For the last couple of days, and continuing for the next few days, I have been and will be looking at each team in the NHL and identifying a couple of players in particular that fit into one of two categories based on the once popular kids game, Chutes and Ladders. The players in the “chutes” category will be players who exceeded expectations last season, and will have a difficult time avoiding a slide in the coming season. The “ladder” category will consist of players who are ready to climb a level in their play and step up a notch. Feel free to brows back to see previous teams, and look for more teams in the coming days.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Chutes: Lubomir Visnovsky – With the departure of Mark Streit, Visnovsky becomes the top offensive threat from the blue line for the Islanders. He isn’t a spring chicken any more, and the role might be a little more than the 36 year old is capable of handling at this point in his career. There will be a lot of pressure on him to carry the load, especially on the power play.
Ladders: Peter Regin – Loads of potential for the Dane who will get a chance at a fresh start with the Islanders and fellow countryman and best friend Frans Nielsen. Health will always be a big concern for Regin, who has had a lot of shoulder injuries. If he can stay in decent physical shape, the opportunity to play behind John Tavares with talented offensive players might give him the break that he couldn’t take advantage of in Ottawa.