|Sure hope nobody bought one of these!|
Anyways, even at the end of May, the Islanders are still making noise. As I mentioned a little bit yesterday, albeit in a parody piece, the New York Islanders and Brenden Kichton have parted ways. Kichton will re-enter the NHL Draft (his third draft), and the Isles will continue on with business as usual.
Of course, no move goes without controversy on the Island. The usual divide among fans was created. Some of us believe Garth Snow and the Islanders are absolutely crazy for letting the prospect walk, unsigned, while some of us believe Garth Snow made the right move because, well, he's the hockey guy and we're not.
For this weekend's Saturday Afternoon Discussion, let's talk Kichton. At the end of the day, is this non-transaction really going to be detrimental to this Islanders' team that is ready to take the next step?
I get it. Brenden Kichton is a good prospect. Although he was selected in the 5th-round during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, there is no denying that he outplayed his draft status. How many defensemen can play three consecutive seasons while posting numbers above a point-per-game pace? Kichton did it, and because of it, I wanted to see him signed, too.
Regardless, I cannot say that I believe the Islanders are going to feel the effects of Kichton leaving before he plays a game on the Island. Even if he blossoms elsewhere, Kichton wasn't on the Islanders' radar. That speaks more on the Islanders' current direction as a franchise than it does on Brenden Kichton's ability to play hockey.
The Islanders' blue-line is in the midst of, literally, growing. Andrey Pedan (6'4) and Scott Mayfield (6'4) joined the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the end of the 2012-13 AHL season. During the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Islanders added Griffin Reinhart (6'4), Doyle Somerby (6'5), Loic Leduc (6'6), and Adam Pelech (6'2). In another season or two, the Islanders defense will be much bigger than it has been over the last several years, and that goal should be made even more obvious by the Isles extending offers to the larger defensemen, Leduc and Pelech, on May 31st, but not Brenden Kichton (5'10).
Again, there's no denying that Kichton has talent, but where does he fit in, including Bridgeport, where developing these bigger defensemen will take higher priority?
Perhaps you will point at Calvin de Haan for being an offensive-defenseman within the organization, but here's the thing. The Islanders continue to believe that de Haan is a top-talent. Whether you want to hear it or not, de Haan is of high value to this organization. Shoulder injuries aside, de Haan's potential as an NHL defenseman and power-play quarterback exceeds that of any player within the Islanders' system. I would even call Calvin a darkhorse candidate to make the Islanders' roster out of training camp, providing he stays healthy.
Among others, Matt Donovan, Calvin de Haan, Andrey Pedan, Scott Mayfield, Joe Finley, and Aaron Ness will be AHL-bound next season. I wouldn't expect Kichton to make the immediate jump to the NHL, and it appears the AHL roster is at full capacity, and it should be for years to come.
Personally, I think the Islanders' depth at the position within the system eases my conflict with allowing Kichton to move on, but you decide. Do you think the loss of Brenden Kichton will be detrimental to the Islanders?
I'm Chris Triants, and this is my blog.
Let's go Islanders!