4/24/14

Time For NYI To End Blog Box, Revoke All Amateur Media Credentials

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/24/2014 01:40:00 PM
Simply put it was a bad idea from the beginning that I felt was made up of good intentions at the time or I never would have sent the team an e-mail offering this website to be included to help them in October 2007. 

In retrospect it was the teams media relations giving up trying to get the Daily News, Post or Times to spend money on full time coverage. 

I made my suggestion on 5/8/2008 to have the team pay the writers to travel with the team on the road if that's what it took with it dismissed for countless reasons. By 12/5/2008 the same former media relations coordinator was calling for all NHL teams to host media on the road.


Whatever. So much for that enhanced Newsday coverage. (insert joke here)

I have written about my blog box involvement many times here from Nov 2007-May 2009 which is available for everyone to reference in the archives. Never was a free ticket or pass accepted (or anything else from the team) or did I ever sit in the box, that was my specific condition for being included.

Never received one e-mail telling me what to write by the team or that would have been posted here with a response to immediately take my link off the Islanders website.

Now it's time for the Islanders organization to correct it's mistake, and push the newspaper editors to spend their limited budget money assigning a full time beatwriter to cover the club with a daily updated blog like all other NHL teams.

No more blog box, no more amateur media credentials issued.

This team has a website to interview it's players, it has media relations people to sit down with newsppaer editors, and figure out a way to cover every single game.

No one is stopping amateur writers from writing on-line, but the days of a few of them having access inside the Nassau Coliseum or Barclay's Center should end.

Dan Martin, Peter Botte, Kevin Allen, John Rolfe, Phil Mushnick, Ben Hankinson, player agents all responded to my e-mails with the discussions posted here over the years.

I never asked the team for help or needed to be a blog box member to receive/send e-mails, no one does.

One item in one entry was edited about Peter Botte.  He contacted me about a game related mistake in an article he wrote that I pointed out, he said he had a family issue, and would appreciate it if I changed my entry so I did out of courtesy.

Yes, the same Peter Botte, who in 2014 is reduced to snarking the team on twitter at a paper who does not have the budget to assign a full time writer, while he lobs softballs at the laughingstock Knicks was that sensitive about things written on a blogger hosted website? 

Dan Martin asked me not to post our e-mail discussion. I did. 

Mike Sielski wrote, and said he could not answer my questions about his LaFontaine hit-job, then went to the Buffalo News to interview/sell himself with his mistake filled article.

Ending the blog box/amateur access should also end some of the amateurs with credentials from other outlets to invent so much sourced based gossip from other teams practice facilities about a New York Islander team, who's games those editors will not spend money to cover. 

All due respect to the blog box members, time to pay for tickets, no more access to locker room.

Contact players by e-mail ask for written interviews for your blogs/sites.

Anyone can read a newsppaer on-line with a direct quote and post it on a blog/website.

It's worked here since 2007, and before that since 2000.

Time for full time Newspaper coverage to return. There will never be an acceptable excuse for the cut of coverage to begin with. With no more amateur bloggers, excuses will be gone for no full time professional newspaper beatwriters when/if this franchise moves to the Barclay's Center beyond these publications own financial issues.






4/23/14

Sebastian Collberg Had Surgery In New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/23/2014 09:41:00 PM

NYIFC Comments:  
In other words it's a Calvin deHaan summer for Collberg who also has to adjust to North American hockey.

Not like the team has a full time newspaper beatwriter to bring our fans information. The amateur fan bloggers are too busy selling only one thing........themselves.

Howard Dolgon's Mystery Bidder Out For Now/Leases 101

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/23/2014 01:19:00 PM
Syracuse.com: Howard Dolgon's friend has changed his mind and is not purchasing the New York Islanders.

Dolgon said the mystery money man behind a possible bid for the New York Islanders has reconsidered and said he's 99 percent sure he will not fund a purchase offer at this time.  Dolgon said the investor reassessed his work and family health issues and decided he could not fully commit now.

"It's just the timing,'' Dolgon said. "I said, 'You wanted me to bring you an opportunity. I did. I totally understand the timing is not right.' The guy with the money is the one who is going to decide if the timing is not right. Who knows what happened? He did say to me, 'If I'm going to do something, I'm going to be in 100 percent. Right now, I don't think I can do that.''

Dolgon would have been an investor in the group, and likely would have been involved in running the team in some manner. Dolgon said his friend left open the possibility of pursuing other NHL opportunities.

 "He made it very clear that it's something he's still interested in, whether it's this situation or something else that comes up,'' Dolgon said.

Reached by phone on Tuesday night, Dolgon said he does not know Barroway and has never spoken with him.

"Certainly I'm reachable, if he'd like to reach me,'' Dolgon said.
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Understanding Leases 101:
Just like the Islanders current lease with Nassau County, and the Islanders lease with Smg which run until 2015, they are strictly between the Islanders and the Municipality/company they made those agreements with. 

Same as the Dec 2009 sublease between Smg/Islanders.

What Do We Know About Islanders 25 Year, Binding, Iron-Clad, No Opt Out Lease At Barclay's?
Nothing beyond Charles Wang's comments in October 2012 for a lease that may not be binding until 2015 when the team begins play there. Rumor/gossip about financial agreements are not information. 


NHL:
The NHL has no control or say with regard to these leases or the one between the Islanders and Barclay's when a team makes an agreement within their territorial rights.

Gary Bettman:
Gary Bettman can provide lip service for a fellow member of the board of governors (team owner), he can complain about the local government treating a team poorly, but the league has no legal rights or involvement in those agreements.

What Does NHL Control:
What the New York Islanders cannot do is have two home arena's at Barclay's with some 2017 regular season games at a possible renovated Nassau Coliseum without NHL approval & Flyers, Devils, Rangers approval for the same reason the Rangers cannot play home games in the Bronx, and Manhattan without Islanders/Devil/Flyer owners approval.

Same for the Devils, they need above approvals (Islanders, Flyers, Rangers) to play games in Newark, and at their former Meadowlands home.

If the Flyers want two home arena's in Pennsylvania or Philadelphia, the Islanders, Devils, Rangers have the right to reject it.

Territorial rights matter, one home arena to a customer. 

What Do We Know About Islanders Television Rights Agreement With Cablevision?
It runs until 2031, and pays them hundreds of millions of dollars provided home games are in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn, or a portion of Ct. 

The Devils in 2004 signed a similar agreement, the Sabres also have an agreement with Msg.

John Spano signed the Islanders deal at a time with Cablevision when Fox Sports/Msg were partners. 

What Breaks A Lease:
When both parties mutually agree or there is a clause permitting one side to break it. One side claiming the other violated their agreement does not make a lease broken.

Sure one party can pay the other in an agreement to break a lease early or extend it past it's term.

Atlanta Thrashers/Lease-Relocation:
The ownership group, Atlanta Spirit, owned the Thrashers, the NBA Hawks and the Philips Arena.

In other words they sold a part of what they owned the rights to in a building they owned/operated.  

That would kind of be like James Dolan deciding to sell the Rangers out of market and simply keep the Knicks in a building Msg owns with more concert dates, or the Islanders someday being sold to Bruce Ratner/Nets owners who then decided they no longer want a hockey team in their building.

The Islanders being owned by Charles Wang or another individual someday give them some protection as a tenant against their landlord in their lease terms.

The reverse there also applies in that Charles Wang or a future owner cannot decide he's moving the team.

Lease Tactics:
This is how Howard Milstein arrived at the Coliseum is not safe game plan long ago, he could not break his leases until 2015 so he decided to use the scoreboard excuse as an out while Gulotta was doing nothing to improve/replace the facility, with his infamous "Pigs at the Trough" comment.

As Howard Milstein found out just because you claim "constructive eviction" does not make it so. 

Gulotta to his final day made clear whoever owned the Islanders had to pay for a new/renovated arena on their own while Nassau County owned the building which is how by Oct 2012/millions in losses later Wang made an agreement elsewhere even with his hotel sitting next door.

Nassau found someone who will renovate, and will pay for the privilege in Bruce Ratner, exactly as Gulotta demanded while the Counrty makes money.

Everywhere else the local team was a public trust where the teams got hundreds of millions from the taxpayers to keep them. (Ok, you read that here enough/back on topic)

Phoenix:
Even with the league operating the franchise, Phoenix had a lease agreement with whoever operated/owned the Coyotes which was reworked many times prior to 2013.


On 7/3/13  Local council voted 4-3 in favor on a 15-year, $225 million lease agreement with Renaissance Sports & Entertainment during a special session.

The vote allowed RSE to purchase the Coyotes from the NHL, which has been running the team the past four years.

RSE announced a partnership with Global Spectrum, which owns the Philadelphia Flyers, to help manage Jobing.com Arena.

Global Spectrum is a fancy name for Smg or the current company that manages the Nassau Coliseum until summer 2015 when they are out for good.

In short for the Coyotes to be relocated RSE has to get permission to break the lease from the local council in Glendale, and have to negotiate terms with Smg to be out of their obligation. 


4/22/14

New York Finally Announces It's Barclay's Preseason Game

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/22/2014 10:34:00 AM

NYIFC Comments: 
Nice to see the general manager still speaks to the teams website about something. No, waiting an extra three months to announce a preseason game is not a huge deal. but it does not help sales.

Like the two previously scheduled games (one cancelled with lockout) this should have been announced in January 2014. 

4/20/14

Silence From Islander Management On Season Deafening

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/20/2014 09:07:00 AM
Owners usually never speak so it's not completely uncommon for Charles Wang to be silent, he's likely had enough abuse for the hundreds of millions he has spent with no thanks from anyone.

I did however expect Garth Snow/Jack Capuano to do interviews about the season. 

To date they have have not done one interview on the teams website so it likely speaks to a possible change with an incoming ownership. Capuano has spoken daily all season, he left Buffalo without a word since as exit interviews were done.

Updated:
Yes, I was well aware both spoke (and Weight) at a team event in Westbury, and Snow has other interviews scheduled for May. But this team has a website, our fans deserve answers from the hockey management on that website. 

More interviews will be done on 4/21 in Bridgeport.

I wrote in the last entry, all bets are off on current management if a new owner comes in or the club even relocating to the Barclay's Center if the lease can be broken. That includes the teams name/logo under new ownership.

To date still no Barclay's preseason game announcement for 2014.

Charles Wang kept the staff when he came in, he paid for his loyalty to Mike Milbury despite the playoff appearances. If there is a sale, don't count on that happening again.

As for Howard Dolgon, either you're friend purchases the team or give it a rest, fans with long memories remember the full year of Bob Gutkowski/Charles Koppelman rumors that were folly.

My preference is Charles Wang stays, the ownership was never the problem here, Nassau County/TOH was/is.

As I wrote years earlier with Wang approaching seventy, he likely wants to move on, and has had enough abuse for fifteen years of spending far more than the Nassau Coliseum's revenue streams ever allowed.

Stop with the real estate because it's well documented owning the New York Islanders was not about real estate for Mr Wang. He agreed to a deal without it for the referendum, and no yearly check from Nassau like some NHL teams receive. Developer Scott Rechler was also not part of the 2011 referendum.

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.