Sunday Afternoon Discusson: Did The Islanders Make The Wrong Decision Sending Down Ryan Strome?

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After a hot start to 2014, the New York Islanders find themselves spiraling again. As soon as Long Island's hockey team played itself back into playoff contention, they find themselves on another five-game winless streak, earning one point in the standings since their 6-4 victory on January 21.

(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
It's disheartening for Isles fans, especially after watching the team claw their way back into the playoff picture. It's troubling for fans because the team continuously falls back into the same, awful mistakes without addressing any of them. The Islanders seem to stick with what isn't working, while mixing themselves up when they are. 
Exhibit A: Ryan Strome.
Strome, the Islanders 5th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, joined the team for exactly one month. That month was the best month the Islanders have had since April 2013 - a month that took the Islanders to the 2013 NHL Playoffs, and a month that would need to be replicated over-and-over again if the Islanders wanted to sniff the postseason in 2014.
The Islanders prospect was returned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers after a 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on January 14.
Did the Islanders make the wrong decision?

We knew the intent: the Islanders wanted Strome to play during the Olympic Break. In order to do so, Strome couldn't play in more than fifteen of the team's twenty games leading up to the Sochi Games. Strome had already played in eight. 
Unfortunately, this came right in the midst of the team's best play, in an extremely crucial moment, all season. 
After winning three games over a twenty-one game stretch, the Islanders inserted Strome into their lineup and things started looking up. The Islanders earned points in eleven of their next fifteen games (9-4-2), but the loss to the Panthers snapped a four-game winning streak, which was apparently the last straw.
The Islanders won three of their next four games without Strome, but find themselves with a 3-5-1 record since sending him back to the AHL.
So, yes, I think it was the wrong decision to return Strome to Bridgeport. While the development of the team's prospects are important, was it worth six extra games? Was getting Strome six games at the AHL level worth breaking up team chemistry? How about removing a true scoring threat from the lineup? 
Strome wasn't lighting up the NHL (1-2-3 in 15 games), but as many other rookies have shown this season, it takes a little time to flick the switch on. Ryan made the Islanders a better team, and while in playoff contention, the Islanders made themselves worse.
Wrong decision, Isles.
What do you think, Isles fans? Right or wrong decision?



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