The Writing is on the Wall for Berard

As I've followed the Isles through camp via the Islander site and Newsday, one player has been noticeably absent in the coverage. While guys like Tambellini, Bergenheim, Meyer, Comeau, Sutton and Sim, for example, have received attention, Bryan Berard has played the part of Colonel Kurtz. He's out there somewhere, but good luck finding him.
I, along with seemingly myriad other Islander fans reacted positively to the news that Berard would be invited to camp this year. Looking past the fact that he was a minus 57 in the last 3 years combined (as reported in Evan Grossman's blog), the ability to stir up offense and nostalgia generated enthusiasm.
However, if you read between the lines of the Islander post from a few days ago "The battle for the blue line heats up", the enthusiasm may fade into reality. The Isles speak of the 4 probable sure things on D, namely Witt, Sutton, Martinek and Bergeron. Fighting for the final 2 spots are Meyer, Berard, Campoli, Gervais and Johnson (who by the way is the only D-Man besides Gervais with a 2 way contract). So here's how I see it. Gervais and Campoli have shown too much development and promise- they stay and comprise the final pairing. Nolan will, by his own admission, dress 7 to start. That leaves the door open for Meyer. Johnson to Bridgeport and Berard, well, Berard is the odd man out.
I do not know what they are seeing in Berard that is causing their apathetic coverage of his play, but I'm guessing he may be a step behind as he is recovering from injuries and consequently a lack of ice time.
The Isles, effectively admitting the odds are a little stacked against Bryan, wrote "Berard will be given a fair opportunity to prove he can be a contributor before camp is over". Although I would have loved seeing the Riverboat gambler back in an Islander uniform, that tepid statement speaks volumes against its happening.


Anonymous said...

Whatever people are seeing is different from what I saw last night at the game. I thought Berard was the best D-man on the ice and it looks like he might make the team.

Jim McGlynn said...

Hey, thanks for the post and update. I didn't see the game, but I think he'll have to continue strong play to have a shot. If he does- it will be a tough decision for Garth and Ted...Gervais to Bridgeport, Meyer through waivers?