As most of you have probably heard, The New York Islanders traded for Tim Thomas. You may or may not have known prior to the trade, but he isn’t playing this season. He’s taking a year off in Montana, not skating, practicing, or working out. It’s unclear if he will play next year. The reason the trade was made was for the cap hit. Since Thomas signed the contract when he was 35 or older, his cap hit will count regardless of whether or not he is playing. He isn’t, so the Islanders don’t have to pay him, but still have his cap hit. This move essentially lowers their salary cap floor.
I’m growing less and less proud of being a fan of this team every day. The Charles Wang regime has destroyed a once-proud franchise.
This trade is being looked at by the media as a "shrewd move" by Garth. Fans are commenting on articles like it was a good move because we just got a great goalie. Sure, if he ends up playing and we get a 1st round pick for him next season or he plays for us, it may be decent. But the intentions of the move are all the more important here and are clear as day. There is not even an attempt at hiding it this time in phantom bonuses for young players such as Nino Niederreiter. The list of things Wang has done can go on and on. I hope readers realize we gave a random undrafted juniors player, Mike Halmo, a gigantic entry-level contract just for the bonuses. That was of course before the new CBA, but just moves like that are the ones I am referring to.
It’s devastating that us loyal fans have to suffer for so long. Fans sit here and debate the merits of how good Kyle Okposo is along the boards, whether Nino belongs in the AHL or NHL, if Andrew MacDonald is a #4 or #5 defenseman, etc... Islanders fans have a passion that isn't matched by many other fans in the league, I really do think so.
But it is all for naught. It doesn't matter to the owner who is robbing us of this passion and slapping us in the face repeatedly. We can't help but come back to social media, message boards, and websites such as this one to talk about it and always somehow be optimistic about this team. We think that one more draft pick just might do the trick. All we need is a good d-man like Reinhart and the rebuild will be complete! Nope. The rebuild is just a sham. What it really is, is a surefire way of keeping the payroll in all aspects of the organization literally as low as possible. If there weren’t a salary cap floor, I’d be scared of what this team would look like.
The atmosphere that this has created in Islander Country based on message boards, Facebook, Twitter, etc. is crazy but justified. I'm going to two away games (one in Buffalo and one in Philly) and maybe will go to one more at the Coliseum, but definitely will buy it off of Stub Hub. Writers can try to spin it any way they want but it doesn't matter. We know what the real deal is. I think we all knew it but some of us didn't want to believe it. Wanted to believe that somewhere down in that old man's heart was a desire for his team that he owns to win hockey games. Well guess what? He bought the team to help him develop real estate, specifically in the area of where the Coliseum currently sits. He didn’t get it, which gives me some hope he may sell.
What a ridiculous move the Thomas trade was. Charles Wang is doing his best to push the only people that still care away. He HAS to go. I'm ashamed to be a fan of this team whenever reminded of this trade and don't even have it in me to try to spin this in any positive way.
It’s amazing that the team isn’t criticized more often for their (lack of) effort to ice a winning team, but hopefully the move to Brooklyn will provide the team with a much-needed increase in coverage.
Wang must go. The second he sells the team to a well-respected businessman who puts winning above all else, is the moment that this team becomes respected around the league and will be able to draw in free agents with increased capital and a steady future in a beautiful building.