But the Islanders’ obsession with collecting picks — part scheme,
part plan — has yielded a passel of homegrown talent that should endure
long after the self-destructive effort to transform the Coliseum into a
Lighthouse recedes from memory.
The guts of this team and the ones to follow were constructed through
canny use of the 14 first- and second-round picks amassed by Snow from
2006-11. Kyle Okposo, seventh overall in 2006; Josh Bailey, ninth
overall and Hamonic 53rd overall in 2008; Tavares, first overall, and
Calvin de Haan, 12th overall in 2009; Brock Nelson, 30th overall in
2010; Ryan Strome, fifth overall in 2011.
This doesn’t mean the fifth parade is right around the corner. It
doesn’t. But there is reason to dream and there is reason for hope. The
Islanders are a hockey team, an honest-to-goodness, credible hockey
operation. Time has been wasted. But the time has come today.
For just when the Islanders are saying goodbye to Long Island, it is
time to say hello again to the Islanders, who, for years and years and
years, have been missed.