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. LA Loyalist says:

    then what was the genius plan? A team of smurfs who don’t scare anyone?

    There are 2 reasons we got to the ECF. Cammy and a guy named Halak. That was 90% of it.

    Explain to me (and no one has, in the year + that i’ve been asking) the conceptual structure of this team. You can’t because there isn’t one.

    it’s like that car in the Johnny Cash song, “I got a 56, 57, 58… automobile. I built her one part at a time…” 

    There was no plan, and Wiz is the first sign of a plan that we’ve seen that makes any freaking sense.

    We’re what? 2 and 8 in our last 10? Wake up and smell the road apples. Not good enough, not anywhere close to good enough.




  2. LA Loyalist says:

    Hindsight is of course 20/20, but what Gainey should have done, if the market wasn’t there for what we needed, is stock-piled draft picks and waited and then Sam-Pollack’d other GMs in trouble. Gainey had all the brains and experience to do that.

    And he could have said to us impatient fans: We want the 25th cup: I’m not doing a patch job, I’m going to re-build this team (and the underlying system) properly and balanced – I’m going to balance size, scoring, offense, defense and dollars. I’m going to practice risk management and not put us in a situation where 1 player can hang us up. I want 5 or 6 20 goal scorers, I want guys who show up every night and who are willing to bleed as much as is necessary to win a Stanley Cup.

    There was a window when Gainey had the credibility and personal capital and we would all have said “Yes, Sir!” myself included.

    What happened instead was a combination of people letting him down, his own bad judgements, some bad luck (Markov’s terrible injury history)… his own personal distractions, maybe the 100th anniversary thing made him feel we had to move faster… maybe there is stuff we don’t even know about the Koivu/Kovalev team that alternated brilliance and train wreck and made us all insane.

    But the solution was not the 3 smurfs, of whom only Cammy is great. Gomez we all know about and Gionta has disappeared.

    I really hope Gainey writes a book one day and explains all this because my head hurts when we suck like this. 

  3. HabFanSince72 says:

    It’s not the end of the world.

    We’re slumping ’cause all our players are having trouble.

    It’ll turn around.

  4. StevieRay says:

    he was gliding for 30 yards ….

  5. LA Loyalist says:

    There was a big expose on Ducks fan site that Selanne is a terrible bowler. Koivu probably didn’t know that, just like Gainey didn’t now about baking bread… ok, where am I going with this?

  6. LA Loyalist says:

    Yeah it would be painful to eat that money. But I think it would enable the team mentally and conceptually to move forward to a more balanced model of skill and size and talent distribution.

    This is only an example, but a situation where you have a good finisher like Kessel, and a big guy to dig out the puck, and just need a Gomez to distribute it, that might be where Gomez could be successful.

    The deal I would do personally, right now, if I were king? Gionta, Gomez and anyone else they wanted back to Jersey except for Price, Plex, PK  and Gorges for Kovalchuk. He is an utter stud, I’ve seen him play live and on a skating team like habs oh my god. New Jersey just have no freaking clue what to do with him and it’s sad, sad, sad – though Lemaire is a thousand times smarter than Maclean and I think he will figure it out.

    I honestly don’t know if Gomez is not trying/caring, trying too hard, if we’ve not put the right guys with him, if he’s just done… it’s just inarguable that right here, right now, it’s bad and limiting our options.

    If he cost $3/$4 m, and dedicated himself to being the modern day Carbo/Gainey/Mike Keane in our end, then amen, I would be fine with the guy. But $8 million bucks in the cap era for a guy who’s neither fish nor fowl (insert joke here) I just bang my head on the floor.

    As other guys have posted, we could have been sitting here with Plex, Koivu, Domenic Moore, Halpern down the middle and money for a big winger. We’d have balanced scoring and puck distribution and character guys who are good in both ends of the rink. But we are stuck, stuck, stuck… 

    The only cheerful thing right now is that with the Wiz deal it looks like PG is recognizing the re-balancing that needs to be done, just like in a portfolio. He has from now until the trade deadline to re-shape us into a playoff-style team.

  7. Exit716 says:

    You should just think Gomez is wearing Yvon Lambert’s jersey instead.

  8. larisalapointe says:


    Well LA Man at least you tried and didn’t skip out like The Rebel Without a Clue, er, Cause.

    Where is your detailed spreadsheet in respect to Cap considerations for the next 1-5 years? Being GM is all about the details and boring finances as well. You would need to supply names and salaries, and make sure they all fit, provided you even could get these guys. You would also have to supply a scouting report. What is your plan B?  C?  D?, etc..


    Wiz had me at his Mr. Freezie gesture to Sean Avery

  9. smiler2729 says:

    If me and a bunch of other nerds were having a party, nobody’d want to come BUT if we got Pamela Anderson to come, then probably a couple of her hot friends would come too.

    The Habs are the nerds, Gomez was Pam and Gio & Cammy are the hot friends… I like Pam and all but I’d have preferred Diane Lane.

  10. Shiloh says:

    You’ve got to be Nahlsy – no one else is that obnoxious.

  11. spos080808 says:


    Post of the year.

    Why is this person not a GM.


  12. LA Loyalist says:

    1. Announce that we’re NOT winning The Stanley Cup in June, or May, for that matter.

    2. Fire Martin, replace him with Captain Kirk. He can name his own assistants with the proviso that we have to have a defence coach and a special teams coach. 

    2. Sit Gomez’s ass on the bench for the rest of his contract until he begs to go to Switzerland or the KHL.

    3. Trade whomever we can trade at the deadline for draft picks except Price, PK, Gorges and Plex (leaving Markov out of the picture as he’s injured. Re-sign Wiz if he looks good over the next few months.

    4. Rebuild the team allowing for future assets to come in gradually (Tinardi for example, make sure we have a Vet in front of him with a year or two left in the tank so he’s not carrying all the water). If we really like a small player (like Desharnais for eg) we go out and make sure we have a big nasty winger to watch his back).

    We build from the goal out, strong D, a team that skates hard every night, focuses on the quick transition game and ideally has 5 or 6 20 goal scorers and a killer power play and PK. Most important is competitive spirit and character. Guys that HATE TO LOSE – even in Long Island in front of 1,200 people. Pride.

    It will not be easy because our cupboard is pretty bare. 

    Go ahead and discuss. 

  13. spos080808 says:


    Thanks for the laugh.

    I prove you wrong and that is what you say. HAHAHAHAHA.

    So sad.

    I love making you Habs haters look like absolute morons.

    The reason why I said find a list of top free agents who sign here, is because they DO NOT!

    Owned like usual Tony.

  14. spos080808 says:

    How dare Gainey make us the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

    And after that 2nd round loss, how dare Gainey bring back the entire team and add a top 6 forward and the muscle that everyone said the team needed.

    What the hell was Gainey doing. My God, hes awful. Adding players to a team that just was the #1 seed.

    My God, fire him, hang him, kill him. Death to Gainey. Death to Gainey.

  15. ctony says:

    do your own reasearch, i have a life, don’t work for you and don’t owe you anything – let alone an apology for your conjectures. happy new year, “buddy”

  16. spos080808 says:

    Neither player was going to get that kind of money? Really?

    You do know the LEafs were offering Cammalleri a big deal right?

    You do know the Habs offered Briere, Ryan Smyth, Shanahan big deals before but they all said no? Why did they say no if it was more money longer years.

    You do not think Gionta, was going to get 5/5.5 from a team? Really?

    Give me a break but you argument is so awful, it actually made me laugh.

    I asked someone else, give me a list of the better free agents, the Gionta’s/Cammalleri’s who have signed with Montreal as a free agent (not resigned) in the last, say 15 years. Go give me that list and you will come back, crawling on all 4s, apologizing, bc the facts will be right in front of your face, that players of the upper skill level do not sign here plain and simple.

    Oh wait, but two did in the offseason. Oh and Scotty was just traded here. Interesting.

    BUt you are right, it was because the Habs offered insane contracts to them. Uh huh.


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