The Islanders are guilty of a crime. The charge: The misuse of Anthony Beauvillier.
Once again, Beauvillier will sit and watch from afar, as Jack Capuano announced he'd be sticking with the same lineup for Wednesday's game against the Panthers. Beauvillier has not played a game since the calendar turned to 2017, and has appeared in 26 of the team's 38 games (68 percent).
What is this organization thinking? That's the line that keeps racing through my head, along with others that are littered with words that SNY probably wouldn't take too kindly to be dropping in this space. What is the point of carrying the 19-year-old for an entire season, burning a year of his entry-level contract in the process, to have him watch from the press box?
Of all the missteps in the last year -- from deciding Kyle Okposo wasn't worth signing long-term to keeping three goaltenders at the expense of P.A. Parenteau and everything else in between -- this strikes me as the most egregious. Mostly because it feels like a disregard to the future of the organization. It reeks of a move made by a desperate coach, propped up by a desperate general manager, that flies in the face of all logic and reason.
The Islanders are not making the playoffs. They essentially assured themselves of that when they laid two massive eggs this past weekend against the two worst teams in the National Hockey League. So what is the sense of keeping a player who is undoubtedly part of both this team's short and long term future in order to keep trotting out guy like Jason Chimera?
Isles fans are ready to crawl out of their skin, and for good reason. Just a few seasons back, it seemed like this same thing happened to another one of the team's first round picks, Nino Niederreiter. Some fans were quick to take the organization to task on the start-and-stop way they promoted Nino, then left him saddled on the third and fourth line with linemates like the far past their primes Jay Pandolfo and Marty Reasoner. But Garth got a pass, at least from me, because Nino never really helped his cause here by being outspoken at a time in his career where I felt like he needed to hold his cards a little closer to his vest.
Maybe I was wrong. In fact, it feels like I was dead wrong.
It's not hard to figure out the common denominator here. I will grant the organization that every player's case is different, and they all need different things in their development. But from the outside looking in, when it comes to promoting young players, it certainly appears the Islanders can't seem to get out of their own way. And in a season where all there is to do is look toward the future, that's the most frustrating aspect of it all.