New York Islanders: 10 Gifts Fans Want for Christmas

Chris LeydenCorrespondent IIDecember 21, 2010

New York Islanders: 10 Gifts Fans Want for Christmas

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    UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 09: Fans line up for the New York Islanders home opener against the Dallas Stars at the Nassau Coliseum on October 9, 2010 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The New York Islanders are in a state of turmoil right now as a franchise. The team is doing awful, the arena is falling apart, and no one is going to the games. With these ten "gifts" things could turn around for the Islanders in just a few years and the team could go from the laughing-stock of the NHL to a contender.

#10 Better Press Coverage

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    This has less two do with the actual coverage and more to do with where it is. The Islanders actually have good announcers (Howie Rose) and a great beat writer (Katie Strang). The problem is more with the fact that many of the Islanders games are not even in HD because they are on MSG+2 or some ridiculous combination like that. The Islanders are also a professional franchise, that is having its games broadcast on a college radio station. Although the Hofstra station does a solid job, this is embarrassing for a professional sports team.

#9 Less Injuries

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 08:  Mark Streit #2 of the New York Islanders prepares for a face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena on April 8, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Penguins defeated the Islanders 7-3.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    The Islanders have been hit with the injury bug this year, with crucial injuries to Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo. The Islanders have also lost a variety of other players including Trent Hunter, and it is getting to that time of year again when Rick DiPietro is having knee problems again. The Islanders need a healthy team on the ice if they want any chance of winning, and this year they have failed to produce that.

#8 New Arena

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    UNIONDALE, NY - NOVEMBER 8: Interior view of the Nassau Collisium, home of the New York Islanders taken on November 8, 2002 in Uniondale, New York (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Nassau Coliseum is the second oldest building in the NHL right now, and is possibly the worst place to see a hockey game. The Islanders also have a bad deal in which they make very little money off of ticket sales. Plans for a beautiful complex, know as the Lighthouse Project, have been blockaded by the Town of Hempstead. If the Islanders want to make hockey important on Long Island, they need to get out of this building and into a brand new one.

#7 The #1 Pick

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    UNIONDALE, NY - JULY 07: The first draft pick in 2010 for the New York Islanders, Nino Niederreiter, listens to the coaches instructions during rookie camp at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on July 7, 2010 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennet
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The Islanders are in a situation this year where the best thing that could come out of it is getting the number one pick in next years NHL Draft. I look at the Islanders much like I look at the Washington Nationals, a team that needs to build from the bottom up. This season is a lost cause, and it would only hurt the Islanders to not have first choice in next years draft.

#6 Fans at The Games

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    UNIONDALE, NY - JULY 07: General Manager Garth Snow and team owner Charles Wang watch the New York Islanders rookie camp at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on July 7, 2010 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The Islanders need people to go to the games if they want to create some sort of buzz around the team. Obviously if they are not winning people are not going to go, so this ties into a few other "gifts" fans should want. The Islanders have basically been trying to give tickets away lately, and even that has not been working. It will not be until the arena is full again that the Islanders will attract top talent.

#5 Big Name Coach

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    UNIONDALE, NY - NOVEMBER 17:  Head coach Jack Capuano of the New York Islanders works the bench during his first NHL game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Nassau Coliseum on November 17, 2010 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Im
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Jack Capuano has taken things from bad to worse since he has taken over the Islanders, and should not be the coach come next season. Obviously he was put in a tough position and he is not really to blame, but this is less about him and more about the fact that in order to get a buzz around the team the Islanders need a big name coach. Who this will be, I honestly have no idea, but they need to find someone who not only is a good coach, but will draw crowds and players too.

#4 New General Manager

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    UNIONDALE, NY - SEPTEMBER 21:  General manager Garth Snow of the New York Islanders speaks to the media on September 21, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Many Islanders fans are saying that Snow has got to go, and I can't find a reason not to agree with them. Similar to Capuano he is dealing with a slight handcuff, with the fact that he can only spend so much, but it seems he has made bad contract after bad contract. It was always a question as to why Snow got the job in the first place, as being a goalie in the NHL is not exactly the perfect qualification. The Islanders need a more business savvy GM to start making starter contract decisions.

#3 New Owner

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    UNIONDALE, NY - SEPTEMBER 21:  New York Islanders Owner Charles Wang speaks to the media on September 21, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Charles Wang, the current owner of the team, has spent countless amounts of his own money to help pay for this team, and it is time for both him and the team to give up on this investment. Similar to the Coyotes, the Islanders need a new owner, and maybe someone who is more hands on. Most Islanders fans would probably love a owner similar to Mark Cuban or Ted Leonsis.

#2 Better Players

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    UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 16:  Jonas Hiller #1 of the Anaheim Ducks tends net against John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on December 16, 2010 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Image
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Plain and simple the Islanders roster is weak with NHL talent. Fans are complaining that they are putting out a minor league team, and some nights that is very much the case. The young pieces are in place for the Islanders, with John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey, and Nino Niederreiter. Now the Islanders need to go out and get some really talented players. The problem with this is that until the team fixes a lot of its other problems, no free agent is going to want to come to a half full arena on Long Island.

#1 Win Games

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    UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 18: Michael Grabner #40 of the New York Islanders scores a goal against Jason LaBarbera #1 of the Phoenix Coyotes during their game on December 18, 2010 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Imag
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Although this counters the point earlier about the number one pick, the biggest gift the Islanders could give their fans for the holidays is a few wins. It is very difficult to watch a team lose day-in and day-out, and it is costing the Islanders fans. The Islanders have a good chance to get another win in 2010 against the Devils on Thursday, and that would be a great early Christmas gift.

    Follow me on Twitter @cleyden for more Isles news. Be sure to check out my new Islanders based blog coming soon.