".

Frankly, whoever Garth picks out of those 3 will be fantastic.

However my personal feeling is that it will be Hedman. I'll explain in a follow up post either tomorrow or the next day.