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Jack Capuano Out as Islanders Head Coach

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The worst team in the Eastern Conference made a major change yesterday when they fired head coach Jack Capuano.  This coming just one season after Capuano led the Islanders to their first playoff series win since 1993.  The Islanders were expected to compete in the playoffs again this year, but they have fallen miles short of that goal.  With over half the season complete, New York currently sits dead last in the Eastern Conference with 42 points.  It was obvious changes were going to be made and firing the coach may just be the beginning of a huge shake up in New York.

There was no way Capuano was going to survive a season as disastrous as this one, but this really wasn't his fault.  The Islanders lost three key players this offseason, and did not really replace any of them.  Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, and Matt Martin all left in free agency.  The Islanders only major signing was left wing Andrew Ladd, who has been atrocious this year.  Ladd was brought in to play on the top line with John Tavares and score a ton of goals.  Unfortunately, Ladd has been a major disappointment and only has 8 goals and 4 assists on the season.  The Islanders sub-par roster is more of a reflection on the GM than the coach, and that is where I think more blame should be placed.

General Manager Garth Snow has done a terrible job with this team.  He never should have let three important forwards walk away in free agency, and he at least should of found adequate replacements for them.  The Islanders fourth line is nothing like it used to be without Matt Martin, they don't have a good second line center without Frans Nielsen, and they are starved for goals without Kyle Okposo.  This team is in shambles and it's mostly due to the GM.  He also gave ridiculous contracts to fourth liners Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck.  Snow is not setting this team up to win now, or win in the future.  Unless major changes are made to the roster, this team is going nowhere.  The coach is always the first person to get fired, but unless Garth Snow can quickly turn things around in New York, he should be on the chopping block as well.  

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10 Worst Boston Bruins Draft Picks of the Last 10 Years

Drafting is one of the hardest things to do in professional sports because there's no way to really know if someone is going to be a good player or not.  Every team makes bad draft picks from time to time, it's just a part of sports.  However, over the past decade, it seems the Boston Bruins have been particularly bad at drafting, which has set the team back greatly.  Here I look at the 10 worst draft picks by the Bruins in the last 10 years.  This goes from the 2006 draft to the 2016 draft.  Also, it's based on expectations, the higher the pick, the higher the expectations.  

10.  Joe Colborne, 16th overall in 2008

When the Bruins drafted Joe Colborne in the 1st round of the 2008 draft, they thought they were getting a big forward that would develop into a solid two-way player.  Unfortunately, that never happened.  Colborne never played a game for the Boston Bruins, and didn't even last a full season in Providence, Boston's AHL team.  In 2010-11, after 55 games with the Providence Bruins, Colborne had just 12 goals, 26 points, and was -16.  This prompted the Bruins to involve him in a trade to Toronto for Tomas Kaberle.  Since leaving the Bruins, Colborne has bounced around the league and has played games for Toronto, Calgary, and Colorado.  While Colborne has stuck around the NHL, he certainly has not lived up to the expectations of a first round pick.  In 264 career games he has just 110 points and a career -30 rating.  The Bruins were certainly hoping for a lot more from such a high draft pick.

Notable players taken shortly after Colborne:  Luca Sbisa, Michael Del Zotto, and Jordan Eberle

9.  Ryan Button, 86th overall in 2009

When the Bruins spent their third round pick in 2009 on defenseman Ryan Button, they hoped he would at least have a chance of the making the NHL.  They were very wrong.  Button was a total bust for the Bruins, and actually spent for time in the ECHL than AHL.  He never came close to playing in Boston.  Button bounced between the AHL and ECHL for a number of years before leaving for Europe.  Button has spent the last 3 seasons in the German elite league DEL, where he has been fairly successful.  Still, Button was a huge bust for the Bruins, playing in zero NHL games.  Certainly not what Boston was hoping for from a 3rd round pick.

Notable players taken shortly after Button:  Casey Cizikas, David Savard, and Mattias Ekholm

8.  Anthony Camara, 81st overall in 2011

The Boston Bruins took Anthony Camara in the third round of the 2011 draft with the hopes that he would develop into a power forward that could at least play on the 4th line in Boston.  He was supposed to be a guy that could hit, fight, kill penalties, and add a little bit of offense.  He turned out to be pretty bad at all of those things.  Camara spent 3 seasons with the Providence Bruins and progressively got worse every year.  He never touched NHL ice.  In 150 games with Providence, Camara scored just 12 goals and 35 points, plus he never had more than 54 penalty minutes.  Camara turned out to be nothing like the Bruins thought he would be, and was traded last season.  He has spent most of this season in the ECHL, playing in just 2 AHL games.  At the time he was drafted, Camara seemed to be the perfect Boston Bruin, but he turned out to be a total waste of a pick.

Notable players taken shortly after Camara:  Nick Shore, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Johnny Gaudreau

7.  Yuri Alexandrov, 37th overall in 2006 

You never know what is going to happen when you draft a Russian player, and the Bruins took a big chance when they drafted Yuri Alexandrov in the second round of the 2006 draft.  Their risk did not pay off as Alexandrov never touched NHL ice and played just one season with the Providence Bruins before returning to Russia.  Alexandrov's only season in North America was in 2010-11 when he played 66 games for the Providence Bruins.  He went back to the KHL after that season and has played there ever since.  Boston gambled and lost by picking Alexandrov with such a high pick.

Notable players taken shortly after Alexandrov:  Nikolay Kulemin, Jeff Petry, and Shawn Matthias

6.  Jordan Caron, 25th overall in 2009 

One of the few people on this list to spend substantial time in Boston, Jordan Caron was still a huge bust for the Bruins.  Caron was supposed to be a big power forward with a lot of offensive upside for the Bruins.  Unfortunately he never developed into a good player and still plays in the AHL.  Caron bounced between Providence and Boston for most of his career with the Bruins, and eventually was traded away.  Not the fate the Bruins had hoped for when they took him in the first round.  Caron has played 157 NHL games, but has just 28 career points and will likely never see NHL ice again.

Notable players taken shortly after Caron:  Kyle Palmieri, Ryan O'Reilly, and Kyle Clifford

5.  Maxime Sauve, 47th overall in 2008

Maxime Sauve was supposed to be a highly skilled forward coming out of the QMJHL, and the Bruins thought he would develop into a top six NHL forward.  Sauve played 158 games with the Providence Bruins, but only put up moderate offensive numbers.  He got to play one game in Boston in 2011-12, but that was it.  He never became the point producer he was supposed to, and has bounced around the AHL, ECHL, and Europe for the last few years.  The Bruins were hoping for a lot more with their 2nd round pick.

Notable players taken shortly after Sauve:  Derek Stepan, Travis Hamonic, and Marco Scandella

4.  Alexander Khokhlachev, 40th overall in 2011

Another Russian and another bad 2nd round pick.  Much like Sauve, Khokhlachev was a highly skilled forward taken in the second round that was supposed to develop into an NHL point producer.  He never did.  Khokhlachev spent a number of years in Providence and put up great numbers.  In 197 games, he scored 171 points, mostly assists.  Unfortunately for the Bruins and Khokhlachev, those numbers never translated to the NHL, and in 9 NHL games, he had zero points.  Knowing his time as a Bruin was up after last season, Khokhlachev returned to Russia this year.  He is just another bad second round pick by the Bruins.

Notable players taken shortly after Khokhlachev:  Brandon Saad, Brett Ritchie, and Joel Edmundson

3.  Jared Knight, 32nd overall in 2010

The list of atrocious second round picks continues for the Bruins with Jared Knight.  After a very successful career in juniors, Knight was supposed to be goal scoring winger for the Bruins.  Unfortunately, he was putrid for the Providence Bruins and never played a game in the NHL.  In 107 games with Providence, Knight scored just 7 goals and 27 points.  Of all the bad second round picks, Knight was by far the worst.  He was absolutely abysmal.  The Bruins finally got rid of him in 2015 and he now plays in Denmark.  Knight was a big miss for the Bruins.

Notable players taken shortly after Knight:  Alex Petrovic, Justin Faulk, and Devante Smith-Pelly

2.  Malcom Subban, 24th overall in 2012

We're finally done with bad second round picks and now we have a terrible first round pick.  Rather than help an aging defense, Bruin's management saw it fit to draft a goalie with their first round pick in 2012.  Big mistake!  Malcolm Subban has been a disaster for the Bruins and can't even win the starting job in the AHL.  Subban has never won more than 16 games in the AHL and never been the starter for an entire season.  This season he has been abysmal, and his career as a Bruin appears to be coming to an end.  He has played two NHL games and lost both, while posting a 5.81 goals against average.  Subban will not be resigned after this season and likely won't be picked up by another team.  Europe may be his only option after his career with the Bruins.

Notable players taken shortly after Subban:  Brendan Gaunce, Brady Skjei, and Tanner Pearson 

1.  Zach Hamill, 8th overall in 2007

Zach Hamill is by far the worst Bruins draft pick of the last decade.  A top ten pick is expected to be not only an NHL player, but a quality NHL player.  Hamill turned out to be neither.  He played 256 games for the Providence Bruins, putting up 139 points.  Those are not good numbers for a top ten draft pick, and his NHL numbers are even worse.  Hamill only played in 20 games for Boston and scored 0 goals and 4 assists.  Those 20 games were 20 too many.  Since leaving the Bruins in 2012, Hamill bounced around the AHL for a few years, and is now bouncing around Europe.  He is one of the worst Bruin's picks in the team's history.  What a waste of a pick that should be spent on a future star.

Notable players taken shortly after Hamill:  Logan Couture, Ryan McDonagh, and Kevin Shattenkirk

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Matt Martin Making His Presence Known in Toronto

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Toronto Maple Leafs were one of the softest teams in the NHL.  They had just 10 fights on the season, good for 28th in the league.  Their leading fighter was Dion Phaneuf with 3 fights.  Despite the NHL's turn away from toughness towards speed and skill, Toronto knew they had to get tougher this season.

Toronto has a ton of young, skilled players, and they needed someone to protect those players and provide energy.  This offseason, they fulfilled that need by signing Matt Martin to a 4 year, $10 million dollar contract.  So far this season, Matt Martin has done exactly what you would expect from a quality fourth liner.  

Martin's offensive numbers have dipped this year, he only has four points, but Toronto is not even at the halfway point of their season.  He will probably get to 10-12 points which is normal for him.  Despite the low point totals, Martin is still a plus player, so he's not out there for goals against.  Physically, Martin has been everything Toronto could have wanted and more.  Through 39 games, Martin has 146 hits, good for second in the NHL.  He also has 9 fights, which is almost as many as the entire Maple Leafs team last year.  This guy has delivered in Toronto.

If Martin continues at the pace he at right now, he is going to finish the season with about 10 points, 300 hits, 18 fights, and 160 penalty minutes.  This is great stuff for a fourth liner in the modern NHL.  Led by Martin, the Maple Leafs as a team are much tougher this year.  They already have 17 fights on the year and are on pace for over 30, which is three times as many as last year.  They also have a good chance to make the playoffs if they keep playing at the level they are right now.  Overall, this season has been very good for the Maple Leafs so far.  Matt Martin has also been very good for the Maple Leafs so far.  He has certainly been the physical presence Toronto wanted when they signed him.   

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