Thoughts on 2008: Bill Guerin

TheDriveForFive's picture

When Bill Guerin signed with the Islanders, I was expecting him to add another 30-goal season to his resume. I was expecting him to score in the neighborhood of 55-65 points and be a leader on this team. A team that needed much more than an injection of blood and sweat, rather, it needed a bona fide leader. Unfortunately, while he was able to be the leader the team needed in the locker room, his performance this season proved that he is no longer a first line talent and is instead winding down a successful NHL career on Long Island.

Or did it?

This guy has me so confused. There were so many times when I thought he was going to break out and be the leader on the ice that the team needed. However, for a variety of reasons, that just never happened. It’s not all his fault though. I think some of it has to do with the inconsistency of Ruslan Fedotenko and Mike Comrie. If he was playing with players who were a little more consistent, I think he would have had a better season.

Despite that though, it’s kind of hard to argue against 227 shots and only 23 goals. The season before when he lit the lamp 36 times, he only had 225 shots. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that either he was off his game or he was peppering the net with shots to make up for not getting where he could have been if he had better linemates. Because of this, for the life of me, I don’t know what to make out of him.

However, if the Islanders continue the youth movement as planned, I expect a guy like Guerin to have another 20-25 goal season next year. He’s not a guy that takes over games and needs to be surrounded by players that give him space in order to be truly effective. Nothing against Comrie or Kyle Okposo, but they’re not those guys. And in the case of Okposo, he’s not that player, yet. All Guerin can do in this situation is pad his career stats and be the leader these young kids need him to be. If he can do that, then I could forgive him for scoring 25 goals a season at 35 goals a year money.

But if the Islanders go out and decide to get a number one center, rather than develop one, I think that Guerin will probably benefit the most. I still think that he’s a more than capable winger who can score 30 goals a season, but like I said, he needs to have the right pieces around him.

At this point of the offseason though, it remains to be seen who that could be, prompting me to think that he’ll be.