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Jethro would be very useful on the current Islanders as well.
Islander fans universally love John Tavares. He epitomizes everything that you want to see on your hockey team. He has class, talent, scoring touch, passing ability and that star power the Islander have craved for so many years.
The one thing Tavares cannot do is protect himself from all of the cheap shots he has been receiving on the ice.
Enter Islanders' need number one. A protector for John Tavares.
No one will confuse the modern day NHL with the way the NHL was in the late 1970's and early 1980's. The Islanders had many Hall of Fame players like Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier and Denis Potvin. In that time, you had to have someone that could and would, when necessary, intimidate opponents into leaving your top-flight players alone. The difference between then and now is protectors or enforcers did not have to do anything but fight.
Today, great players still need protection but the game moves too fast for an enforcer who can't do anything but throw fists.
The thing about Clark Gillies that separated him from the everyday NHL enforcer was that he could play and carved himself out a Hall of Fame career in his own right. Gillies did not like to fight, but if you dared to push him to the point where he would, well then let's just say that unless you were an Islanders fan, you would not like the results of that fight.
John Tavares does not have enough protection right now. The Islanders need a protector cruising around the ice to make anyone who touches Tavares pay dearly.
The Islanders do have Matt Carkner on their roster now. He's jumped to Tavares' defense but the problem is he cannot stay healthy.
Tavares has the ability to be to the Islanders what Derek Jeter was to the Yankees. I only hope he can stay healthy as the cheap shots build up over time.