Garth Snow and his staff draft players. Mike Milbury and his staff drafted players. The "Islanders" do not do anything. A lot of fans talk about "the Islanders", as if they're the Wizard of Oz, like a Godzilla-sized logo that walks around destroying toy train sets- alright, I've seen too many crappy movies.
The point is this: Last year, Garth Snow decided that four extra players were worth the difference between Luke Schenn and Josh Bailey. The jury is still out on that, but it can't be deemed "a failure, because the Islanders always screw everything up". There is no such thing as "the Islanders". There are people, and some are better than others at what they do. I like Tavares myself, but if their staff thinks either Duchene or Hedman is better, all I can say is, that's what THEY get paid to do. Time will tell if they are correct.
"The Islanders" were ONE person, for 10 years. The reason Milbury gets strung up by his balls over Parise, for example, is not because it's Parise, it's because he'd already spent eight years prior doing stupid shit like that. These guys have not proven to have failed yet. Snow has been the GM for three years, and he inherited a steaming pile of crap. Ten years of stupidity is far too much rope, but I think you almost HAVE to give someone five, especially considering what was here when he showed up.
My prediction is this: They will not trade the pick. To do that, he would have to get blown away with an Eric Lindros style, "I'll trade you the Stanley Cup for a rockhead" offer of monumental stupidity. Being that, as Bob McKenzie says, Tavares is not a "generational talent", I don't think you're going to see that next weekend. By the same token, this is not last year- the first pick in the draft is the first pick in the draft. I just can't see him trading down for a couple of middling draft choices this time.
That said, this year, so far he's done the right thing, because he's seeing if someone is going to go to the Bob Clarke/Mike Milbury level of stupidity to acquire Tavares, and still leave him with the opportunity to take a player he really likes. Why would you not do that? He's not going to draft a goalie when we already have one, and then trade our goalie and a solid power forward for crap. He's not going to trade a monster defenseman and the second pick in the draft for more crap. It's not going to happen, because "the Islanders" didn't do that. Mike Milbury did that, and I'm pretty sure that Garth Snow's driver's license doesn't say Mike Milbury on it. Give the guy a chance is all I'm saying.