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Last Chance Islanders Update 10:52 am

June 30, 2014, 8:07 AM ET [50 Comments]
Dee Karl
New York Islanders Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
10:52 am: Islanders have extended qualifying offers to Calvin deHaan (no surprise), Donovan, Poulin (little surprise), Nilsson (little more surprise), Lee, Cizikas. Art Staple said QOs also went to Gallant and Ness. Not qualified: Mangene, Cantin and Diamond. Staple also tweets Isles interest in Del Zotto was an erroneous report.

7 am: Hoping for anything but 'last place.'

As many as 3,000 fans came out on Friday night in the middle of graduation season to celebrate mediocrity and watch the Islanders pick fifth again in the NHL Entry Draft. You would think by now they would be fed up with losing so badly in the regular season that they would have stayed away. You would think there would be more protests and anger over the lack of success that seems to be unending.

But no.

They came out with their friends and families in tow. They donned their jerseys, hats and tee shirts emblazoned with the logo they have come to love blindly. They stood on a line that snaked through the underground of the Coliseum waiting to buy even MORE merchandise that showed who they are. We are Islanders. New York, Islanders.

They came because for all intents and purposes this would be the LAST NHL Draft party ever held at the Nassau Coliseum. For that they endured $12 parking, $6.50 hot dogs and $6 pretzels. They checked out partial season plans for the last remaining year in Uniondale and inquired about season tickets at the Barclays. A few new perks this season for STHs both full and partial for the Coliseum and nothing but unanswered questions regarding Barclays. A $200 deposit per seat will reserve you the right to get a seat somewhere at the Barclays. They didn’t know how much they would be, where they would be or what sort of plans they would be offering. But hey… it’s an investment.

The more people I spoke to, the more I recognized the same apathy in myself. The love is still there, but it’s a feeling of resignation -- to mediocrity and loss. One long time STH said, “Well, $3,000 I’m saving will buy me one hell of a 72” flat screen to watch them on.”

There was some excitement over drafting Michael Dal Colle, but it was hardly the euphoria seen when they drafted John Tavares. Thankfully it wasn’t also the mayhem seen when Garth traded down to select Josh Bailey. That was literally the scariest moment in my life as an Isles blogger.

No big trade on the Draft floor for the Isles, and not for a lack of trying. Art Staple of Newsday even tweeted out that Dan Boyle’s agent had to cut his conversation with him short to take a call from -- Garth Snow. Down to the wire and still working the phones.

Now July 1st and free agency is just around the corner. The Islanders have never been able to make a splash in free agency. They are turned down more often than not. It’s that “I want to play for a contender” attitude of the older players still looking for their name on a cup that gets them every time. They can drive a truck with cash and dump it on a player’s lawn, but if he’s closing in on the end of his career and he hasn’t won a cup yet, he says NO.

So try as they may, the Islanders chances of landing any free agents that will make the hockey media standup and take notice are generally slim. Will they be able to trade for a player another team needs off their cap? Yes. Will it make that big of a difference? We all hope. But much like the draft, adding a player through free agency can also be a crap shoot. At least it has been for the Isles for the last decade.

Sideboard: I’m not sure why Larry Brooks, the Rangers #1 Fan, couldn't actually print the word he was so offended that Garth Snow used. That word completely describes the newspaper that employs him.

Garth Snow had a Brian Burke moment. I have no problem with it, other than I don’t know why it took him so long. I suppose now the NHL will be looking to put in a 10 second MTV Awards style broadcast delay. The media should get over it.
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