4/15/14

What's Next For New York?

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/15/2014 07:51:00 AM
To start the New York Islanders will unfortunately return to the NHL lottery with the exact same fifty five points in the final forty eight games that produced a playoff spot in the 2013---whatever you call it.

They even had one more win in the final forty eight games this year vs last year.

Regardless of the ping pong ball results, Garth Snow, who has until 6/1 to decide whether to defer the pick, made clear he may give the selection to Buffalo this summer even if it's a top ten pick with future lottery changes designed to give many more teams a shot at the #1 overall pick.

Bottom line if 2014 is the equivalent of the 2000 NHL draft, where the fifth overall means Raffi Torres quality you have to give Buffalo the pick, hoping for a 2003 draft next summer where a 10-20-30th selection means a better/equal potential talent.

If 2014-15 is another 34-37-11 (or worse) and league changes give advantages to teams that have missed the playoffs for long periods, you take the chance of drafting a generational talent next summer.

Anyone who has read this site knows my thoughts are teams who get x amount of lottery picks in a row, should forfeit their selection, but I do not get a vote.
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If a sale of the club is announced, all bets are off on the current management/coaching staff.

Sadly this is a league of trends by owners, the current one is hire a bunch of team president's with no management experience because they were great players or former announcers? 

I guess Garth Snow's former teammate in Vancouver, Trevor Linden, got more positive press so his inexperience is overlooked/ignored/omitted.

An ownership change could happen here with the draft/free agency handled by scouting staffs while a new ownership comes in with no general manager/coach, sometimes you get the best results under the radar.

Do I feel the current management needs to be changed? No, they get one more year.

17-5-2 on the road, and a strong finish with hard work visible every game says a lot about the coaching staff.

Teams that finish poorly, with players looking lost in games require management changes. This team works hard, and by their comments support/respect this coach. 

Snow had a poor summer a year ago in a terrible free agent market. If he had fifty million to offer Vanek,  someone else will take it on 7/1/14 or you give that to players already here.

Career years by Tavares, Nielsen, Okposo, and a solid finish by Lee, Nelson, deHaan, also speak to the coaching staff being a positive internally. Nielsen shocked me frankly, but correctly blamed himself for his defensive play hurting the club which it did often.

His mistake against Tampa (up 2-0 with three minutes left) stood out more than his goal numbers for me. 

But next year should be the last call for anything but winning or it's time for management changes.

The injuries will take care of themselves one way or another. 
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I do not see Ryan Strome as ready. Too weak in the corners, not strong enough on the puck at five on five,  a powerplay goal from an outside shot I would not call a great offensive play.  I do think he's on the right track, but he should not be guaranteed anything despite being a top AHL player already.

Players like Casey Cizikas should be a little worried for his job, same for Colin McDonald, who both struggled badly for long periods. Bailey's 24 and needs an Okposo-like breakout, so the pressure is absolutely on for him.

The Matt Martin who scored some goals down the stretch has to do that all 82 games, his hit totals are only a stat that did not win many games. 

Brian Strait has two years left on his contract, Carkner one, both should face pressure to keep their spot on this roster.

Kevin Czuczman's going to face tough competition, he did not look out of place for someone coming in from college. 

Anders Lee is Garth Snow's biggest problem, he would be wise to go long-term. Calvin deHaan should also get his long-term deal.

The goaltending is going to get dicey. Management sent Poulin back down, Nilsson's body language reflected a goaltender struggling worse than callups years earlier, despite his five hundred record.  His best moment was his confident/compact movement against Buffalo in the season ending shootout.

A starter has to be decided, I'm not sure Nabokov is going to be that goaltender again, and to retain him as a backup could mean the loss of the prospect goalies.
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Bridgeport has a season to conclude next weekend, Scott Pellerin's contract is up. Unlike last year, he cannot be blamed for the club's record with so many call-ups/injuries. His team went from 12-2, to about 0-13-2 recently. 
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Let's just say it's going to be interesting if Islander roster players want to participate in the World Championships. 

Some players who went to Bridgeport on PTO's have to be signed by 5/31, so do other defenders from the 2012 draft. I doubt all of them will be.
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This franchise has the worst professional media among North America sports teams.

It's only going to continue to get worse between  the amateur fan bloggers marketing themselves above anything else vs the professional media in other places reduced to cheerleaders of the team that subsidizes their income/resume doing their selective hit-jobs from a far because they absolutely cannot do it about their employers teams.

Bottom line you have to see through the double-standards. 

Hopefully the Islanders send the amateur bloggers packing, in retrospective the idea was a mistake that helped give newspaper editors already dropping coverage an excuse not to spend the money or assign a beat writer.

4/11/14

Numbers? The Only Thing That Matters For New York Is Winning in 14-15

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/11/2014 11:32:00 PM
2-13-2 in November/December to effectively end realistic playoff contention.
Vanek 44 points in 47 games with a plus rating.
Tavares second in NHL scoring for a good portion of year.
Career high numbers for Okposo, Nielsen.
Among worst special teams in NHL for most of the season.
Thirty games scoreless for Bailey, Grabner, while #12 had a career high in points.
0-11-1 on road earlier.
17-5-2 on the road over the last twenty four games.
All the earlier blown leads against top teams in the final minutes.
All the comeback wins down two goals.
Seven goal third period in Vancouver.
4-1-1 at Nassau Coliseum West/Newark.
13 home wins (including shootouts) tied for 30th in NHL.

It's all just numbers in a long season that ultimately was a complete failure where management declared it was time to win. This team never even got started until it was too late.

Sure it's nice a lot of kids look great, and are producing well with a team that is in every game, and works very hard more than most NHL teams on average with few clunkers.

This was with an Eastern Conference that badly underperformed with sixteen teams, the two former Western Conference teams qualifying.

Ultimately what does that mean for 2014-15? Nothing.

The only way to prove anything happening now really matters will come with winning next season.

Not before.
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Forwards signed for 2014-15:
Tavares-Okposo
Grabner-Nielsen-Bailey
Nelson-Strome-Clutterbuck
Martin-McDonald-Boulton
RFA: Cizikas, Lee
Others signed/waiting: Sundstrom, Persson, Quine, Halmo
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Defenders signed for 2014-15
Hamonic, Czurczman, Hickey, Strait, Carkner, Donovan, Visnovsky.
RFA deHaan: 
Others signed/waiting: Mayfield, Ness Pedan, Reinhart, Pulock, Pelech.
(Vaugh AHL contract)
2013 drafted defenders due contracts by 5/31/14.
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Sadly, Chico Resch, is leaving Msg to return to Minnesota. First class New York Islander, and Devils broadcaster.



4/2/14

Tavares, Okposo, Wang At Barclay's Center

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/02/2014 10:47:00 PM
Daily News: John Tavares, and Kyle Okposo were at the Barclay's Center for a Smile Train event Wednesday night 4/2/14, with Charles Wang, who both commented on a possible sale of the team.

 John Tavares Wednesday at Smile Train's Power of a Smile Gala at Barclays Center:
“You don’t have any control over that stuff, so you try not to worry about it and just try to focus on doing what you’re supposed to do, preparing yourself to play, playing each day, and obviously in my case, doing everything I can in rehab.” 

“Hopefully that stuff gets taken care of. It’s something that it’s always good to have that stability. Charles has provided that for a long time. If there’s a change, there’s a change, but I know how much he’s invested in this team and this organization, and we’re looking forward to the future.”

Kyle Okposo:
“That’s for management and ownership to figure out,” he said. “Charles is gonna do what he thinks is best and what’s in his interest. We as players, we just have to go play the game. We can’t let that stuff worry us.”
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NYIFC Comments:
Not like the Daily News has the budget to cover these things called hockey games, Mike Milbury's corporate bicycle still works for something to help the News reach the coverage cap floor with the AP.


Not a classic in Ottawa, but the kids (looked tired) keep winning. 14-4-2 last twenty road games.

Edmonton Journal: Oil Kings Head Coach, Derek Laxdal had comments on Ryan Pulock and Griffin Reinhart.

That would be former Islander player, Derek Laxdal for those scoring at home.

Pulock/Reinhart also comment. 

4/1/14

Nassau Coliseum Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/01/2014 12:54:00 PM

What's Next For New York? Finish Quietly As Possible

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/01/2014 01:01:00 AM
Again, as I wrote a few days ago, if the lease between the Islanders/Barclay's is in place for all future owners, there is no real problem if Charles Wang is even seriously considering selling.

The rest will be just a lot of rumors/gossip/guess work/noise from media who never cover this team's games, about owners/revenue streams.

It means nothing. 

We'll know if/when we know. 

No one's coming here to start spending seventy million on payroll or giving free agents bonus money of twenty million dollars in a single year of a contract. (front-loading)
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On the ice, the club is working very hard, the 13-4-2 on the road record is a heck of a number but overall  it means nothing.

Before that 13-4-2 the Isles went 0-11-1 on the road.

Hopefully the final games pass quietly without further injury.

3/30/14

Eight Months & Already Islanders/Barclay's Not Working As Partners/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/30/2014 11:00:00 AM
Sorry folks, that's how fast this iron-clad lease can dissolve if both sides agree they cannot work together, they cannot even get together in announcing a 2014 preseason game in Brooklyn which is unconfirmed for 9/26/14 against the Devils.

This does not even include the drama going on between Bruce Ratner's comments about Bridgeport vs Charles Wang's President there, Howard Saffan, and the Sound Tigers future. 

If the agreement falls apart the NHL will not care one bit, and would love more revenue/relocation fees in a facility with more ticket revenue/fan support. Atlanta had a lease until 2019.

Dolan could always offer Wang a buyout of the cable contract as incentive, all things that could have happened before October 2012.

Mangano kicked out the Islanders so Nassau get's paid by Ratner, if he walks from that agreement which he can, Dolan/Msg will pay/renovate.

Nassau is getting paid, someone's giving them a renovation/revenue that's their only priority.

Kate Murray will do all she can to slow/off track Ratner with her zoning if she wants Dolan's bid instead.

Wang was right when he said the Islanders needed a place to play, no person could have said it better about the politicians who created every problem with a fan base too lazy to hold them accountable by filling the seats to make this team a public trust where any discussion of relocation would cost that politician any public/business support with their political career.

If things fall apart with Barclay's expect the franchise to relocate out of  New York entirely, that lease may not even be binding until Sept 2015 for those clinging to it.

No, I would not blame Mr Wang one single bit if he decided to sell out of market, he's done beyond enough, and been served very poorly for his efforts by everyone. 
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As written many times, Charles Wang does things quickly/quietly behind closed doors.

If Mr Wang decides to sell expect it to happen with virtually no advanced notice unless the person he sells to does that. Of course outgoing owners exit quietly.

Former country executive, Tom Gulotta (largely responsible for the team leaving Nassau who made it impossible for all Islander owners since 1990) tried to announce the purchase in 2000, and it was reported Wang was rightfully angered by that. 

The agreement with Barclay's was done in the middle of the night, done by 7am (Wang's words) and the press conference was only a few hours later catching those NHL sources/leaks completely off guard.

No, the media does not like that one bit, they want/need their leaks/sources. The two former Ranger die-hards from the NY Daily News working in NHL media (Frank Brown/John Dellapina) made a career out of ripping this franchise.

When the NY Dragons were sold, Wang was in the front row in Philadelphia, seen visibly cheering with a ton of enthusiasm, four days later the team was sold.

He corrected his Neil Smith mistake in summer, and there was no distraction for the players in 2006. Sure if Neil Smith did not sign his contract Wang had every reason to fire him as quickly as possible saving money.

Ed Snider turned his team into an in-season circus in October 2006, and the Flyers never recovered, the Islanders without the distractions come September made the playoffs. (granted they lucked out but were in sixth in the conference at time of Ryan Smyth trade)
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Howard Dolgon/Steven Gluckstern:
No folks, Mr Dolgon apparently does not have that kind of revenue, and not selling his AHL team, so he can only play the Steven Gluckstern role, who did that very well with full integrity in Phoenix before the other Howard. (Milstein)

Howard Dolgon, the long-time well respected AHL owner has friends.

I like Howard Dolgon, our fan base will not like him.

He sounds a lot like some of the entries here about the terrible fan support.

This is a man who pulls no punches, something Wang, Michael Picker, Paul Lancey should have been doing by October 2003 with all the empty seats after fans refused to pay 2003 ticket price increases.

By then Wang had only Tom Suozzi's April 2002 proclamation to show after spending 130 million dollars for improving the franchise, renovating the Coliseum for Nassau County as a tenant while he waited for Todd Boe to pay the bills in Bridgeport, as he started the Lighthouse Tournament out of pocket, flying/housing kids from around the world to no fan fare at all after he honored Bill Torrey, Bryan Trottier, and Pat Lafontaine.

Steamed Syracuse Crunch owner Dolgon to fans: We did our part, now where are you? .

"I've been a big supporter of our market, but this was embarrassing tonight,'' Dolgon said in the War Memorial concourse well after the game. "For 19 years, people have been telling us give us a winner. This team deserves better. The people who work here, and the club, deserve better.

"This is not a good product. This is a very strong product. This place should be packed for this team. You don't see hockey like this.''

"I don't want to hear from anybody, 'Give us a winning team.' Don't give us that (junk) anymore,'' Dolgon said. "I don't go for the Wednesday night excuse. This team deserves more support. Time to stop the excuses already.''

Sounds like he was visiting here. I emphatically agree with every word.

Dolgon said his staff had worked 20 hours a day at times to put the team on track for a strong presale, but that the walkup suffered. He said Friday's home Game 4 looks to be heading toward a better number, but Wednesday's turnout has him unsure.

"We're going to do our thing,'' he said. "We've been good soldiers. We put our money where are mouth is. This is a quality product.''
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