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Islander Nation Erupts as New York Wins Draft Lottery

Miikeee D.Correspondent IApril 15, 2009

OSHAWA, ON - JANUARY 14:  John Tavares #91 of Team Orr skates in the 2009 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game against Team Cherry on Wednesday January 14, 2009 at the General Motors Centre in Oshawa, Ontario. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 6-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)


At around 8:20 pm, North America would have felt a slight quiver in the ground if it wasn’t for the fact that Long Island was indeed an island. The reason for the celebration in Long Island is because hockey is officially back.

With the New York Islanders winning the lottery, and the opportunity to select John Tavares, hockey will be revitalized on Lonely Island.

The elation is evident in the voices of optimistic Islander bloggers.

from Voice of the Islander Fans:

…it is time to roll out the red carpet and get all those No. 91 jerseys stitched up BECAUSE JOHN TAVARES IS COMING TO THE NEW YORK ISLANDERS!!!!!!!

from Islesblogger.com:

It never ceases to amaze me honestly, I have witnessed a bunch of great things in Islanders history—but this pick is one of the most important aspects in recent times.

From Chris Botta at Islanders Point Blank:

NYI WIN DRAFT LOTTERY: Garth, you’re now on the clock. The Islanders win. They win.

However, there are also warnings to Garth Snow from NY Islanders 7th Woman:

Until [June 26th], we will wait and hope that Brian Burke doesn’t come up with some sort of scheme to get six General Managers to each give up something the other wants in order to get that coveted number one pick. It’s Brian Burke; he’s capable of just about anything.

General Manager of the Islanders, Garth Snow should NOT trade this pick. The Islanders have a good history with first overall picks. In 2000, they drafted Rick DiPietro and in 1973, they drafted Denis Potvin.

Tavares would be welcome addition to the young core that includes Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo. Imagine keeping those three players in tact for the next five years? The Atlantic division would boast five playoff teams.

Snow should go into an induced coma, turn off all communication to the world and wake up on June 26 just in time to draft John Tavares.

There will be a number of teams that will hunt and manipulate the draft in order to snatch that No. 1 pick away from Snow, which is why he just needs to take his phone off the hook and throw his Blackberry into a jar of blueberry jam.

Snow should especially avoid all contact with Toronto GM, Brian Burke, who made it known earlier in the day that he will do anything he can to move up in the draft and pursue acquiring John Tavares.

Burke simply could have been giving Leaf Nation some lip service, telling them what they wanted to hear. If Burke seriously wanted to pursue Tavares, he would have tied Justin Pogge’s gloves and blocker to the sides of the net and not let him out.

That surely would have been a better strategy to increase their number of ping pong balls in the popcorn popper. Nonetheless, the lottery results moved the Leafs down one spot to seventh in the draft.

However, if the Islanders were to fear one man to snatch John Tavares away from them, it is Brian Burke. If Burke is serious about pursuing Tavares, there is no reason not to think he will do everything in his power to manipulate the draft to get his way. He did it once, and he will surely do it again.

In 1999 draft in Boston, much like today, he announced that “nobody is leaving Boston with both Sedins except for me”. Pretty scary for other GM’s, but exactly echoed the same sentiments he had today.

Almost a decade ago, Burke merely had a single first round pick, which was the third pick overall, but eventually manipulated the draft to get the second and third picks to draft both Sedins. Patrick Stefan went first overall.

If you want to try and understand how Burke did it, read the transaction list here. Therefore, Burke is very capable of pulling of a trade or two or three in order to get his way. The only problem is that the General Managers now will shield themselves from Burke, knowing what his intentions are.

What would it take for Burke to acquire the first overall pick from Snow? That topic is for an upcoming blog. Stay tuned.

What John Tavares can do on the ice has been well documented. Only one thing remains to be seen. We know how good he looks in red, white and blue. We know how good he looks in green and black.

And we know what he looks like in red and white. How will he look in orange and blue? If it looks as bad as this, then he might as well be in blue and white.

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