On The Bleachers had the opportunity to chat with NHL's Brian Compton about the Islanders coaching staff, stadium, and more!
What is your personal opinion on the Islanders coaching additions thus far? Does the lack of coaching experience give fans an acceptable reason to be worried?
I think this is the most confident Islanders fans should feel in their coaching staff in a long time. Doug Weight did a terrific job during the second half of the season and is now bringing in a staff he intends on feeling more comfortable with. Luke Richardson obviously played with Doug in Edmonton and has seven years of coaching experience. Scott Gomez is getting his first taste here as a coach but is excited about the challenge. I'm curious to see what he can do with the power play.
With the expansion draft approaching, the Islanders are believed to be worried about losing a quality player, who at this moment might be selected?
I know most expect the Islanders to lose a defenseman to expansion, but I think it's more realistic that either Brock Nelson or Ryan Strome will be selected. One of them is almost certain to be available, and both are still young and have had success at the NHL level.
As we all know, Garth Snow loves to be active at the draft. Will he even have a first round pick this year or is your feeling that the pick might be dealt in a big trade in the next few weeks. Rumors on TSN, have the Islanders once again being players for Duchene, does Garth land this perfect match? Also mentioned was Jordan Eberle and Hamonic again possibly being on the market, does something actually get worked out this summer?
It has to. I can't see Garth not upgrading his forward group this summer. The Islanders desperately need a No. 2 center who can play at both ends of the ice. Frans Nielsen was never adequately replaced after he left for Detroit. That's a hole that must be filled before training camp.
Matt Duchene is obviously the perfect fit; it will ultimately come down to how much Joe Sakic wants in return. Jordan Eberle can score goals but I've heard complaints about his work habits in Edmonton. If both players cost $6 million, the choice between the two seems pretty easy to me. If Duchene is a possibility, one has to think Hamonic's name will be in the mix.
Randi Marshall from Newsday today mentioned that commissioner Bettman hinted that the Islanders are leaning towards Belmont. Any "guess" in how long any kind of news will break to the media? Yormark is quoted saying Barclays will not make the necessary changes to try and influence the Islanders to stay, so Brooklyn appears out. Everyone knows that Uniondale is a pipe dream, leaving Belmont the only reasonable location. So what is next?
We all know the Islanders are going to be in the mix to build an arena at Belmont, which seems to be the most logical landing spot for the franchise now. Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin are simply waiting for the state to start asking for proposals. One has to think that will happen before training camp.