Major Changes To Islanders Kids League (PAL) Programs Include Doug Weight, Radek Martinek.

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/29/2015 03:18:00 PM | | | |
These changes were announced 5/28 and fall in line with last weeks update on Bob Thormton. 

Some will recall Dan Marshall who used to run Iceworks, was promoted to Sound Tigers head coach for one season has been an associate coach in these programs.

Neil Smith went to Bridgeport & handled Dan Marshall's press conference the day before he was fired in 2006, and endorsed his hiring. 

Marshall was fired after his one season in Bridgeport.

Interesting to see if this changes Doug Weight's status as assistant general manager of an NHL team/assistant coach? 

Also I guess it seems Radek Martinek will be an assistant coach of kids under 14 with Weight.

Martinek is part of the Pee-Wee Quebec team, but Garth Snow is also.

I have no knowledge or much interest in kids programs out of Iceworks, just to see the assistant gm of the New York Islanders part of this with Radek Martinek is somewhat noteworthy if Weight is remaining in a new role or this is part-time working with kids in U14/U18 programs in local leagues?

This is all very new and multi-layered to me, so I'm clueless. The programs read like that of an NHL setup with associate coaches, general managers, assistant coaches for kids leagues of different ages.

It does read like a full time job during the fall/winter months, and big news if Weight did leave the Islanders management/bench for this position? 

New York Notables: Coliseum...Bridgeport...Ratner...TOH Approval

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/28/2015 08:39:00 AM |
I guess my one big question about Bruce Ratner is if he's selling his stake in the Nets/Barclays, which includes his iron-clad lease with the Islanders to somebody why would anything think he's going to run or manage the Coliseum long-term when this is finally done? 

To say nothing of Mikhail Prokhorov who's a financial part in all of this.

This is all going to pass to someone else at some point in their company or be sold to another individual. 

Sure it could all be sold to Dolan.

To be fair Bruce Ratner's been an owner of the Nets since 2002, but he's no kid, and like Wang at some point no longer will want a stake in a sports team/or in any arena.

Dolan's Newsday Hurdles For Ratner:
So much for all those hurdles according to James Dolan's media that Ratner had to face on 4/29? They gave a blogger (who's very good, does his homework, and legitimately rips on Ratner's business practices) a nice negative op-ed before Ratner received unanimous TOH/Kate Murray approval on 5/26.

I guess they ran out of editorial board members. 

Now Dolan's business people are claiming all hurdles have been cleared when in fact on 4/29 only one hurdle had to be cleared which was TOH approval. We'll see what they can drum up to keep it negative.

So How Did Ratner Get Approved By Kate Murray?
Reading the TOH rules for meetings they make clear they never approve anything day one.  Ratner showed up on 5/19, after he finally gave them his plans in April, they reviewed the testimony and drew up a negative declaration (which means there is nothing adverse/negative to the environment or TOH 2011 zoning) so they approved Ratner's construction on the Coliseum, and around it's footprint. 

At first I thought a negative declaration meant they were going to vote it down.  Once I read the paperwork in advance of the 5/26 vote it was clear this would be approved. And we all know she is moving on to district attorney. Islander fans resolve to keep Murray from winning is the equivalent of showing up for weeknight hockey games.

Those maps I used to put up here have been changing since 2013.

Ratner is on the board of Sloan Kettering but that is not part of Ratner's renovations which remain only around the Coliseum footprint and is more Mangano's deal where the hospital will be spending the money for that project/buildings. I'm not sure about these proposed hotels beyond the fact Wang no longer owns the Marriott. Andrew Cuomo has to come through with state funds for a parking structure on that site.

Islander fans, please stop confusing this with the Rechler-Wang Lighthouse. TOH did not want a project large enough to pay for a massive Coliseum renovation, and the real estate that would provide the revenue to sustain a hockey team. TOH let it rot to death in 2009, this is 2015.

And Rechler-Wang only offered a ten year extension of the Islanders lease to 2025 there was some confusion  with the promise of the Islanders playing at a renovated Coliseum for thirty years as documented in 2009.

Ratner's renovation promised around ninety million for the Coliseum, about the same as Dolan's bid, it's all anyone felt the Coliseum was worth.

Now What?
If Ratner has his financing lined up, and still wants to start construction in August, there is nothing Dolan or his media outlets can do to stop it, and that likely includes Blumenfeld's lawsuit because these men have business interest in other places.

Until he starts construction Ratner can walk away any time he wants despite his enthusiam.  How he get's Smg employees or hires a new staff to host a concert on 8/4 when Smg's contract expires 7/31/15 will be an interesting trick.
So What About Bridgeport/AHL Coliseum?
Ratner learned his 2013 lessons no longer claiming  Bridgeport is coming to the Coliseum after Wang's president called his claims of the Sound Tigers moving as irresponsible.  Wang is obligated to provide an AHL team or better in Webster Bank Arena per his lease agreement with Bridgeport, and has put his own money into renovating that facility. 

Ratner has promised Nassau an AHL team as an anchor tenant, he claims this will be announced before the renovations begin, however Nassau could be willing to cut him some slack during the renovation because no hockey games will be played in the Coliseum for the next two years.

According to Brett Yormark the opening act for a renovated Coliseum is college basketball in December 2016. That means unless the plan is to move an AHL team there during the season, there will be no anchor tenant/AHL team ready to begin play until the 2017-18 season. 

Bottom line Ratner has to bring an AHL team to the Coliseum eventually, is he getting into the AHL business as a team owner? Is Wang as minority owner going to operate an AHL team separate of the Islanders? 

You would think Wang-Ratner could work this out, and make an announcement by August, after negotiating the Barclay's lease, unless Wang wants to leave it open for Mr Ledecky/Malkin, and their plans? 

As majority Islander owners Ledecky/Malkin are not obligated to Wang's management of Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport (unless it's part of the sale agreement) or Ratner's agreement in Nassau to provide an AHL team.

We have no clue as to anything Mr Ledecky or Malkin are planning to do as majority owners.

As For the New York Islanders:
Again we'll see how the logistics play out come September. It's a longer ride from Iceworks to Barclay's after game day practices for some players. The Islanders have had players who live in Manhattan, Brian Rolston stayed in the same house he lived in as a member of the Devils and commuted from New Jersey daily after he was traded here.

The Nets are finally moving their practice facilities from New Jersey for 2015-16. 

I found a fun footnote the Marriott hotel next to Barclay's Center is for sale at only 37 million.  Wang's foreclosure on the Marriott brought in a bidder who paid 66 million.

Visnovsky Negotiating New Contract With New York/Priority To Remain In NHL

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/25/2015 07:07:00 AM | Has Visnovsky's comments his preference is to remain with New York or the NHL.

"I spoke with representatives of Klagenfurt, but I did not sign anything. My priority is to stay still in the NHL, we are negotiating a new contract even with NY Islanders. If there is disagreement, test the free market.  I have practically the whole summer to get a new contract. "

The heavily translated article has Visnovsky's comments on Grabner perhaps playing in the Austrian league in the future. 

New York Notables/Short Version

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/19/2015 04:03:00 PM | Be the first to comment!
We'll see.

That's my answer to virtually every question related to New York as they move into a new facility, same with their pending RFA/UFA at all levels.

Lee is going to want big money, and there is no one close with his hands/size/skills, Okopso even bigger money next summer. 

Same for Bridgeport/AHL future, and with a new ECHL affiliate needed. 

Same for the Coliseum/Ratner/Mangano/Murray vs Dolan/Newsday/News12LI.
Or is that Coliseum/Ratner/Mangano vs Murray/Dolan/Newsday/News12LI?

And for Wang/Ledecky/Malkin.

There will be some roster changes.

Anyone telling you a team is a lock for a playoff spot next season did not follow the defending champion Kings or Boston. It takes an excellent season just to qualify, and it will only be getting tougher. This is no longer a twenty one team league where sixteen teams qualify.

The one positive thing I can write for now is this organization is far ahead of where it was in 2013 defensively simply because they have most of their defense under contract long-term in Boychuk, Leddy, Hamonic.
This is not summer 2013 where they lost Streit, and obviously were looking to replace Nabokov.

Beyond that, we'll see. 

Islanders Hire Bob Thornton As Islanders Iceworks Director

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/15/2015 02:42:00 PM | Be the first to comment!
Something interesting today popped up on the Islanders website. 

Islanders website 5/15/15: Named Bob Thornton Director Of Islanders Iceworks 
 “This is an exciting opportunity to return to the facility my family helped build,” Thornton said. “I’m excited to provide a place for the top players on Long Island to train, develop and progress to the next stage of their playing careers.”

 On 3/18/15 Bob Thornton Was Named 18U Head Coach Of The PAL Junior Islanders 

Bob Thornton into 2014-15 was the New Jersey Rockets General Manager, EHL & MJHL Head Coach.
Bob Thornton is entering his ninth year with the NJ Rockets Junior program as director and head coach of the EHL, U19 and MJHL teams. He was an assistant coach of Roanoke Express (ECHL), and played in the USHL, OHL and ECHL throughout his 10-year career as a hockey player. Bob is also the owner of Elite Hockey Group which specializes in off and on ice training development during the off season.

On 9/14/13 NYIFC had an entry titled: New York/Bridgeport Will Practice At Charles Wang's IceWorks Past 2015 which mostly detailed the Islanders history with practice facilities. 

That entry notes  Robert Thornton the first gm of the facility under Charles Wang passed away on Sept 3rd 2013. 

Mr Thornton and his wife resigned on 5/24/2004 filing a lawsuit in 2006 against the Islanders which from Islanders end was handled by 2011 Referendum firm of Nixon-Peabody.  Thornton was thrilled at Wang's purchase in 2001.

That would also be the same Robert Thornton SR who was Bryan Trottier's agent/business manager when he was a player, and had a huge financial falling out. Some folks may remember the Glice rink Thornton ran under Trottier's name in the 1980's.

NY Times 10/26/94 Has an article with details about what happened with quotes from Mr Thornton.

Long story short Bob Thornton Jr is the new director of Islanders Iceworks, his father used to run Iceworks for Charles Wang, and filed a lawsuit against the New York Islanders.

Does that mean the Islanders will practice there? No idea, depends on the terms of that lease which Wang said would be honored this year.

Part II: How Hard Will Dolan's Media/Newsday Work To Defeat Ratner Coliseum?

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/13/2015 12:02:00 PM | Be the first to comment!
Let's be clear the last thing New York Islander fans want to see is a Ranger logo in an Msg renovated Coliseum with a Long Island Ranger AHL hockey team. (which could still happen)

That's very bad for the New York Islanders, our fan base, and the team's future business which is why this is being addressed here again.

This is what Dolan's idea of a transformation was for the Nassau Coliseum in 2013. 

The latest attack editorial from Dolan's Newsday is comical, and entirely expected. This game will continue, same as it did to defeat the referendum which was the last chance for Charles Wang to keep the Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum, and opened the door for Dolan to bid for the Coliseum.

No doubt it's being done to influence Kate Murray/TOH board on 5/19 during the public comment period which is really the best chance left to defeat Ratner's plan so Dolan can jump back in.

Expect to see some front page headlines. 

Anything think Dolan is going to approve Ratner allowing the Islanders to play regular season games in Ratner's Coliseum when he's done renovating? If the league/Dolan do not approve of the Isles having a second NHL arena, that will cost Ratner a million dollars per year.

Dolan made no promise to include any chance of the New York Islanders ever playing in the Nassau Coliseum ever again, his bid included a Long-Island Live/Msg-Zone with a Ranger themed sports bar in the first drafts before they claimed the promise of some Islander memorabilia.

And the Msg bid promised Ranger home games/practices during preseason at his Nassau Coliseum, despite Nassau remaining part of the New York Islanders territorial rights. 

This idea that Dolan offered something transformative for that site or far better than Ratner is insulting, his bid is part of the public record.

Mangano beat Dolan's guy Suozzi on election day. 

No bid was possible that renovated the Coliseum to a point where it would make the necessary revenue to support an NHL team feasible. All bids only included a downsized arena with retail in the walk of champions area, and development directly around  the Coliseum exterior.  (NYIFC put up the map to many times to show what Ratner was building)

Some things proposed do differ from Ratner's original plan but do not involve him at all. 
Let's get real on this latest smear campaign from Dolan's editorial board because Mangano's committee made it very clear what was offered by both NEC Ratner/Dolan in their bid, and why Ratner won.

Again here are the documents from 9/20/2013 on why Dolan lost from the Office Of Legislative Budget Review with the names of Mangano's financial advisory committee. 

Final two pages:

1: Dolan promised less overall revenue.
2: Dolan wanted more tax exemptions than Ratner (same as he receives now on the Cablevision Garden) on both the Coliseum and the plaza. (Ratner only wanted an exemption on the Coliseum)
3: Dolan indicated Msg required IDA financing, same as Ratner.
4: Dolan wanted control of all future real estate development, something Ratner did not ask for in his bid, and Wang did not get in 2013.
4: Dolan promised his WNBA team (that now includes Isiah Thomas) and his AHL team to go with Ranger preseason games. 

The ridiculous notion from Dolan's Newsday editorial board (again) that they promised anything transformative on that site vs Ratner's bid is a flat out lie.

Bottom line Dolan offered nothing to keep the New York Islanders on that site in any way. 

For now it's the same game from Dolan/Msg/Cablevision/Newsday  same as 2011. And again Don Monti is the master developer of the HUB for those wondering about the rest of the site acreage.

Mr Monti supported Dolan's plan but had no issues with NEC Ratner when it was selected Long Island Association/LI Business News 8/15/2013

Ratner's bid like Dolan's was to build only in the walk of champions area, and around the Coliseum's exterior, a very small area, hardly a transformation of the entire site.

But for Dolan/Cablevision/Newsday/News12 LI, Msg, their bid did not win, and are very poor losers. 

What will be interesting to see is what Dolan's friend in Albany (Andrew Cuomo) can do to withhold state funds for the site?

Mr Cuomo sure will not allow any vote to take away the only private company in the entire state of NY  from paying property taxes since 1982.

We all know that will never be in any Newsday editorial.

Mr Mangano, still happy you did not lock the door with Wang in 2013 like all the other politicians did, and do a deal for a new Coliseum like every other team received, instead of playing the will of the people card to take yourself off the hook?

So here is the latest all too familiar ploy, expect a steady diet of them moving forward.