Did Howard Berger Get One Right?

Indeed he did. While much of his latest post is blah and irrelevant, Howie hits the nail on the head when it comes to the ongoing issue between the Maple Leaf reporters and those who cover the New York Islanders:

“And, I close by wondering if there is a single member of the reviled Toronto hockey media that has actually predicted Brian Burke will land John Tavares at the NHL draft in June? This seems to be an accusation emanating quite liberally from New York these days, yet I cannot find a solitary example of such a projection. What many of us have done at this end since Burke’s now-famous press gathering last week is two-fold: a) surmise what it might take to wrest the No. 1 pick from the New York Islanders, while b) suggesting that Burke could be the only GM with the balls to pull it off. Otherwise, and speaking for myself, I have written and said that it will be almost impossible for the Leafs’ hockey boss to land the top pick, even if Luke Schenn is unavoidably dangled as bait. If merely discussing this possibility offends those in the New York region, it is their burden.”

No truer words on the issue have been written. Sounds to me like someones have an inferiority complex….

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Pension Plan Puppets
April 20, 2009 9:57 am

I think that what bothers most Islanders scribes is that while Berger admits it is impossible for the Leafs to land the number one pick Toronto’s mittenstringers are still writing about it almost every day.

April 21, 2009 2:42 pm

What PPP said (i.e. drumming an impossible scenario suggested by a media-feeding GM and playing it out for days, just because, and mixing in the season-long innuendo that Tavares, unlike the last 18 1st-overall picks, might refuse to play for the team that drafted him).

But also: I’m sort of stunned to learn of the existence of this “Islanders media.” You have to understand that the Isles aren’t really covered by “New York” media, although some of them may return if the team has a star and draws well again.

Newsday’s Greg Logan pretty much always plays it straight. Beyond him … Larry Brooks is just Larry Brooks: the three times per year he mentions the Islanders is only to grind an axe with someone (in this case, his Toronto “competitors” but usually Bettman or Wang), and if that axe does not include the Islanders themselves, he still manages to get a swipe in for good measure.

As an Islanders fan, I’m just annoyed because we have one prize from a miserable season, yet even that bit is overwhelmed by larger forces who control the narrative with remarkable pomposity just because they have the numbers and the pulpit, and we’re just puppets trying to shout some reason into the wind.

April 21, 2009 3:54 pm

Agreed, it’s ultimately very silly. And of course what the scribes say is pretty much irrelevant to what will happen.

I haven’t really followed all the Isles’ reactions, but my first reaction was: “Heh, there goes Burke again. This is why he did it (brilliant!). This is why it won’t happen. This is why this story is going to linger.”

Your comparisons to Toronto in the NBA are MLB are well taken, and representative of why I never enjoy alpha-market media domination in any sport, whether it be MLB or NHL or the EPL. The intense competition for fresh stories distorts the landscape. But really, it is the same old memes (“stranded on Long Island”) beaten into the ground that tire me — I don’t take them personally, I don’t think, but they do chip away at my patience like some such “1967.” Like, “Oh, yes, can we move on to the present, perhaps?” But then I expect one thing from MSM (hard news) and another thing from blogs (opinion, banter), which is probably not fair to either.

Thanks for the time; I always enjoy stopping by.

April 22, 2009 12:05 pm

Magic 8-ball says: “Outlook fuzzy.”

If I had to bet, I’d say yes. But it’s going to be (and has been) arduous, like Pittsburgh only without the request for public money.

By November, it should be clear whether the Islanders are Nassau-, Queens- or K.C./Canada-bound.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x