Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Tale of Two Prospects

As we make the move back to our old home, it is an interesting day for two New York Islander prospects as one was sent back to their junior team while the other was traded in what others are calling a "blockbuster trade" while we having some serious questions about it.

The Islanders returned Nino Niederreiter back to the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL rather than keep him for the full season. The move allows the Islanders to save a year on Nino's entry level contract which in turn delays how soon Nino becomes eligible for arbitration, restricted free agency and unrestricted free agency.

The debate is whether or not it is a good move for Nino or is it a good public relations move by the Islanders. Nothing against the Portland Winterhawks as they are a well run franchise but what really does Nino gain by returning to the WHL to play against 16-20 year olds?

If Nino was over matched against the NHL players then yes send him back to help him learn but in the 9 games the only thing Nino was not doing was scoring every game. Yes he was 1-1-9 but is that reason enough to send him back?

Not in our book otherwise the NHL would be giving up on a lot of young players really quickly. For us the benefits of Nino playing and learning from a Doug Weight makes keeping him worthwhile. Playing in Portland is going to pile up numbers, maybe win a WHL title or even a Memorial Cup but none of that is going to make up for losing the chance to learn from an experienced NHL veteran.

Selfishly Nino back in Portland appeals to the fan in us as Portland is our home team in the CHL; life is really sweet when you only have an 75 minute drive to watch him play (not the mention being able to sleep in our own bed instead of a hotel).

Kirill Kabanov (2010 3rd) on the other hand got traded from the Moncton Wildcats to the Lewiston MANICaics today. Others want to call it a blockbuster trade; others want to say the MANICaics gave up a ton for the rights to Kabanov.

Not us as to be honest why Kabanov was even in Moncton boggles the mind. Now Kabanov is no saint, he has some real issues (like having the last person in the world for father of the year in Sergei Kabanov) and has a very good chance of winding up becoming another Todd Marinovich.

The Islanders were bound by the NHL/CHL contract to return Kabanov to his junior team which was Moncton but Moncton last season trashed the kid to all heck. Yes it is very grown up to tell the world ""I have the feeling that we are better without him, than with him" as Wildcat Coach and General Manager Danny Flynn said after Kabanov left the team during the QMJHL playoffs.

Are we supposed to believe that Kabanov was really wanted back by the Wildcats this season? We don't especially given that Kabanov was just returning to the Wildcats after returning from Russia while dealing with what was called "Family matters."

Of course people are going to say what a huge gamble that the MANICaics are making but what might be the turning point is the MAINEaics Managing Consultant and Governor Bill Schurman. He knows Kabanov from his time with the Wildcats and maybe for Kabanov's sake he might be the first person to actually reach the kid.

As for it being a "blockbuster trade"; not a chance as Lewiston did not give up a single player off their roster. They gave up the rights to a goalie they cut, a pick in the CHL Import draft that they would had to give up because they already had the allowed 2 Import players and 3 picks over 2 drafts neither a first rounder.

The Islanders will not say it but they have to be pleased that Kabanov is out of Moncton as they hopefully will see Kabanov's development on track. Lewiston is right now saying all the right things about Kabanov  and only time is going to tell if it was the right one.


Prospect Action

Jason Wilson (NYR 2010 5th) scored at 15:22 of the 3rd period to break a 2-2 tie as his Niagara IceDogs scored 4 unanswered goals to rally past the Plymouth Whalers 5-2. It was Wilson's 5th goal of the season and first game winning goal as a member of the IceDogs.

Christian Thomas (NYR 2010 2nd) teamed with Calvin De Haan (NYI 2009 1st) on Oshawa's 2nd goal of the game but it was not enough as the Oshawa Generals lost in overtime 3-2 to the Peterborough Petes.  Thomas also had a secondary assist on Oshawa's first goal to bring his Ranger prospect leading totals to 11-8-19.

De Haan is now 1-8-9 in 8 games since returning from the Islanders while fellow Islander prospect Tony DeHart (2010 5th) was scoreless.


The Bouncing Blog/Website

OK I screwed up, I bit off more than I could chew and I tried something that I was poorly prepared for in trying to set up a website. It was a harsh lesson to learn and a slap in the reality face. I am bad here at Blogspot because in all honesty it is so simple to do that even this person can handle the controls without hurting himself. 

People tried to help me set up the website but as time went on their own world required their time so I appreciate their attempts to help me. What I have to do is realize is you really do get what you pay for; my money is best spent being able to cover the prospects. 

I hope you will bear with me and forgive this bouncing back and forth as I promise I will not move anywhere the rest of this season. The good news is that I have made some new friends who are going to be your eyes whether you are a Ranger fan or an Islander fan. 

(Images: Niederreiter/New York Islanders, Kabanov/Moncton Wildcats)

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