As with almost any decision the Islanders make, the demotion of Josh Ho-Sang has caused plenty of debate. When you add in the fact that Ho-Sang is one of the more polarizing players in the organization, the debate goes to another level. Today, this was the correct move by the Islanders, Josh Ho-Sang was not one of the 12 best forwards as the Islanders are currently constructed. He is one of the most talented but Thursday night should have been a clue that he can’t play in the NHL based upon his current form. Rightfully so, Weight figuratively stapled Ho-Sang to the bench as the game was going of the rails for the Isles. Even the most hardened defender of Ho-Sang knew that that was not a situation he is equipped for. Now he goes to Bridgeport which has its own set of problems for his development.
The demotion to Bridgeport will only work if it is a short-term solution. I hesitate to say this needs to be a wakeup call because this has nothing to do with him off the ice. It is purely an on-ice decision, he is not dependable in most on ice situations. As Doug Weight has said, (paraphrase)” He’s always creating scoring chances, for us and them”. This is a problem that won’t be solved by playing against inferior talent. Which is why a long term stay in Bridgeport will hurt him long-term, but a short term stay (one or two weeks) may be enough. There needs to a definitive timeframe along with a set plan on what he needs to do in the American Hockey League. Hopefully he is put in situations with Bridgeport like he was held out from last Thursday at the Rangers. This needs to be an opportunity to grow his game, not a place to leave him.
There is no reason to believe he should not immediately jump back into the lineup the first weekend of November. Guys like Kulemin and Chimera should not have their spots in the lineup set in stone. I hope Ho-Sang keeps his swagger and confidence, I think it is a good thing for the game and this team. He absolutely makes the Islanders a more fun team to watch but at this point he needs to figure out how to use those skills to make the Islanders a better team.