Just Another Fact Check
Perhaps Ben and I should just start a fact-checking blog?
For those that haven’t opened up a hockey-related website or turned on any sports news today, Mike Milbury is stepping down from the Islanders GM position.
ESPN.com has a column from the Calgary Herald’s George Johnson about the Milbury era. Here’s the summary on the front of ESPN.com’s NHL page:
The new coach and GM of the Islanders will have a quite the challenge: turn around a once-storied franchise that traded away players like Spezza and Bertuzzi. What a mess. It’s all thanks to Mike Milbury, writes George Johnson.
Here’s a snippet from the story:
He drafted shrewdly, and then inexplicably gave up on or gave away prospects that would help any team in hockey today—Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden, Bryan McCabe, Eric Brewer, Roberto Luongo, Raffi Torres, Jason Spezza and Todd Bertuzzi, to name a few.
Close, but no cigar. The Islanders didn’t draft Jason Spezza. They traded the pick the Senators used to get him (along with Zdeno Chara and Bill Muckalt) for Alexei Yashin.
Islanders fans really like to point out the missed Spezza pick a lot - but with the Islanders draft history, you can’t be sure they would have even taken him.
Traded picks shouldn’t be on any lists like that, there are too many ifs surrounding it - plus, there’s no need for it this time - just look at the list without Spezza, the point is still made.