March 23, 2009
When Bill Guerin was sent to Steel Town USA, it was clear to why he was sent away. In his last year on the Isles, it was very obvious that the paths of some vets diverged between the Isles amid a rebuild.
A captain or vet and a young coach might debate or argue, but to ship that captain off tells a tale of a young rookie coach benefiting being the singular voice to the young kids.
A singular message that is undiluted by some wise wily vets who don't buy it simply because they are not quite tailor-made to utilize that new system.
No matter how words might be minced or softer now that he's gone, there was a reason Bill Guerin was dealt...whether to remove that disbelieving element, because maybe he wanted a last playoff shot, to make space, or to pass a torch.
So will the next Isles captain will be some bridge like Brendan Witt, Richard Park, a possibly re-signed Dougie Weight, nor even darkhorse fan candidate, Trent Hunter? Could it be Marc Streit?
Might it be some Vancouver
-like choice in making their goalie captain. DP. Doubtful. Even if the Isles bent in this direction, has not quite shown the maturity or poise with himself to get himself healthy and back to an All-Star level. Chances are that won't be installed on this team.
Perhaps, just perhaps, the Isles will look younger for their captain, to the new breed and generation, who Scott Gordon clearly has a better communication line with anyway.
Could your next captain be Josh Bailey?
When the Isles drafted Bailey, I spoke to several Isles brass who were simply ga-ga over the kid.
He was brought in not as a center for Kyle Okposo, or to be just a center for one of the top two lines. He was far and away their choice due to his character and leadership capabilities.
League scouts and draft analysts also agreed, citing that he had that type of intangibles that are true of team leaders. Others felt he was potential team captain material.
Most hearken to the death of his teammate and friend, Mickey Renaud, who was captain of the Windsor Spitfires. Bailey stepped in and performed. The emotionally decimated team held with him at center.
This is the type of intangibles and presence the Isles were looking for that were above and beyond perhaps the 60- to 70-point type of player that many figured him for.
The Isles see far more. Or at least they did back then. Nothing I've heard this season really has changed that view.
With the Isles rebuilt and coalescing, is there any better time to leap towards the future, assigning him the captaincy while giving A's to the gamut of excellent players/vets around him?
I think not.
Even if the Isles assign someone like Witt or Streit captain (the latter might be very possible...if not probable), you still might see Josh Bailey captain of the NY Islanders
within the next four years. It will be an easy decision because it has been in their mind since they drafted him.
It might even be a lot sooner.
Just my take.