OK. So I blocked time to write my blog tonight. I made sure I had the place to myself, with all other social and non-blog responsibilities out of the way. It was time to address the recent additions of Andy Sutton and Josef Vasicek. That was the plan, that is, until the news broke. The new jerseys had arrived.
First I thought it was interesting how much attention was devoted to this introduction on the Islander site. If the Isles traded Sparky the Dragon, 2 ice girls, and a future 3rd round draft pick for Sydney Crosby I think it would have gotten less play. But I guess when the look of the franchise changes in such a dramatic way, it should be announced with some measure of fanfare.
As for the jerseys themselves, it will take some getting used to. First, the shortcomings. The old school tie at the collar of the jersey feels somewhat incongruous on an otherwise modern look. Secondly, the orange is a little intense (is orange ever not intense?), although its an improvement over our former alternate 3rd jersey. Overall, I'll concede that it may be perceived as a little busy. Now for the pros. The sleeker look and supposed semi water repellent material are pluses. Secondly, while I realize that some might disagree with me here, the number on the front is a nice touch. In time I believe many more teams will sport that look and that our fans will grow to appreciate it. And finally, and most importantly, the players seem to like it. The Isles are saying that jersey design was a very collaborative effort, and given the unpleasantness we have seen with past sweater offerings, this was absolutely the right approach.
So that leaves me with a very difficult question. Will I buy one? Let me phrase it this way. If my wife found out I spent $210 on another Islander jersey, I would be sleeping on the couch and eating frosted flakes for dinner for at least a week. That being said, I'll probably go with a replica.

Defense, but at what cost?

I can see it now. Bryan McCabe, sporting an Islander jersey contributes about ten goals and 20 assists while providing some much needed "D" for our team. Only problem is, what I see is my memories of the 96/97 season, and not a crystal ball into 07/08.
There has been a great deal of speculation by many Islander fans that McCabe could be the guy to fill our needs at the blue line. Clearly, his stats from last season indicate that he can contribute all-star quality offensive support (if not defensive). However, it would come at a price. For one, we would be picking up a cap hit of almost 22 million over 4 years while taking on a contract littered with booby traps (incentives). For extending the courtesy of allowing the Leafs to get out of his contract and win some cap room, we would have to part with player (s). And realistically, are we in a position to trade what we have? Sure, since early Summer much has been done to improve the team and help mitigate the losses endured on July 1st. But if we are seeking a) McCabe b) prospect (s)/ future pick(s) and possibly even c) Toronto eating part of McCabe's contract, it will cost us. And cost us too heavily. Campoli's name has been mentioned, but that would be like taking a step forward, and another back. And if we were to make a weaker offering, Toronto will walk, given what Snow would be seeking in return.
The need is there. We have to have another quality defenseman to be competitive this year. I think it is more likely that concessions are made and a guy like Markov is signed than everything falling into place perfectly to make the McCabe deal feasible. Plus, they already got Blake from us, there's no way I'd help the Leafs again.
In summary, I don't see Wang letting us go into the season without filling this void, but Snow will earn his salary figuring out how.