Look, Josh Ho-Sang isn’t a perfect player, but he makes the NHL more fun. And, if deployed properly, probably makes the New York Islanders a more dangerous team.
Apparently generating four points (all assists) in six regular-season games didn’t make up for Ho-Sang’s flaws, at least in the eyes of Islanders management, as they sent the gifted, outspoken forward to the AHL today.
For someone without a real horse in the Islanders’ race – i.e. someone who enjoys the sport as a whole – this is a real bummer, especially with the Isles otherwise trending up with three straight wins and victories in four of five contests.
It’s not as clear-cut when you consider things from the Islanders’ perspective, though (even if, personally, Ho-Sang seems like he’s worth the trouble that comes with some risky plays).
To some, this is another step in the maturation process, and the Isles’ winning ways – sometimes with the forward in street clothes – makes this a reasonable opportunity.
There are others in the middle: understanding the Islanders’ perspective, but frustrated that the franchise won’t try to tweak things to make the most of an interesting talent.
You can find the silver lining of situations like these, yet in some ways, such viewpoints feel like they lose sight of blurrier bigger pictures. It’s a lot like trying to rationalize Dylan Strome being demoted; yes, there are some reasons things might work out, but there are also some worrisome elements regarding how the Islanders view Ho-Sang and develop prospects, in general.
While Ho-Sang isn’t perfect, it could end up being quite frustrating for Islanders fans to watch more marginal players do very little for their team (but maybe slip under the radar compared to Ho-Sang).
Selfishly, it’s most clearly a loss from an entertainment standpoint, so here’s hoping we see Ho-Sang again soon.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.