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Noah Dobson Needs A Fresh Start Somewhere Else

Noah Dobson
(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Noah Dobson Needs A Fresh Start Somewhere Else

The Noah Dobson situation on Long Island needs some explaining. Fresh start is a harsh term for some, but not here.

The 23-year-old is currently on a bridge deal that pays him $4 million a season until 2025, according to Spotrac. He put up 100 points in 158 games during the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 seasons. There was once a time when I believed he was the answer on the blue line for the Isles and has a future as a star defenseman.

Now 10 months later, I can say he is not the answer. You’ll soon see why that is the case. I don’t think anyone will be able to fill the void that Lou Lamoriello created by giving Devon Toews away for nothing. For reference, the Stanley Cup winner racked up 107 points in 146 games over the last two seasons as the No. 2 defenseman behind future Hall of Famer Cale Makar.

If Lamoriello played his cards right, he could’ve had a Top 4 of Toews and Ryan Pulock on the first pair to go with Adam Pelech and Dobson on the second. If you put Alex Romanov and Scott Mayfield on the third pair, then that’s a Stanley Cup-caliber defense if you ask me. Instead, we have a puzzle with multiple pieces missing and a very expensive question mark on the horizon.

More Cons Than Pros?

Now comes the elephant in the room. As offensively gifted as he is, Noah Dobson is a complete liability on his own end. Many Islanders fans have taken to X/Twitter over the last few months and let him hear it.

Whether it’s lapses in concentration, a lack of physicality or otherwise, he has cost this team many goals in important spots. Furthermore, while those 100 points in 158 games sound amazing, they are mostly empty stats. The Islanders finished with the 30th-ranked powerplay last season, and he was one of the main quarterbacks on the back end.

See a trend here? He’s getting points, yes, but not due to elite skating or playmaking.

The obvious response to this as an athlete is to work even harder and improve your game to limit these mistakes. I do not doubt that Dobson has trained a lot this Summer and worked to build on his game. However, before Opening Night could even finish, he gave us another one. Look at the clueless error that caused the Buffalo Sabres to tie the game on Saturday:

If he does anything except for letting the puck get past his stick, this is not a goal. Some will call it bad luck, but I am not making any more excuses. At this point, Lou Lamoriello should trade Dobson before he even thinks about giving him a long-term extension.

It would set the team back for years if a deal was made in this market. Buffalo handed out a Brinks truck for Owen Power after only 87 games of NHL experience. I’m not sure I would go to another Islanders game if they paid Dobson over $8 million a season.

Thin Skin?

Here’s the most glaring part of all of this: He lets the fans get to him! It was not even in a fun way like Kevin Durant. Yesterday, Dobson blocked dozens of his critics on X before deleting his account entirely. The remarks were nothing personal for anyone asking. They mostly revolved around the same idea: He needs to improve defensively and stop making such stupid mistakes!

New York Post reporter Ethan Sears claimed his account was hacked. However, many do not believe that to be the case. See for yourself:

It’s an unfortunate situation for Noah Dobson. A talented NHL-er whose deficiencies can rub fans the wrong way and, in turn, rub him the wrong way with criticism. But hey, he would be a great Erik Karlsson replacement in San Jose, just saying!


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