With preseason games officially beginning Monday night I have a few things I would like to share with everyone.
Since day one it's been virtually all hockey here and I'm always so busy with the hockey I have too much fun to stop and do very infrequent non-hockey updates.
In this topic I intend to talk about what I intend to do here with this blog, what's ahead and to answer some things I have asked about once and for all.
First of all my thanks to all the folks who have contacted me via e-mail and told me how much they like the new blog. I'm thrilled with the response and how many people have visited and I encourage all visitors to let me know what you think.
Behind the scenes I'm doing all I can to add more feeds from news sources and more features to give you the best Islander blog in cyberspace. I hope you check out the bottom of the blog as every Islander-related feed I can find has been incorporated with a few NHL information sources for outside major news as well as the Sound Tigers and American Hockey League. I'm also going to see if I can get some other outside Islander fans who's contribution I value to come in and blog as guests.
Unlike Holly Gunning of Hockey's Future who ruined that site for the great bunch of writers we used to have, here any guest will have full access with regard to their hockey content whether we agree or not.
With many the best discussions I always find is everyone brings something of value and all angles are covered whether we agree or not.
For the most part I intend to let the site and the hockey speak for itself as I always have with everything I do as Islander or Hockey fans find the page themselves and spread the word. Outside of one e-mail to my former co moderator at HF, Tom Liodice, who does an outstanding job on the Sound Tigers I have only told folks on the old mailing list, Islanders-Sound Tigers which I closed in May of 2006.
As for your questions:
* I closed Islander-Sound Tigers because after seven years it was time for a break and had too many family-related things to do. Everyone who was part of it really liked the product. For a while I was sorry I checked off the permanent disable feature but it's still a good reference source for old articles, commentary and a few laughs on how many things I got wrong in the end. Folks like Kevin reached out as did a few others and it's great to know your here and reading and hope you find the message board.
* My brother is always telling me about the old Islander board at Hockey's Future, even when I was moderator he never joined the site, he likes to read the boards and joined one time to defend me and always tells me what's happening. I have no interest in visiting again, now or ever, but I do intend to set the record straight and clear up a lot of misconceptions.
This is not the readers digest version.
I have received more than my share of thanks for my efforts as moderator over the last year. All I can do is thank everyone for the kind words and tell you I did my best and every member was treated exactly the same regardless of how long they were a member.
I'm also going to tell you the truth because many of you have been asking for close to a year now.
I was the kind of moderator who wanted that one fan who did not know anyone to feel welcomed and find a home where he could make friends with Islander fans. For a lot of years we built a good product that was one of the few places that survived the lockout as did Islanders-Sound Tigers thanks to everyone. I'm told today the new posters are not made to feel welcomed or told of their newbie status often when problems happen. Personally to me it should be the opposite with the veterans helping out the new posters, not calling them newbies or throwing a post count or a join date back at them as leverage.
When things got worse on the ice my final season and people could no longer post without every topic becoming intolerable for hockey discussion some long-time posters contacted me and told me they were leaving. I had to act and become more involved and I felt I had let them down. One person who told me the discussion on the boards was harder to take then the games, for me that was the final straw. Most game threads were ruined before the game began and it was usually the same people but it drew in a lot of frustrated long-time posters as well.
I told everyone several times what I intended to do as moderator for the hockey to win out over the members who were only thinking of what was best for them or had to basically ruin every topic before I acted. Unlike Jerry's (Killer Carlson) way of moderating according to my brother I actually follow through on what I said I would do and held every single person accountable because that's what moderation is.
Of course people like Killer Carlson had to have his hockey say and then wanted to tell his jokes or change the subject because he had nothing else to contribute and never considered the posters who did not discuss a topic yet and posters had to talk over him to get in their perspective on a topic. All I asked was start a new topic if they are done discussing that one so every thread is not the same after two pages.
I'm sure he got the job as moderator because he was friends with Joe or Seph but what he never understood in my time was he's not the only person and it's not just about him and his friends having their own discussions as he and Seph talked about, everyone matters and everyone is entitled have their opportunity to post on a topic, not what what they decided to turn it into.
Moderating is not a popularity contest where folks see me discipline someone in public so I could win support or folks who would see me doing the job by alienating someone and agree with me.
I never made the moderation a subject for discussion because it was against the rules and I wanted the focus strictly on hockey. Just because I had to do something as moderator also meant I did not want that person not to feel welcome at the forum any longer despite what that person may think of me for having to act or have other posters bring up their conduct as leverage in the future.
I pushed the veteran posters hard behind the scenes and my purpose was two-fold.
Get them to see what I saw, the board guidelines and look for my replacements. The politics behind the scenes in the administration was terrible and I was not a member of that club because I don't play those games.
I would ask Seph or Joe C about situations in private messages because I wanted to see how they would react. I did this with a lot of the long-time posters who were there for the longest time with posters who were the biggest problem for the forum.
Unfortunately one of those people was Mark (Trottier) who's arrogant, disrespectful and for all his good hockey points had no respect for the forum or his fellow posters. He told me several times " he would not suffer fools lightly " as I asked him to report the post and let me handle things when he had problems.
For someone older it was easier dealing with people half his age. When disciplined once he actually sent me a ton of private messages quoting his praise from fellow posters like he saved them as proof of his credentials. I'm not going to lie, he was a moderator and after about eight times of causing problems I finally went to the administrator and told him him what was going on, he was removed and held it against me.
He left me no other alternative because he had no respect for the rules or the Islander forum despite me telling him countless times to stop fighting and help set an example.
David (Darth Milbury) was one of the few who understood what I was doing and was a pleasure, even when he would get the same alert as the other person. I asked him for his help with Trottier also because they were friends.
My biggest problem as moderator was basically every one's problem and that was the administrator and staff editor named a few years ago named Buffaloed and Holly Gunning who were hired as staff editor when I was already writing and moderating.
Buffaloed ruined the Hockey Future board on every possible level. Between his lack of people skills, his mind-games with moderators/members and his policies combined with his poor technical skills that always had the board crashing, it was personally embarrassing to me to be a part of that site with him as administrator.
Ken McKenna knew the deal with Holly Gunning and did not like her people skills either or Buffaloed, but everyone was a volunteer.
Even the former administrator started a different Hockey Future and they ripped Buffaloed, Holly Gunning, even the former administrator was banned by Buffaloed.
I joined the old adminstrator's forum briefly and gave my thoughts on Hockey's Future under Buffaloed last summer. When I did it got back to Buffaloed and he banned me from our site as he has done to countless people. I was even told he reads private messages between members according to one person recently. I could care less and would never even click on our old board, but my brother does like to read the board for the hockey.
Buffaloed had no clue about the Islander board and never once reached out to help me or offered any help. He did not even have the courtesy to contact Tom Liodice or myself when he removed him as moderator after I fought to bring him in and Buffaloed resisted claiming a writer does not mean they should be a moderator.
All Tom Liodice did was make the Islander board at Hockey Future better. It's too bad he did not fight to get his spot back after they removed him but that was something he needed to work out with them. I did my part and got him put in and it was not easy.
Meanwhile my brother wrote Seph claimed in a public forum it was my choice to go it alone as moderator even though I got him named co moderator with me. It's amazing some of the garbage some people write without knowing anything about what really happens.
Buffaloed since the day he arrived brought horrible people skills, another new pathetic disciplinary system every year and his inner circle of friends who ruined Hockey Future message boards.
First he personally decided he was going to expose the person who does all those rumors (Eklund?) which is against his own board guidelines, then he backtracked and had his mods cover for him as the policies were changed by the day. After that he released reports as to how many warnings and alerts mods gave out like we were in grade school that we worked for him and it was our privilege to let us moderate his board.
The words please and thank you were two he never learned apparently.
Holly Gunning would show up two or three times a season and moderate our forum/other forums and actually wanted to warn posters about excessive April fools jokes, meanwhile our writer Tom Liodice could not get access to the prospects page for a full year and she was handing out prospect grading systems that read like a game of battleship that changed every year our prospects page could not be updated.
Frans Nielsen-B4, C3, D2, it was beyond sad.
When I was writing I got messages from the Nielsen family. That's when it hits home those grades mean something and you cannot issue grades based on other people's articles and it's very real to someone. No, not Holly Gunning, who has no credentials to be a staff editor and let go half the writers for simply asking her that basic question.
Unfortunately Buffaloed never bothered with the Islander forum because I worked very hard so he did not have to. The prior ownership and administrator were fantastic and they were the folks who put me in place as moderator. When he came in it was like trying to keep a job at a company you loved working for that changed hands to horrible management and knew it was a matter of when before it was time to go.
So when I got tough that last year I knew it might cost me my spot as moderator in the end for trying to win back the forum for the hockey fans but that was the job and the way it was going to be regardless of whether it was popular with the folks who wanted to ruin the forum.
He removed me as moderator in early June even though the forum had gotten quiet and little moderation was necessary after the Islander season was over long ago. He never even contacted me once beforehand to ask what was going on or to offer help and support. He told me he looked and saw too many threads were edited, merged or closed and was making a change and that was it. Even though most of those threads were me editing my own news threads with each day's updates so we did not have ten days of news topics on page one.
There is no discussion with this person once he's made up his mind and told me lets just say it got to be too hard, he had no idea about anything regarding our board.
Trottier knew I was being removed as moderator and sent me a private message a few days beforehand as if the handwriting was on the wall behind the scenes and I was the last to know which shows how bad this administrator is and what Mark is all about.
Of course Buffaloed showing how big a hypocrite he is wanted me to moderate another one of his V bookie boards at the time but what he did not know was I was intending to leave because I had more than enough of being associated with his Hockey's Future. He beat me by about a week before I was going anyway because I was tired and I had done enough.
I had every intention of leaving quietly regardless because that's just my way. Hockey always came first, so did the board and the posters. Not some announcement about a moderator leaving which almost no one cares about anyway.
Buffaloed took my list of people I suggested be named moderator and immediately contacted Joe C, who was my first pick along with Seph, then Blitz, JKP, Crew and finally Darth Milbury as I tried to go with those who's primary board was HF.
Someone named BD Gallof-Told me Buffaloed contacted him about the moderators position and also suggested Joe after I left.
Despite anything that transpired I wanted our board left in what I felt were the best possible hands for everyone.
Knowing Buffaloed he likely never told Joe I was the a reason reason he was contacted and named moderator. Buffaloed would not put in at least two people as I suggested and for all the so called editing and deleting I was supposedly removed over my brother told me the board had to be closed down for three days because of all the editing Buffaloed had to do personally when Neil Smith got fired because Joe was overwhelmed.
Some folks told me it's still a good board and has not changed much and I'm glad to hear that because I liked the posters from my time. Others told me it's nothing more than a chat room where Seph and Killer moderate by popularity contest which is not a bad move if you want to stay long-term, make friends and influence administrators.
Of course that is not in the best interest of the members you took the job to help in the first place.
I'm not thrilled with my brother telling me Seph disclosed our private messages to win over people as to his concept of moderation vs my own in a public discussion in my absence. During my time moderation topics were against the rules like talking about other members were against the rules.
I don't want to give the impression I do not like Joe, Jerry or Seph because I do but someone does have to write what happened and what the truth is.
That said I do think it's time the folks at Hockey's Future know what really happened and finally address the numerous e-mails I have received on this.
As for myself, the hockey came first for everyone, that was how I could serve everyone best whether it was popular or not and that's what the moderator's function is and I know in the end we had a good board for a long time that was very popular with quality discussions and information.
I want to thank my brother for looking out for me at HF. He sent me a topic today where Joe defended Seph and Killer for having to do so much moderation and it's a tough job and no one is going to be happy no matter what is done and of course he's correct.
Too bad Joe did not feel that way when I needed his help and support when I was moderator.
That led me to talk about all this now and get it out of the way for good before Islander hockey begins. I will not be revisiting this subject again in my blog.
More importantly feel free to spread the word about New York Islander Fan Central, it would be great to have more of the old gang at Islanders-Sound Tigers and Hockey Future here.
I'm going to do all I can to make this one of the best Islander blogs in cyberspace where the club seems to need all the support it can get in the media community.
My thanks once again to everyone for the kind words about this new blog and my efforts at my previous websites.