I have been quiet on this for a long time, but it is finally time to ask the question:
WHAT DID MATT DONOVAN DO TO BE STUCK ON THE BENCH ALL THIS TIME????
I have been a little biased on Matt for the past few years. It started when I got a re-tweet from a lady named Kathryn Donovan. Yes, she is Matt’s Mom.
I became quick friends with her from the minute we started talking. She is such a PROUD hockey mom. Her and her husband Larry are huge hockey parents, who spent many an early morning driving their son to practices and games all throughout Oklahoma and the neighboring states. Matt went into the US hockey development program, and then went to the University of Denver. Matt then won a gold medal at the World Junior Championships in Saskatchewan.
The Islanders drafted him, and after some time in the AHL, became a regular last season. He had his good games, and his bad games, but improved throughout the season and played a strong defense. I know that when I met his mom in Dallas last season, they were (and still are) so proud of him.
Now – look at this season. He makes the team, but other than just nine games this season, he has been sitting out. With his age of just 24, this (the press box) is not the place for this developing player to be sitting. What has he done to deserve this?
I can understand that come playoff time, is this was the case, he would be a member of the “Black Aces” – helping the team to get ready for the next game, as well as be ready should an injury or special situation arise that the team needs his services.
To be truthful, I think that Garth has done such a great job with this hockey club. The moves that he made before the start of the season has redeemed his stature from the dawning of his run as the General Manager. He has shown that he cares for the club, and is looking for players with character as opposed to just a good player on the ice. However, I feel that he is misplaying Matt Donovan dramatically, and is stunting his growth as a professional. I totally understand why it is being done; it is due to the fact that he is going to be exposed to a ‘waiver’ status, and he would definitely be plucked by another team, as a result of it.
He is too good of a commodity to be held by the Islanders and not be selected by another team.
But you know what, you need to play him. I understand that he has not seem any game action in quite a long time, and with the level of play that this team has been involved with, it may be quite a tough decision, but it is a scenario that he is dealing with, with a considerable amount of class. Again, a result of the fabulous upbringing that he had from his Oklahoma parents.
I am seriously hoping that nothing happens to him, and he gets some playing time along this great ride that the team is having right now. He totally deserves it, for being the top soldier that he has been. I know that he works incredibly hard in practice, and shows the determination and passion that an NHL player must possess in order to be a difference for his team. Again, thanks to Larry and Kathryn, for being there for their children. Katelyn is Matt’s sister and is a teacher and a great young woman. The Donovan’s did a great job raising their two children and should be commended for their work.
Tomorrow is the trade deadline – a day that most Canadians take off as a public holiday. It is a day that moves a great number of players from one team to another. In the first few days prior to the deadline, many a player has moved; teams have improved themselves. The Rangers have made two deals in the last 24 hours. We all, in Islander nation are wondering if Garth is going to move someone to make a particular situation better. Will he move an extra asset to get the type of player that the Islanders need to move ahead in the upper echelons of the National Hockey League.
The big question to me – is whether number 46 will still be an Islanders come tomorrow at 3PM Eastern time? I hope so – and I hope that he will get some precious playing time that he deserves. He works so hard in practice, and I really feel that he really should get the chance to wear our home crest proudly in the last few games of the season. The next game is on Tuesday in Dallas, Texas; which is only a three hour drive from Oklahoma City, the Donovan’s home. Maybe Jack will give Matt the opportunity to play in front of his family and friends. His attitude, demeanor and his passion for the game is a definite plus for him, and he deserves the chance.
C’mon Cappy and Garth – give number 46 the slot in the lineup!