Wisniewski – The view from Long Island

Here are some perspectives about the newest member of the Canadiens, James Wisniewski, from those who have followed his play this season with the Islanders.

From Arthur Staple, Newsday – “Two things are clear from this deal: 1) Garth Snow is already in full
future-planning mode, and 2) James Wisniewski was not going to re-sign
with the Isles given the chance.”

From Chris Botta, Islanderspointblank.com – “Since he won’t be asked to be the man in Montreal, Wisniewski – unable to
shoulder the load when Mark Streit was sidelined with a serious
shoulder injury – should be okay for the Habs.”

From BD Gallof,
– “James Wisniewski: point leader on the car
wreck on Long Island, yet also
with a booming -18 that gives the clear indicator that despite his use,
he is not meant for the top pairings. It means he was playing out of
his depth. He is and was not the 2nd coming of Aucoin…

“Isles got great
value here. Sorry to deflate some balloons here, but it
is nothing more than smart GMing. Get max value for a guy who did well
in a pinch, but still has severe and clear limitations and fit in the
longterm….Wiz will be a far better fit in Montreal, where he will be
used on the
powerplay and at the 4-5th man spot.”

Mike Hume, ESPN New York – “Defensive metrics are tricky to pin down and seldom tell an accurate
story, but Wisniewski’s +/- was a very suspect minus-18. Pretty
wretched. But considering he spent 70 more minutes on the ice than the
next closest Islander and his team allowed 3.3 goals per game, while
scoring just 2.3, that’s not as terrible as it could be. There are four
other skaters and a goalie out there with him after all. For his career,
Wisniewski’s +/- stands at plus-1, a figure that stood at plus-19
before he joined the Islanders.”

Dominik, Lighthouse Hockey – “Under two Islanders coaches this year, Wisniewski was seldom put out against top competition. Even still, his even strength play was
often…well ‘marked by curious decision-making’ is how I’d put it. It
may have been simply a matter of too much ice time hurting his game….That’s not to bash Wiz: He
obviously brings some things to the table, which is why many (including
me) were thrilled to get him from the discount bin a few months ago….Wiz is far from a Mark Streit — and that’s not his fault — but
his big shot was a PP threat that must somehow be replaced.”

John Panarese, Eyes On The Isles – “Personally, I think Wisniewski had a lot thrust upon him with the
injuries to Mark Streit and most of the other ‘veteran’ defensemen.  You
can only ask so much of a guy who is not accustom to, perhaps, having
to do it all.  Whether it is excuses or not, he demonstrated his moments
of brilliance out there, but in other instances, it was clear that the
load might have been too much for him.  The bottom line is he has a much
better situation for himself in Montreal, and the Islanders have lost a
veteran presence on the ice and in the locker room.  From my
perspective, I was really starting to like the guy and felt that things
would have gotten much better for him upon the return of Mark Streit.”

More from Arthur Staple, Newsday – “Now he has half a season plus the playoffs to make an impression in
Montreal, where the Canadiens are looking to fill the void left by the
absence of Andrei Markov.

the history, the tradition up there, 18,000 screaming diehards every
night,’ Wisniewski said. ‘I just have to do what I can to help the team
I’m with. Now, that’s the Montreal Canadiens.'”




  1. joeybarrie says:

    Gomez has 2 more points than Lacavalier…

    Gomez has 8 fewer points than Vanek and a higher minus, but look at Vanek’s team…

    Ilya Kovalchuk has 1 more point than Gomez…

    Gaborik has 4 more points than Gomez…

    Jason Spezza has 3 more points than Gomez…

    So let’s compare them… Vanek has 1 more point in his entire career in the playoffs than Gomez had last season. Lacavalier cannot compare to Gomez in the Playoffs, and what I mean by that is Gomez is more valuable. Kovalchuk in the Playoffs??? Nothing special. Gaborik? Has to play more than 30 games in a season to help his team get to the playoffs. Spezza is a good playoff player, so I can’t say anything there. Career wise, the difference between Spezza and Gomez is he won the Cup twice.

    As i said before many many times, It seems as if The team wins with Gomez and doesn’t without him. He is only one particular key to the puzzle, but he is a corner peice.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  2. ZepFan2 says:

    “Dustin Boyd has 9 goals in 6 games in Hamilton.

    Let’s have him center the second line and in Montreal and send Gomez down.”



    “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.”

    ~Serge Savard~

  3. SeriousFan09 says:

    1. True, we should see Subban-Hamrlik reunited and have Spacek-Wisniewski.

    2. C, veterans did not get the team going for an opponent they should have been working over for a series sweep.

    3. Power forward to step up and do the job, Pacioretty seems tentative and deferring to Gionta, Gomez too much when he should always be the net-prescence guy on the line while AK is just teasing us ATM.

    4. Hamrlik, he took on a ton of grunt work without complaint and did a strong enough job.

    5. Expecting Cammalleri to wake up soon, he’s due for a BIG streak.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  4. HabsFansince49 says:

    i read this above: Wiz is far from a Mark Streit — and that’s not his fault — but his big shot was a PP threat that must somehow be replaced.”  

    Good God! We gave away Mark Streit. Gotta love Montreal management.

    I don’t pretend to be an expert; just a die-hard Habs fan passing my opinion

  5. punkster says:

    1. True

    2. c (the vets couldn’t suck more than suck itself, but they sure do suck right now)

    3. A top 6 forward who can score…and score…and score.

    4. Halpern.

    5. It better be the “C” because that’s his job.


  6. HabsFansince49 says:

    I think the problem is much deeper, much deeper than some Wiz can fix. It is deeper than small players. I sense the players are no longer with Martin – his system doesn’t fit. The real issue is that it will not change. Gauthier perhaps did ok (remains to be seen) by getting Wiz but Gauthier cannot deal with the real issue – Martin. I suspect he can’t deal with it because he can’t see it.

    I don’t pretend to be an expert; just a die-hard Habs fan passing my opinion

  7. New says:

    I dunno. I think a lot of it is simply disappointment. (Not in you, but in the team:) There are some fans who snap at others and when they consider an arguement foolish think the counter point should be an insult rather than a fact. Not always, sometimes they insult and change the subject or question. The one thing about  HIO is it has as many opinions as hits so you are going to get upset people with the answer to the team issue du jour. Right after a bad game the percentage of upset fans is highest so you have a higher chance of finding a few insults.

    Your stuff is usually well thought and the questions interesting. All to say I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you. The players have to do the same thing: ignore the boo birds and stay on page.

  8. Everlasting1 says:

    Offering Koivu a contract was never an option? He’s two-fold better and cheaper.


    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  9. HNS says:

    I love when we get commentary from ESPN. They haven’t had hockey now for how long?????……and even when they did, their opinions could have found a home on any roll of toilet paper.

  10. shiram says:

    Didnt we go for Gomez for a lack of any other top line center at that time? Wasnt the team trying to go after Vinny Lecavalier, but he refused at the last minute, kinda forcing our hand in picking whatever was available?

  11. shiram says:

    1. true, should probably think of breaking up Spacek/Hamr
    2.none of the above, just about the whole team looked bad,
    3.Generating offence, but it seems to me that applies to all our 4 lines, so one player could not be the solution.
    4.I’ll take Halpern, his play has receded since then, but at the start of the season, he ad some decent offence going and was winning tons of faceoff.
    5.I’d very much like it if it was Gionta, him being the captain, it could definately inspire the rest of the team.

  12. SmartDog says:

    The Islanders have fans?


  13. Shiloh says:

    I didn’t say 5th – it could well be 1st. Why did we throw in anything at all? We should have acquired much more for taking that albatross of a contract off of Sather’s hands. And, my astonished young friend, you are not seeing the true comparison. Examine any player in the league, or two or three, whose salary adds up to $7.35 million – that’s who you compare Gomer to.

  14. SmartDog says:

    I think you have a point – I think Wiz will help.

    I’ve said this for a long time that we need more meanness to compete night after night otherwise the team will fall apart.   With MaxPac adding some size and Wiz adding some meanness, and PK
    back, maybe Pleks and Cami and Gionta won’t have to fight all the
    battles themselves.

    It’s ridiculous to ask small skilled players to compete with tough teams without physical support. Like anything else, stress at home, stress on the job – the more stress, the harder it is to keep your head up… I don’t like it but a couple of mean SOB’s will make hte Habs stronger.

  15. Bob_Sacamano says:

    Exactly the pairings I had in mind a minute after I read about the trade.

  16. OneTimer says:

    No, he’ll (hopefully) shoulder some of the workload from Spatch-Hamr-Gorges and thus improve the defense overall. That wasn’t too hard now was it 🙂

  17. GrimJim says:

    Cups, get it right, that’s 3000 empty bottles in Boone’s basement…

  18. Mr. Biter says:

    Seems like most Islander fans don’t like the trade so we may have come out ahead espically if he’s re-signed to replace some of our aging rear guards in the summer. But we still need a big winger who can score and drop the gloves.

  19. SmartDog says:


    1. T/F: With the addition of Wiz, the up and down play of Spac/Hamr and PK (hopefully) staying in the line-up Martin should re-think his defensive pairings. (Except Gill-Gorges?)

    2.Which, if any, is more responsible for the crappy product on the ice last night:

    a. PK, and the way PK has been handled has fragmented the team.

    b. Martin’s losing his grip and his ‘system’ is no longer working, 

    c. Veterans are just not performaing as veterans need to.

    3. With Wiz in the line-up it seems one need is solved (and hooray for a little meanness too). What’s our next biggest need?

    4. If there was a hero of the early part of the season it was Price… with Pleks perhaps not far behind.  Leaving out those two, pick a “third star” from the early season (the good part).

    5. Who (if anyone) WILL dramatically pick it up and help carry the team forward in January?



  20. Everlasting1 says:

    A screen name is not the same as a nickname. Besides, we’re all everlasting 🙂


    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  21. joeybarrie says:

    5th worst trade? A guy who helped lead us to the Conf Finals and a guy who helps lead this team to a league leading in PK, for Chris Higgins who is on his way to playing for every team in the NHL, and 3 guys who have a total of ZERO games played in the NHL.

    Hamstring the Franchise for the next 5 years? I mean are you even CLOSE to being realistic?

    Astonishing how people are blind to see whats going on, on the ice. Astonishing to see a guy who has the most points on our team in the last 7 or so games get bashed over guys like Gio 1 points in 5 games, Pleks 5 points in 10 games, and AK 5 points in 12 games. Gomez isn’t producing, he sucks. Gomez produces, he sucks.

    Well I am just glad the people running this team know more about professional hockey than the armchair gm’s gaining weight from eating their hot dogs, while yelling at their TV…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  22. Born in a Bad Year says:

    If you last more than four hours seek medical help.

  23. shiram says:

    He is 26, its not like he is a dinosaur.

  24. king ddd says:

    gomez have been playing decent lately, plus gomez alone cannot win games just beacuse he makes 7 million doesnt mean he is crosby



  25. Graves says:

    Yeah…I think you missed my point completely.

  26. danp says:

    The Habs played two months as a team – all the guys worked together and celebrated together. They look more like individuals this month. Perhaps the acquisition of Wisniewski will help bring them back together. At the very least, it shows the team that Gauthier is willing and able to move players.


  27. B says:

    Won’t Wisniewski taking a younger players spot make the “aging, crumbling defense” even older?

  28. king ddd says:

    the problem with our team is we are too small, i dont what it is gonna take for the management to get this. we are not gonna win a cup with the team we have, sure we can upset the likes of washington, pitts and boston in the playoffs, because all we have to do to win against pitts and the caps is shut down their superstar, and boston is basically our b*tch come play off times, but there comes a time where we would have to face philly and the rest is history.

    if i were the PG i would get two powerforwards, not necessairly a top 6 but a big bruiser who can score( at least 20-25 per season) who goes to the net and doesnt get intimitated. imo i think AK and pouliot can be trade baits, i mean i dont thinik we are gonna get any more from ak than what we have gotten so far. if we can get some one like clowe to play with plex and cammy and if can get another 3rd line player ala chris  niel , you would have 1 big/tough forward on each line( max pac has work to do but i wouldnt touch that line)



  29. SmartDog says:

    Gomez is also leading in plus-minus.  By leading I mean on the wrong end.  Even if I didn’t like Gomez before (and you do) he’s really stinking this year.  Nothing he does seems to work, the puck rarely goes in the net and often goes back the other way for a rush.


  30. joeybarrie says:

    Are you drunk? On drugs? I mean this can’t simply be your common sense???

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  31. OneTimer says:

    Sorry I disagree, I think our free-fall lately is due mostly to our aging, crumbling defense. Hope this guy’ll help.

  32. Shiloh says:

    See my first reaction below – but I also want to address the “Jaro-whining” that you “had to endure”. Poor baby! It must have been so hard on you. I hope you’re over it. The “Jaro-whining” was a lot easier to take for a few weeks than five years of unabashed Carey-love – no matter how he plays.

  33. SmartDog says:


    Thannks. You’re decent for a cat.


  34. keepthefaith says:

    Please pretty please dont go. As for last night, you were the only calling people stupid and telling them to go watch Star Trek when your argument about +/- was shot down. If you cant take a little razzing dont try give it out.

  35. Shiloh says:

    Such a pompous tone! The acquisition of Gomer was a horrific deal for the Habs. Whether it’s first or fifth-worse is of little comfort – it will hamstring the franchise for half a decade.

  36. SeriousFan09 says:

    PK was pretty good with Hamrlik in the playoffs and Hamrlik has mentored young defencemen before, he can’t quite do it like Markov would be able to do but he’s probably the best option, the Habs need to go to defence by committee this season to give their 35+ players a rest. I’d go with these pairings to see if they’d work out.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  37. SmartDog says:

    Name-calling should just be – boom – your post is gone.   But I don’t know why so many people feel the need to say “you’re a jerk” because you’ve said something they don’t agree with. 


  38. SmartDog says:

    Thanks.  Sanity and civility are getting rarer on here. 

    They should police it more – I think they need a bigger team of reviewers with clearer guidelines about what they can delete.  I’ve posted things when I’m really frustrated and been surprised they didn’t get deleted.

    You’re right about not being senstive. A couple of kids (or jerks) sitting at the keyboard firing shots at people means nothing. It does get frustrating though – like being in a bar full of yahoos when you’re trying to actually talk about something. 


  39. The Cat says:

    As a cat its hard for me to say this but dont leave Dog. Eventhough I still cant quite yet forgive you for this…


    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  40. SeriousFan09 says:

    Not even close to the worst trade in team history. This is exactly like the Jaro whining we had to suffer through all summer, the three worst trades in team history will remain Patrick Roy for spare parts, Chris Chelios for a worn-down Savard and Leclair + Desjardins for Recchi. I know Recchi was good, but Habs gave up 2-for-1, giving Philly the final piece of the Legion of Doom and a defencemen they couldn’t afford to drop.

    You want to sound like the expert with all the answers, don’t drag out garbage like that.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  41. B says:

    Lofty? That sounds a bit funny coming from someone who refers to himself as the Everlasting one 🙂

  42. shiram says:

    Gomez will not be sent down, not gonna happen, wether we want it or not, I personally dont want it. Boyd got 1 goal in 10 games, averaging about 8 minutes a game, while being a -6. You can like the guy all you want but he isnt second line material.

    Also about worst trade, are you forgetting #33?

  43. Everlasting1 says:

    Gomez stayz. He’s getting paid big bucks to play and should work to earn it. Win or lose. JM needs to gnash his teeth on him and try to elevate his game.


    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

     Don’t pollute the water.

  44. The Cat says:

    It bugs me how some people call others trolls. Some of these people get passed for good people because of their unquestionable loyalty but some of them are genuine a-holes.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  45. kempie says:

    Please let these pairings happen.

  46. scrowe21 says:

    Guess that shows how big of a difference there is between the AHL and NHL because Boyd was terrible. Looked like he had cinder blocks for skates, and always out of position, especially in the d zone.

  47. The Cat says:

    Ive defended Gomez a lot, I like the way he carries the puck and I shudder to think what the habs offense would be like if he werent there. But that lines got to get some result. Gomez and Gionta both have to get it going.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  48. munch17 says:

    I relly hope they play Wiz on the right – he’s a right-handed shot and put Spacek back on the left – where he blongs.

    PK – Hammer

    Wiz – Spacek

    Gorges – Gill

  49. Bill says:

    hard to know if the decline in conversation here is about age, because we don’t know old everyone is. I think it’s probably more due to the ever-increasin popularity of the site. More posters in general = more rude idiots, of all ages probably. I remember getting insulted and told off and hearing “you know nothing about The Game of Hockey” back in the old days, it’s worth noting.

    A few good posters have left for just the reason you cite. I assume they are really sensitive people who actually care what some fools say. I don’t care myself, easy to ignore.

  50. Everlasting1 says:

    Perhaps, but he’s in Mtl now and Wiz sounds um.. too lofty, a superstar’s nickname. Iski it is then 🙂



    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  51. ManApart says:

    Someone may have already brought it up, but Dustin Boyd has 9 goals in 6 games in Hamilton. Let’s have him center the second line and in Montreal and send Gomez down. Speaking of Gomey, he’s leading the team with a -7. Can you believe there are still 3 more years with this guy at a cap hit of 7.3 million? By the end of this, it may go down as the worst trade in Habs history.

  52. mrhabby says:

    he is a addition that the team needs period…..toughness, nasty streak, good shot from the point. playing on long island would make you pissed to….

  53. Everlasting1 says:

    I am a man of modest means..with only 2.


    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  54. Everlasting1 says:

    Ya beat me to it lol


    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  55. B says:

    He has had the nickname Wiz for a long time, it was not invented here. He has a non-profit clothing line called
    WIZ Wear to help support his WIZ Foundation. You can get your own
    WIZ Hat

  56. Everlasting1 says:

    Some might prefer Wiski 😛


    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  57. Guy-Guy-Guy says:

    Any guess at the new D pairing? Hammer-Spacek / Gill-PK / Picard-Wiz ?

  58. SmartDog says:

    Collectively these are pretty balanced I think.  They state his obvious positives, a few cautionary negatives, and an acknowlegemt that the negatives mostly come from not being up to the burden of carrying the Isles on D – a tough feat on a weak team with a lot of injuries.

    his even strength play was
    often…well ‘marked by curious decision-making’ is how I’d put it. It
    may have been simply a matter of too much ice time hurting his
    game….That’s not to bash Wiz: He
    obviously brings some things to the table, which is why many (including
    me) were thrilled to get him from the discount bin a few months
    ago….Wiz is far from a Mark Streit — and that’s not his fault — but
    his big shot was a PP threat that must somehow be replaced.

    And this (a fuller view) is what I was getting at last night when I was asking why he seems to have been traded a lot.

    Serisously, the way a couple of people jumped on me makes me want to leave HIO.  This place is getting suckier and suckier.  I may be wrong but I think it’s because it’s getting younger and younger.

    All in all I like the trade – especialy for the toughness which we need and the booming shot (also needed).  Wiz seems like the right kind of addition, even if he’s not “the 2nd coming of Mark Streit”. LOL


  59. The Cat says:

    How about a compromise and lets call him Whiskey?


    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  60. Everlasting1 says:

    Ribeiro comes to mind.


    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  61. ManApart says:

    Gainey will always have his Rivet trade lol! Doesn’t really make up for Ribeiro,Gomez and Tanguay though

  62. ManApart says:

    I still don’t get it, but Gainey’s policy to not talk contract until the end of the season was not smart in the least. All it did, was give the players the levarage of free agency.

  63. habitual says:

    … not so fast.  Here is an additional quote from Islanderspointblank:  … good value for Garth Snow considering a lot of people were beating The Wiz.

    Not exactly high praise.  This guy is ours now for the season, but he isn’t going to stop the free fall.

  64. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Wow, and my wife thinks 8 is too many.

  65. 24 Cups says:

    Point well taken.  They also could have signed him for less than he got in New York.

  66. 24 Cups says:

    I’ve been reading Keith Richards’ new autobiography.   How many guitars do you think he owns?

    If you guessed ‘somewhere around 3,000’ you’d be absolutely right, though the legendary axe man admits he only ever plays a couple dozen of them.

    3000 guitars sure is a lot.  That’s almost as many bottles of scotch that Mike Boone has hidden in his basement stash.  Could be a beast of a hangover if things don’t go well for the Habs down in Florida later this week.

  67. Graves says:

    Here’s one more way to put this trade in perspective: back in the day, Craig Rivet was traded for a first-rounder (Max Pacioretty) and Josh Gorges. For a fifth-rounder and a compensatory second, I think the Canadiens made out like bandits.

  68. Everlasting1 says:

    Wiz is the best the commentariat can come up with? How about Iski? lol


     “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  69. ManApart says:

    The loss of Streit is still being felt to this day. Management has gone after patch job after patch job and still haven’t replaced him. One of the worst decisions (and there have been many), in the Gainey-Gauthier era.

  70. db says:

    I wonder what its like being welcomed into a slumping room.  Are the guys still joking around?

  71. Timo says:

    Personally I think Wiesnewski will not make any difference in Mtl. Habs have 2 problems – weak tiny tikes forwards and the coach. D, as suspect as they are, can be quite effective with better support from forwards and some other The System.

  72. Gorges_the_great says:

    Off topic but I have to vent. Shelley gets 2 games for his sucker punch last night but Lucic gets nothing for his? The two incidents were so similar it was uncanny. On top of that, Lucic punched someone from behind a la Bertuzzi in the same (fortunately not as hard at Bertuzzi). And the Bruins’ reporters think the Habs are dirty?

  73. Hockey Socks says:

    Niclas Bergfors is on the trade block – I really think the Habs should make a push for this guy. He’ll be an improvement over AK46. Kristo and a draft pick?

  74. Hobie Hansen says:

    It’s very surprising that nobody has ripped apart the long Island or New York media like they do every time the Canadian media comments on something?  

    Maybe we should start importing journalists from Long Island to work for our newspapers and TV stations?


  75. JD_ says:

    Effin’ BJ Wizzy.

    The deal between PG and GS was done but couldn’t be consummated because of the holiday roster freeze.

    So, BJ’s goal on Sunday was effectively an own-goal.

    At least OB was good enough about it to wait a good number of games before scorin’ his and he certainly didn’t freakin’ celebrate it.

    BJ is a complete a-hole. I hate the guy already. Should be demoted to Hamilton.

    In other news, Garth wuz robbed.

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