New York Islanders

Adam, Adam, where art thou Adam? Exploring the mysterious disappearance of New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech.

By Justin Weiss

One of the peculiarities surrounding the New York Islanders‘ first round playoff series against the Florida Panthers is the disappearance of defenseman Adam Pelech.

No, seriously, nobody has addressed the whereabouts of the rookie blueliner. After being sidelined with thoracic outlet syndrome for much of the second half of the regular season, he returned to Brooklyn for the team’s final two games — just to be shunned by the beat writer, the announcing crew and the coaching staff.

With Ryan Pulock seemingly out for the remainder of the series, one has to wonder why Pelech’s name hasn’t been brought up.

Only one Isles writer has explored Pelech’s status. Andy Graziano discussed the absence of Pelech in a string of tweets on Friday morning:

According to Graziano, the Isles have been shying away from playing Pelech because of concerns such as a lack of playing time, a lack of experience and a lack of special teams prowess.

But as @bsrisles1971 correctly noted, some of these reasons are highly questionable. It’s hard to make the case that Židlický has been a threat on the power play. He hasn’t released his slapshot, and isn’t the puck-moving defenseman he once was.

Židlický isn’t exactly a shutdown guy. Neither is Pelech, but at least he has an extremely high ceiling and a pair of fresh feet. It’s cool that Židlický has a bevy of experience,  but Pelech is a professional who can be placed on the third pairing and given limited playing time.

Pelech is a big, physical player who displayed plenty of poise during his brief stint in the big leagues. He is a left shot, which means that it would be a bit of a challenge for him to fit in, but although Židlický improved as the season wore on, he’d be an instant upgrade.

While Židlický is blatantly a better fit than Brian Strait, it is a bit confusing why Pelech isn’t given a shot. There are concerns, but aren’t there concerns with everyone?

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Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.