7/31/07

Trottier rates toughest defenders for him to play against

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/31/2007 07:30:00 PM
Islanders website gives Trottier's toughest defenders to play against
nyi.com good thing Potvin never made that list as Denis retired after 1988 before he left for Pittsburgh.

Trots includes many of the top defenders of his era in Larry Robinson, Raymond Bourque, Rod Langway, Paul Coffey. He also includes standouts like Borje Salming, Al MacInnis, Brad Park, Serge Savard and Scott Stevens and one unknown who made an impression on him in Pittsburgh's Dave Burrows.

Also included is legendary Bobby Orr, as an honorable mention, who only played in two games vs Trots.

Newsday update on Hunter

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/31/2007 12:34:00 PM
Quick blurb from Newsday claiming Hunter could be signed before Wednesday's hearing.

Islanders right wing Trent Hunter, who earned $1 million last year, has an arbitration hearing scheduled for tomorrow, but indications are that Hunter, 27, who scored 20 goals and added 15 assists in 77 games, and the team will agree on a new pact before the hearing.

7/30/07

Bridgeport Sound Tigers Announce Preseason and Camp.

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/30/2007 06:18:00 PM

Sound Tigers Announce Pre-Season And Training Camp Dates
07/30/07 - American Hockey League (AHL) Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Training camp will take place at the Sound Tigers official practice facility, The Rinks at Shelton, from Sept. 24 - Oct. 2. Fans are welcome to attend all on-ice sessions.

The Sound Tigers pre-season schedule commences on Wednesday, Sept 26 against the Hartford Wolf Pack. The second game is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 28 versus the Providence Bruins, the Sound Tigers will then travel to Cromwell, CT for a game on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. against the Wolf Pack at the Champions Skating Center.

Stay tuned for the announcement of a fourth and final pre-season game later this summer.

NHL & ESPN TALKING ABOUT TV RIGHTS FOR 08-09

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/30/2007 05:10:00 PM
Interesting article, but Versus maintains the rights to the games and paid sixty millon dollars for the priviledge and have those rights until 2011.

On Espn, Hockey will always be the eighth or ninth sport but clearly Versus does not get it when they do not have studio shows or post-game press conferences for fans when finals games are on NBC.

Two finals were shown on NBC, twenty minutes after the cup was awarded they were off the air, Versus did not have the common sense to do coaches, players press conferences and a live studio show for the fans either year?

You may ask, they may not have had the rights to do any postgame following NBC coverage, but here's the kicker.

The only places to see the post game press conferences and the coverage were, you gussed it....ESPN NEWS.

Why pay for something, show it all year and then not be around for the end of the finals?

This even happened on some long ot games where Versus did the game, if a game went three overtimes, they got off almost immediately the show re-runs or repeats of programs.

I'm sure at 1am on the East Coast Bill Clement and the crew want to go home, but such great games require live coaches press conferences and player comments. They usually have people working the benches, go work the lockerooms.

I'm a die-hard fan, this is want I'm looking for.

Also what happened to all that programming Versus had on in year one for hockey with those old Islander History of Hockey segments?

Too early to grade the Islanders summer

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/30/2007 09:27:00 AM
Usually when we hit August, media people start grading how a club did in the summer and start making their predictions for next season so those prognostications can be published in magazines or websites that have to be released by September or these writers have to do projections for thirty teams and are doing one a day and have to start now to be done by September.

IMHO, this is far too early for grades or projections. This is a different NHL where the top tier UFA are still well overpaid but soon afterward the second-tier players
find themselves shut out where they really have to scramble for the best offer because few teams are able to overpay with a salary cap or have reached their own budget limit.

In the Islanders case we don't know if Charles Wang has Garth Snow on a budget or if this is all they intend to do in UFA. We do know Snow was quoted as saying he can spend on anyone he feels will help the club. It's also possible the next move is a trade of salary/cap-hit for some other players cap-hit to fill a need.

The Islanders have a lot of options here and can go either way. Players like Tambellini and Bergenheim are at the point where they no longer belong in the AHL and the same may be said for Frans Nielsen and perhaps a Blake Comeau, Jeremy Coliton or Petteri Nokelainen.

Do you sign a Michael Peca now, who fits Sillinger's role as a third line center (with less scoring) and not that of a second line center or do you maybe wait and see who becomes available after camp when it's clear or do you limit these kids opportunities for jobs now?

Looking at the roster now with players like Bates, Park, Simon signed and with Andy Hilbert getting a two year extension, there are not many jobs available on this roster anymore.

It's been a wild ride and maybe not the best ride for this club so far. We do know the Islanders had a lot of weaknesses with Smyth, Zednik. Yashin, Blake, Robitaille, Kozlov, Poti, Hill and Asham here and were a limited club but collectively they also helped this club produce a 92 point season and a playoff spot. It's possible the players added address some of these weaknesses, but it's also possible Comrie, Guerin, Sim and Fedotenko struggle badly here and cannot replace the lost offense and defense last year's club showed.

If a game had to be played tomorrow this is where things seem to stand:
Fedotenko-Comrie-Guerin
Hilbert-Sillinger-Hunter*
Sim-Tambellini-Satan
Bergenheim-Bates-Park
Simon-Nokelainen-Comeau-Collition...ect

Martinek-Witt
Bergeron-Gervais
Campoli-Meyer
Johnson ect....

For now we have to wait and see what happens with this roster. for now it could go either way.

7/29/07

Arbour's Day: Devils' Sutter almost had shot to match wits with Isles' legend

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/29/2007 10:42:00 AM
Interesting article where Al Arbour and new Devils coach Brent Sutter is quoted, apparently the Islanders first idea was to have Arbour coach a game scheduled earlier next season vs New Jersey.

Arbour's Day: Devils' Sutter almost had shot to match wits with Isles' legend

Al Arbour's one-game return to coaching the Islanders was nearly scheduled against Devils rookie coach Brent Sutter. That would have been an emotion-filled night for the Hall of Famer and his former captain and protégé.

When Arbour and members of the Islanders' front office discussed plans for his return to the bench, they seriously considered two Saturday night home games at Nassau Coliseum -- Oct. 20 against the Devils and Nov. 3 vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins.

At the time, the Devils had not yet named Sutter their new coach, so that didn't figure into the decision.

"I told (the Islanders) the Devils game was too early," Arbour revealed to The Star-Ledger. "I'm still at my summer home (in Ontario) in September. I didn't want to be rushing back. But it would've been fabulous. We would've been looking at each other not knowing what to do. Well, we both would've been trying to win, which is the way it's supposed to be, right?"

"I'd probably have worn a pair of glasses because Al wore glasses," Sutter said in a telephone interview from his home in Alberta. "It would've been great. I have the highest regard for Al as a person and coach. He's a great man. He taught me a lot, like how to be a professional and how to deal with things."

"No question, watching someone means an awful lot," Arbour said. "He was like I was as a player. I learned from a lot of coaches and learned something from them all. My last coach was Scotty Bowman, but I also learned from Punch Imlach and Joe Crozier.

"Brent was a student of the game. He had leadership qualities all over. That's why he was our captain."

Sutter said the greatest lesson he may have learned from Arbour was how to communicate with players Al was great at communication," he recalled. "You always knew where you stood. I work on the framework of honesty. Al was the same way. That's where I learned it from."

In his introductory press conference, Sutter said some of his players probably won't like him because of his tough approach. That is Arbour all over.

"I think Brent is going to command respect. He's a very no-nonsense type of guy," Arbour said. "He's not there to be liked. Some of my players liked me and some of them hated me. I think he'll be the same way."

Hate might be a strong word when it comes to Arbour.

"I'm not so sure hate is the word," Sutter said. "I'm not going to say every player respected Al the way I did, but there was a tremendous amount of respect. I've said that there doesn't have to be a tremendous amount of love between players and the coach, but there has to be a tremendous amount of respect. I demand respect."

Sutter, of course, could've had the Islanders' job at various points had he been ready to leave his junior team, the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. Arbour doesn't hold it against him that he's a Devil.

"That was his decision. I'm happy for him," Arbour said. "I think it's great for him. I'm sure he could've gone to a lot of places a while back. He'll be successful with the Devils. I don't think it will be as tough for him making the transition from junior hockey to the NHL because he played in the NHL."

And he had a pretty good teacher.

"Al took me under his wing," Sutter said. "I always looked at Al as like a father to me."

Islanders coach Ted Nolan came up with the idea of bringing Arbour back. Nolan said he noticed a board outside the team's dressing room that showed Arbour had coached the Isles for 1,499 games and thought it would be meaningful to bring him back for No. 1,500. Nolan will join Arbour behind the bench on Nov. 3.

Arbour said he agreed to come back to show some of the organization's past stars that they need to stay in touch with the team.

"I'm sure I will be nervous," Arbour said. "You never forget, but I hope I don't forget too much. It should be very interesting."

What if he gets the itch for more than one game?

"No possibility whatsoever," Arbour insisted. "You kidding? I'm going to be 75 years old soon. I'm not in the best physical condition anyway."

One game is enough.

"I think it's great," Sutter said. "Great for the game. It's a credit to Teddy Nolan to approach Al on it. It will be great to see Al back."

Even if it's not face-to-face.

7/28/07

Rumor of Hunter closing in on multi-year deal..

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/28/2007 08:20:00 PM
NHLline.ca reported Markov was about to become an Islander a week ago and pulled the rumor, so read this update with that in mind.

Hopefully this time their rumor is true and Hunter is about to sign a multi-year deal. Isles website told us about Campoli's deal before-hand so stay tuned, Hunter's hearing is August 1st.

Close to a Deal?

Yet another arbitration hearing is about to be avoided. The NHL Line has learned that restricted free agent Trent Hunter and the New York Islanders are closing in on a multi-year deal. General Manager Garth Snow is confident he can reach an agreement with Hunter but hopes it can get done in time for the arbitration hearing. Remember, even if the two sides are close there has to be ink on the contract and until there is, the arbitration hearing stands. But all signs point to a deal getting done before hand

NY Islander Fan Centreal-Prospect Center Open !!

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/28/2007 02:50:00 PM


A lot of work to set up but all New York Islander Prospect Profiles are now available on this page.

I have decided to set my own paramaters as to what is a prospect:

The days of Hockey's Future and the Buffaloed-Holly Gunning disasterous guidelines that were served to control writers were a joke that was bad for the folks wanting to learn about prospects. Also their ever-changing comical rating system read more like a game of bingo or battleship with the letters and numbers. Players and their families read these things and take them very seriously. I was contacted by Frans Nielsen's family on a few occasions with information.

Just another reason in a long list of reasons why both of them should be immediately dumped by Hockey's Future, but that's for another day.

My system is a lot more common-sense:
1. All propspects listed by last name: You decide where you think they belong for yourselves.

In my opinion it's silly to read articles and rate a prospects progress based on that and I had seen far too many uninformed writers attempt to rate prospects on the basis of stats or a singular article because teams and leagues are different. There are also a lot of folks like Larry Brooks in Europe writing these articles that we use as paramaters for rankings who would not know some of these kids if they appeared on their front door but still threw out their names.

2. Anyone who's over age 25 or had been around the block in the NHL, AHL or ECHL for years is not a prospect. Sorry gang, but a Matt Spiller is not a prospect, nor is a Tim Jackman, nor is Drew Fata and for that matter neither is Dubie or Joey McDonald and neither is the Islanders recent signing Aaron Johnson, who played sixty games with Columbus last season. The Isles website may have their profiles in the prospects sections but to me they are no longer prospects.

3. Players below the age of 24 who stayed in juniors-Europe for years and are just working their way into the AHL/ECHL I consider a prospect. See-Blake Comeau, Frans Nielsen, Jeremy Colliton.

4. With the new CBA all drafted players must be signed within two years with the exception of college players. Older European prospects before the new cba must be signed within a select amount of years or they are considered UFA and that works on a yearly scale that was grandfathered in year by year. In the past when a club drafted a European Prospect that club owned the NHL rights forever which is why you see NHL.com technically list Dimitri Upper as an UFA now.

5. The days of Per Braxenholm, Juha Pekka-Ketola and Arto Tukio being considered Islander prospects are over as they have clearly fallen off the club's radar nor do they likely have signing rights to them, nor have they appeared in the club's website or have attended summer workouts.

Each person make up your own prospect parameter, these will be mine.

Anaheim gm Brian Burke rips Kevin Lowe over offer sheet and timing.

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/28/2007 12:53:00 PM
Interesting stuff from Burke, calling Oilers gm Kevin Lowe gutless and classless.

At first Burke was upset at the timing because he was going to be away and that Lowe could have dropped his offer sheet at any time, but clearly Burke is annoyed at how Edmonton is doing business and clearly Kevin Lowe does seem to be desperate.

At least it should hold down the reports out of Edmonton that surface after every Islander-Oiler trade that whoever we trade them is a superstar.

Article does show how this really boxes Burke in if he wants to resign a Corey Perry next summer or if Niedermayer or Selanne decide to return.

Burke reportedly is no friend of Garth Snow either and had some insults for him last summer when he was hired. Also some reports claimed Snow traded Blake to Anaheim at the trade deadline but it was done after the 3pm deadline....

Dany Markov looking at Russia

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/28/2007 12:45:00 PM
I know there has been some talk of Markov signing with the Islanders (mostly rumor)but he would be the best possible replacement on paper for Hill at this time.

7/27/07

Update on Islanders 2006 4th Rounder Doug Rodgers

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/27/2007 08:18:00 PM
Jolly Rogers
By Kayvon Pourmand
Jul 27 2007 5:09 PM

Entering high school, Doug Rogers set several goals for his hockey career: get drafted into the NHL, play college hockey and eventually, play in the NHL.

Halfway through high school, Rogers added another goal to that list: play for the U.S. national team.

Now, after an impressive freshman season at Harvard, where Rogers finished second on the team in points (24) and assists (17), the Crimson center has the opportunity to reach that goal, as he has been invited to try out for the U.S. National Under-20 team Aug. 3-11.

"It's obviously a great honor to be asked to try out to represent your country," said Rogers, a Watertown, Mass. native. "Just getting asked to try out alone is a huge accomplishment."

To qualify for this year's national team, Rogers must try out at a camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. Forty-five players have been invited to the tryout, which will see the invitees scrimmage against players from Finland and Sweden. While Rogers is merely happy with being asked to try out, Fraser thinks the young center has a good shot of making the team. However, he cautions that it isn't always the best individual players that get selected.

"He is definitely one of the best players in his age group," said Fraser, who also tried out for the team in 2005. "Doug is the type of player that can do everything well and can play in any type of situation ... that's important because they don't necessarily take the best goal scorers, they take the best team. When you're looking at guys for the best combination, I think Doug fits in there well."

One concern for Rogers heading into the camp will be his physical readiness. Harvard hasn't played a game since March and Rogers has spent part of his summer working to get his body in shape for the team tryout. Of course, he sought advice from Fraser on what he needs to do to be ready.

"He told me to do the things I'm good at, don't deviate from the way I play," said the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Rogers. "(He said) to stay in shape, or get in shape, and to keep playing how I play."

Fraser said the best piece of advice he could offer to any player trying out for the team: play with confidence.

"You're going in and you're going to be skating with some of the best players in the country," said Fraser. "That can get intimidating ... as long as you stay positive the whole time you're there, you're going to do great. You are there for a reason. They know you're a good player."

If Rogers makes the team, he will represent the U.S. at the World Junior Championships in Pardubice and Liberec, Czech Republic from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, meaning he will miss four Harvard games, including matches against conference foes Quinnipiac and Princeton. However, neither of the young Crimson stars expects the missed time to be a problem.

"I'm sure when the situation arises, we have a great group of players back at school and great coaches," said Rogers. "I'm not the least bit worried about making any adjustments."

Rogers said he expects his experience with the national team, whether it ends in Lake Placid or the Czech Republic, will be of the learning variety. The 2006 fourth-round draft pick of the New York Islanders expects that the potential missed time at Harvard will be worth it in the long run for both him and his team.

"If I can make that team, it’d be great to just compete against these kinds of players and learn something in the process," said Rogers. "These are the guys you're competing with to play in the NHL. Just the knowledge I'd gain from seeing these guys play and seeing what I'm up against, I think would be very valuable."

Islanders on FSN Friday 8pm.....

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/27/2007 05:30:00 PM
From 12/26/06:
DiPietro shuts out the Rangers 2-0 and the " You cant beat us chants begin "

Once again, Islanders count on Bossy to score big

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/27/2007 02:51:00 PM

Once again, Islanders count on Bossy to score big
By Ambrose Clancy
Friday, July 27, 2007

Long Island’s deadliest professional sniper has a group of businesspeople squarely in his sights.
In a stellar 10-year career, all-time New York Islanders great Mike Bossy – who never met a goaltender he couldn’t baffle and routinely broke the hearts of Rangers fans – helped hang four championship banners in Uniondale. Now, the National Hockey League Hall of Fame winger is lending his name and reputation to an effort to drum up business for the money-losing Nassau franchise.

If you want a Bossy-autographed hockey stick, it will run you about $520 through sports memorabilia giant Steiner Sports, where an autographed puck will cost about $90. But if you want an autographed skate, you can’t get it at any price. “I never signed skates,” the great shooter said.


But you can get one for free, if you’re one of the 100 lucky Long Island businesses that recently received an autographed skate and a letter from Bossy requesting a meeting to discuss Islander advertising opportunities. The skates have gone “to the top businesses on Long Island who currently don’t have a relationship with us,” said Islander spokesman Chris Botta, listing such Island powerhouses as Sbarro, Sleepy’s, Riverhead Building Supply and Harbor Footwear.
Bossy characterized the promotion “as a stab in the dark.”

“As an organization, we wanted to be aggressive to try and get these companies involved with the team,” he said. “I go on calls to try to develop relationships with the sponsors and do a ton of executive suite visits during the season.”

The franchise can use a money infusion. Since owner Charles Wang took over the Islanders during the 2000-01 season, the storied organization has hemorrhaged more than $20 million annually – even as the process toward creating a new arena grinds slowly on.
“We need the corporate support,” Botta said. “We’ve always been active in trying to tell them how the Islanders can help their businesses.”



The hope is that advertisers will buy a package that tops out at $100,000 and includes advertising on arena “dasher boards,” TV and radio spots and game programs for 41 regular-season home games, not to mention exhibition contests and potential playoff games, Botta said.
“The dasher boards will stay up for a lot other events at the Coliseum,” he added.

Bossy, who commutes to Long Island from his home in Quebec for about a week each month, is a strong asset. “He’s a good guy to have in meetings because he’s a conversation piece but he’s worked in the real world after he retired 20 years ago,” Botta said.


Bossy said he scheduled several meetings with various executives after the skates went out. “It’s an opportunity for us to meet with him and look at what opportunities are there,” noted Jason Lazar, vice president of Port Washington’s Harbor Footwear, adding that at the meeting they will discuss the nuts and bolts of a possible Islanders deal.


Bossy plans to remind prospective advertisers that “our team motto is ‘character, heart and grit,’” he said. “And I know a lot of businesses feel the same way about themselves.”

Arbitration Countdown for Trent Hunter

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/27/2007 12:45:00 PM
Trent Hunter's arbitration hearing is scheduled for August 1st, Adam Mair of Sports Illustrated clearly does not understand the market or Hunter's impact on the club if he feels he's only worth around 1.5m.

If that is not enough all anyone has to do is look at Hartnall's overpayment by Philadelphia to see that is the market Hunter and his agent are expecting..

Good news is arbitration means he will have a contract so no chance of Wang law when camp opens and him locked out like Bergenheim.

Bad news is next summer Hunter is unrestricted so it's in the club's best interest to lock him up long-term now. It was understandable IMHO to not overpay Jason Blake at his age, this is where you spend that money you saved on a long-term contract for Hunter.

Milbury unplugged in Friday's Newsday

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/27/2007 12:06:00 PM
Interesting stuff from Milbury in Newsday on Friday...

http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/ny-spmedia275308925jul27,0,3276941.column?coll=ny-hockey-headlines

Ex-Isle GM Milbury will join NBC's hockey team
July 27, 2007

'Mad Mike" sounded mostly happy and calm on the phone yesterday, content to have veered off in a direction on which Hempstead Turnpike does not appear on the map. Well, technically it could, but NBC doesn't make many stops at Nassau Coliseum, so Mike Milbury is free to
go - both professionally and personally.

He plans to move off Long Island with his family after a dozen years in residence, probably to his native Boston area, and will begin appearing as an NHL studio analyst for NBC in January.

Why TV? Remember, this is a guy who, when he resigned in May as the Islanders' senior VP of marketing and sales, left open the possibility of joining another front office; he told Newsday he wanted to pursue "things I'm much more passionate about than ticket sales."

"The first thing is, you only have to work 25 days out of the year," he said yesterday. "It's kind of like stealing money."Maybe it's just the change of pace for a guy who at 55 is coming off a 12-year stint with the Islanders that covered four sets of owners, nine years as GM, three terms as coach and controversial trades."I managed to survive that long against long odds," he said.

"It was an interesting time on Long Island." Of the ownership turmoil, he cracked, "We were leading the league in convicted felons."That's the kind of funny, edgy line NBC is counting on from Milbury, who essentially will replace Brett Hull, another quote machine who left to work in the Stars' front office.The best part is Milbury can be less reserved than ever; his employers want him to speak out. "I'm totally unfettered, and I'm looking forward to it," said Milbury, who last did regular TV work for ESPN before he joined the Islanders.Gone will be the emotional feedback from the masses. "I put pressure on myself to get the job done," he said. "But I've had 15,000 people crying for my head in the Coliseum or 15,000 cheering for me in Boston and other places. It's not that kind of pressure."

Milbury would like to get in some TV work in the fall before NBC picks up the NHL in January, but it is not clear whether the Peacocks will let him work for Versus.NBC will abandon its Rockefeller Center set and take its "studio" show on the road, featuring Milbury and Pierre McGuire.

As for the Islanders, Milbury praised the job general manager Garth Snow did and said that under the right circumstances - an improved facility would be nice - they still can succeed as a franchise."Having been in the front office and listened to the fans and sponsors, there certainly is enough interest there to keep it a viable product," he said. "It's a proven hockey market."Milbury would not rule out working for a team again but said he is not looking ahead. Sometimes it's nice to finish a season undefeated.

"This could be a fun way to make a living," he said. "Talking about hockey on TV? Like I said earlier: stealing money."

7/26/07

Mike Milbury Joins NBC Sports as Analyst

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/26/2007 04:45:00 PM







Great signing by NBC and great for the league's fans.

Milbury unlike Brett Hull or Jeremy Roenick know the league and the players well and no doubt NBC hired him to speak his mind which may be more entertaining than the game.

Considering Pierre McGuire and Milbury clearly do not get along well at all over the year it should be intesting to see McGuire's reaction to this. Be a lot of fun to see him do commentary for an Islanders game if one is scheduled by NBC next season...




Mike was unplugged on Friday in Newsday claiming a job like this is stealing money and that the Isles led the league in owners who were convicted felons.






Ex-Isle GM Milbury will join NBC's hockey team

July 27, 2007


'Mad Mike" sounded mostly happy and calm on the phone yesterday, content to have veered off in a direction on which Hempstead Turnpike does not appear on the map.Well, technically it could, but NBC doesn't make many stops at Nassau Coliseum, so Mike Milbury is free to go - both professionally and personally.

He plans to move off Long Island with his family after a dozen years in residence, probably to his native Boston area, and will begin appearing as an NHL studio analyst for NBC in January.



Why TV?



Remember, this is a guy who, when he resigned in May as the Islanders' senior VP of marketing and sales, left open the possibility of joining another front office; he told Newsday he wanted to pursue "things I'm much more passionate about than ticket sales."




"The first thing is, you only have to work 25 days out of the year," he said yesterday. "It's kind of like stealing money."Maybe it's just the change of pace for a guy who at 55 is coming off a 12-year stint with the Islanders that covered four sets of owners, nine years as GM, three terms as coach and controversial trades."I managed to survive that long against long odds," he said.




"It was an interesting time on Long Island." Of the ownership turmoil, he cracked, "We were leading the league in convicted felons."That's the kind of funny, edgy line NBC is counting on from Milbury, who essentially will replace Brett Hull, another quote machine who left to work in the Stars' front office.



The best part is Milbury can be less reserved than ever; his employers want him to speak out. "I'm totally unfettered, and I'm looking forward to it," said Milbury, who last did regular TV work for ESPN before he joined the Islanders. Gone will be the emotional feedback from the masses. "I put pressure on myself to get the job done," he said. "But I've had 15,000 people crying for my head in the Coliseum or 15,000 cheering for me in Boston and other places. It's not that kind of pressure."Milbury would like to get in some TV work in the fall before NBC picks up the NHL in January, but it is not clear whether the Peacocks will let him work for Versus. NBC will abandon its Rockefeller Center set and take its "studio" show on the road, featuring Milbury and Pierre McGuire.




As for the Islanders, Milbury praised the job general manager Garth Snow did and said that under the right circumstances - an improved facility would be nice - they still can succeed as a franchise."Having been in the front office and listened to the fans and sponsors, there certainly is enough interest there to keep it a viable product," he said. "It's a proven hockey market."


Milbury would not rule out working for a team again but said he is not looking ahead. Sometimes it's nice to finish a season undefeated."This could be a fun way to make a living," he said.


"Talking about hockey on TV? Like I said earlier: stealing money."

http://www.tvweek.com/news/2007/07/mike_milbury_joins_nbc_sports.php

Mike Milbury Joins NBC Sports as Analyst
By Chris Pursell

“For years I've been offering my opinion, most of the time without being asked, and not getting paid for it,” he said. “In all seriousness, I love the game of hockey and am greatly looking forward to lending my voice to the sport and joining the crew at NBC who share my passion for the NHL.”

Sound Tigers Sign Goalie Maxime Ouellet

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/26/2007 03:12:00 PM
https://oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3514328
Old news but announced today view the article here

"We have created a competitive goaltending atmosphere for both the Islanders and Sound Tigers training camps," Sound Tigers president Howard Saffan said. "Max's signing will insure we have the two best net-minders filling our crease for each respective team."

NYISLES1 AND ISLESTIGERS IS BACK !!!!!!!

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/26/2007 01:17:00 PM
Spread the word, it's great to be back and Welcome to Everyone...

My thanks to so many for their kind words and support at both Islanders-Sound Tigers and Hockey's Future.

It was my honor to own and operate Islander-Sound Tigers for seven years. It was also my pleasure to be the Islanders Editor for three years and board moderator at Hockey's Future for five years. Both sites during my time survived the lockout and were among the most popular websites in cyberspace and that was thanks to many of the great members we had at both sites.

Islander Fan Central is written based on my perspective on the NY Islanders.

For those who know me well enough by now this will be one of the best updated blogs in all of cyberspace with tons of quality topics and discussions.On this blog expect daily updates and commentary on all subjects related to the New York Islanders.

Thank you for visiting and looking forward to hearing from everyone

" Yashin needed to go where 'he's looked at like a god "

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/26/2007 09:54:00 AM
Carol Alt speaks out for Yashin's time in Ottawa like were back in 2000 or something and he's still holding out.

The two Ottawa papers will never let his holdout go.

Yashin's biggest problem is he almost never opens his mouth to defend himself or tell his story so he leaves it his agent(s) to do almost all the talking and now Alt is speaking to the press in Ottawa for him.

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/sports/story.html?id=e1ce4ea6-0340-421c-b63a-0e18551ac4f8

7/25/07

Isles-Devils appear set for Arena game 9/29..

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/25/2007 09:45:00 PM
Isles-Devils appear set for Arena game
MICHAEL FORNABAIO

Although the deal isn't finalized, it appears the New York Islanders will return to the Arena at Harbor Yard for an NHL exhibition game Sept. 29. The New Jersey Devils, the Islanders' opponent for the game, included the contest this week in their preseason schedule. Neither the Islanders nor the Sound Tigers have announced an official preseason schedule yet. It will be the third time the Islanders, the parent club of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, will play a preseason game at the home of their farm club. New York defeated Boston on Sept. 21, 2003, with 6,892 fans in attendance. The Islanders and Devils played last Sept. 30, also a Saturday night, in front of an announced 4,714. The Islanders and Devils will also play Sept. 26 at Lowell, Mass., home of the Devils' top farm club.

http://www.connpost.com/sports/ci_6462227

Welcome to all Islanders-Sound Tigers members..

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/25/2007 05:30:00 PM
The invite is officially in to everyone from our former mailing list: Islanders-Sound Tigers to come and be a part of the new blog.

The old mailing list with all pictures and files will occupy a place here for reference.

Welcome to all our old members....

http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/Islanders-SoundTigers/

Islanders Website checks in with an update on Kim Johansson

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/25/2007 02:34:00 PM
http://islanders.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=335314&page=NewsPage&service=page

LONG ISLAND-BOUND: Kim Johansson
Jul 25, 2007, 2:03 PM EDT

A weekly look at an Islanders' top prospect

KIM JOHANSSON
Center/WingHeight: 6-1 Weight: 172 Shoots: LeftBorn: January 21, 1988 – Malmo, Sweden 2006-07 Team: Malmo (SWE-Jr)Acquired: Islanders 2006 fifth-round draft pick (141st overall) 2006-07

OverviewJohansson had an excellent year in his third season with Malmo of the J20 SuperElite League in Sweden. His 17 assists and 25 points in 27 games were tops on his team during the regular season. The production was a vast increase from the previous year, which saw Johansson compile four assists and seven points in 24 games.However, Johansson was hoping to play a more physical game this season, but couldn't due to a hand injury that kept him out of team practices to start the season.Malmo's regular season record of 10-11-6 didn't earn them an automatic bid into the playoffs. Malmo eventually received a trip to the postseason after going 10-3-2 in the qualifying round. In 11 qualifying round games, Johansson was 2-3-5 with a +7 rating. In addition, he won 55% of his draws.In the playoffs, Malmo lost in the second round to eventual Champion Frolunda after disposing of Mora in two games in the opening round.

Johansson next traveled to Long Island at the end of June to partake in the Islanders' Prospects Camp for the first time. Having experienced little international competition in the past, Johansson benefited greatly from playing with and against his fellow Islanders prospects. Islanders management was pleased with the way Johansson handled himself against players who were often bigger and stronger. His speed and skill was clearly evident throughout the scrimmages held on the final three days. Johansson transitioned smoothly from his center position in Sweden over to the wing during his stint on Long Island.

What They're Saying...European Scout, Ander Kallur: "I like Kim's progress. He had a tough start with a hand injury that made it difficult for him. He didn't really participate in all the drills earlier in the season. It didn't help Kim that he was lacking physical practice before the season started." What's Next?After three seasons in the J20 league, Johansson will be moving up to pro level. He hopes to make the Malmo team in the Allsvenskan, which is one tier below the Elite League. If he fails to make the cut, he'll drop down a level, but will still be playing against opponents tougher and older than in the J20 League."The key is for Kim to fill out, get stronger and improve from there," said Kallur. "He has good size and is a good skater. Kim is a team player who competes well. Once he develops his game better, he should have more confidence and take on more of a leadership role."

Projection:
Johansson is a skilled player, who has the potential for being a talented power forward. There are very few European forwards in the NHL, who would be considered role players. Those jobs are usually assigned to the North American players. If Johansson is to crack the Islanders lineup in the future, he'll have to prove he can contribute on one of the top two lines. With continued development and a hard work ethic, there's no stopping Johansson from completing such a task in the future.

Rick DiPietro must be recovered from hip surgery..

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/25/2007 02:25:00 PM
DiPietro took batting practice with the Mets on Tuesday as he has on several occasions in the past........

Wonder if he would give back the money if he could do it all again?

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18624485&BRD=2212&PAG=461&dept_id=465816&rfi=6

New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro took batting practice with the Mets before Tuesday's game. "If I could go back and do it again, I'd be a baseball player," the sweaty, ebullient DiPietro said afterward.
New York Islander Fan Central | 7/25/2007 02:12:00 PM
Buffalo News Update on Michael Peca negotiations.

Of course the Buffalo news had to bring up how much he was overpaid as an Islander which makes little sense given how so many other teams overpad for players and Peca's Islander contract was five years before the lockout in his late twenties before UFA. Too bad the writer was more concerned about his salary than correct information because this article claims he was a New York Islander for only two seasons.

http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/story/126752.html

DiCesare: Peca playing money game with Sabres
Bob DiCesare Updated: 07/25/07 8:12 AM

Well, what do you know? The Buffalo Sabres have been deemed worthy of figuring into Michael Peca’s career plans. He’d love to make another go of it here, turn his offseason pit stop into his full season home.

The Sabres are A-1 on Peca’s priority list as he mulls over the multitude of enticing offers he’s received from exemplary organizations. He could be a Ranger he wants you to know, teaming up with the departed Chris Drury. Keen interest has been expressed by the Carolina Hurricanes, another franchise Sabres fans have come to despise. But there’s no need to suffer the indignity of Peca signing with them because he really wants to be here. In Buffalo. This is where his heart is (cue the violin accompaniment), at least for the moment, or until the Maple Leafs make him an offer that extends his stay in his native Toronto.

There’s no telling what it is Peca really desires, only that, as we well know, he’s adept at playing the leverage game to take him where he wants to go. He was quoted on www.sportsnet.ca in late June as saying “My No. 1 priority is to stay in Toronto.” Maybe by tomorrow Philly’s his new paradise. Guess it all depends on who shows him the money.

Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier has been noncommittal on the issue of a Peca return, hinting such a signing is unlikely while declining to flat-out squash the possibility. And that’s far better treatment than Peca deserves from the GM whose life he made miserable during an acrimonious contract holdout that put Captain Crunch the Numbers on the sideline all of
2000-01.

Another GM would have spewed venom or laughed uproariously at Peca’s invitation to play nicey-nice after enduring what Regier endured. But Regier, ever the upstanding diplomat, never the mudslinger, reacted with nothing more than a noble nonchalance. That’s one of the interesting things about Regier. Some of his decisions may confound but the resulting heat never gets to him, even as Peca insists all the animosity from the long-ago stalemate was diffused upon the conclusion of the Rigas family ownership. How quickly Peca’s forgotten that it was Regier who bore the brunt of assaults, the intensity of the complaints increasing as the GM held out throughout the season and until the draft for a deal he could deem acceptable.

Peca got his trade, to New York, and an excessive salary that typified the Islanders’ penchant for overpaying. Two years in New York were followed by a trip to the Stanley Cup finals in Edmonton and an injury-abbreviated season with the Leafs, who are retooling with youth and feel no great urgency, and perhaps have no yearning whatsoever, to tap into upcoming seasons Peca says will be among the best of his career. Really?

Peca has scored 24 goals his last 182 games. He’s never matched his career best of 27 goals set here in 1998-99 despite rules changes that have fueled increased offensive production (it should be noted he had a nice playoffs during Edmonton’s run to the finals, after sleepwalking through the regular season).

A case could be made for Peca being worth the risk of an incentive-laden contract. And a case could be made that he isn’t. Despite the losses of Drury and Daniel Briere the Sabres aren’t exactly hurting at center, not if Tim Connolly and Paul Gaustad return healthy and Derek Roy’s arbitration award fits into the budget. All three are on the rise. All three are and assets on special teams. Their presence relegates Peca to the fourth line, so what’s the sense?

As for leadership, the Sabres have plenty of potential generals after two deep playoff runs. Besides, if leadership was such a concern Drury should have been retained. Signing a poor man’s version of their former co-captain wouldn’t be close to the same.

Building a Winner....

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/25/2007 12:03:00 AM

Unlike Mike Milbury, I'm not building this site on the corporate bicycle, but for a while I will keep one in the backseat, just in case...

The First Day and already we have some links up to what I consider the most important New York Islander related websites and information. Already have up the Newsday RSS Feeds, Google not working for this but Yahoo is, also some NHL updates feeds. Ct Post does not have this for the Sound Tigers.

Still working on a proper header for the site..

Keep checking back as this will be a very active and progressive blog packed with daily updated information, tons of New York Islander related hockey content...
Thanks and Welcome...

7/24/07

NYI BUSINESS SEASON OFF TO HOT START

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/24/2007 09:41:00 PM
It should be noted, Chris Dey, the club's new vice president (Mike Milbury's successor) is Charles Wang's son in law..

Still, unexpected good news from the sales department in a New York Market where baseball sells, not hockey.

http://islanders.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=335292&page=NewsPage&service=page

NYI BUSINESS SEASON OFF TO HOT START
Jul 24, 2007, 8:21 PM EDT

New full season ticket sales surpass 1,000 mark; Season tickets renewal rate currently at 86%; sponsorships up dramatically

With still more than two months to go before the 2007-08 season National Hockey League season begins, the New York Islanders are enjoying a highly successful offseason beyond the playing surface."Islanders fans have responded in an overwhelmingly positive fashion to the improvements made to last season's playoff squad," said Chris Dey, the team's Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Operations. "And businesses, both nationally and on Long Island, are coming on board because they are learning the benefits of a true corporate and civic partnership with us."

Among the many highlights of the Islanders' hot summer:
The team has sold more than 1,000 new full season ticket packages. That's triple what the club sold at this time last summer and the best July for new season ticket sales since 2001. Fans have responded to the acquisition of captain and four-time NHL All-Star Bill Guerin and standout center Mike Comrie, among other notable roster moves by general manager Garth Snow.

86% of last year's season ticket holders have already renewed for 2007-08. Returning season subscribers have responded to the improvements made to Ted Nolan's lineup and the knowledge that in this era of vast player movement throughout pro sports, 25-year old franchise goaltender and U.S. Olympian Rick DiPietro is signed to a career-long contract.

Corporate sponsorships are 300% above last summer's pace.

The Islanders expect to sell out their advertising inventory soon and are closing with a strong push, as evidenced by Islanders legend Mike Bossy's recent "Skate in the Door" initiative. The Hall of Fame right wing, now the team's Executive Director of Corporate Relations, last week sent an autographed skate along with a letter to the top companies on Long Island without a current partnership with Long Island's only major league sports franchise.

In addition, the Islanders also announced that their Islanders Business Club Executive Level Suites, owned and operated by the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, are at near-capacity and the newly re-designed Islanders Team Store at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville just experienced its biggest sales week in two years when it re-opened in mid July."Proving We're All Islanders, the team and the Long Island community are working together to make this the most exciting Islanders season in years," said Dey. ""But make no mistake: there is still plenty of work to be done."

NHL.com feature on Kyle Okposo 7/24...

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/24/2007 09:25:00 PM
http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=335239

Former Post Beatwriter, Evan Grossman has an NHL.com feature on Kyle Okposo on 7/24...

Islanders know Okposo is worth waiting for
Evan Grossman NHL.com Staff Writer
Jul 24, 2007, 11:55 AM EDT

The New York Islanders selected Kyle Okposo seventh overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.By now, you’ve probably seen it. The goal has been all over television, it’s been viewed on YouTube over 50,000 times. It’s reached almost cult-like status among puckheads around the world. Without question, it was the prettiest goal scored anywhere in organized hockey in the last year.
Kyle Okposo came off the right wing wall in a game last December, took a no-look feed on the post from University of Minnesota teammate Ryan Stoa and in tight quarters, pulled the puck back between his legs and flipped it in behind his body.

“You practice that every now and again, just messing around at practice,” Okposo told NHL.com. “It was just kind of all instinct. It was pretty much the only thing I could do with the defenseman trying to cut me off, coming across the net there. So I just had to go back; I couldn’t stop and go back, so I just thought I’d try it. Luckily it worked, and I fanned on the shot even.”

Simply known as “The Goal” in Gopher hockey circles, the Okposo trick shot stood up as the game-winner in a 2-1 victory against rival Minnesota State. It also helped to jumpstart his folk-hero status as one of the more anticipated young players to come down the road in recent years.

“People ask about it all the time,” he says. “I didn’t think it was anything special when I did it. But I guess to do it in a game, it’s pretty cool.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkjZhU6dHKo

Going into his sophomore year at the University of Minnesota, Okposo could just have easily battled for an NHL roster spot this fall. He was drafted by the Islanders seventh overall in 2006 and could be the most electrifying player – on any level – in that organization’s system. Instead, he’s going back to school for at least another year, because, as he says, it will be better for his development. If you’re an Isles fan, that’s good and bad news all in one.

Okposo declared last month he would be putting his professional career on hold for at least one more season. The bad news in that declaration is that NHL fans will have to wait another year to watch him play on a regular basis. The good news, though, is that when he finally does make his NHL arrival, he’ll be even better than he is right now.

“It was a tough decision to go back to school,” Okposo said. “But I think it’s the best thing for me and my development. I think it’s the best thing for the people here (on Long Island). In another year, I’ll be going back to school and hopefully I can join the team or something when the time is right.”

While the Islanders are probably crushed on the inside that Okposo, a 6-foot power forward with soft hands, announced he’ll go back to school for another year, they have publicly supported his decision. After all, general manager Garth Snow attended the University of Maine and credits the education he got there in business school for his ability to make the transition from NHL goalie to executive.

He’s going back to school, and you know what, it’ll be good for him to dominate again at that level,” Snow says, “and then we’ll see what happens.”

Okposo decided to return to the University of Minnesota for his sophomore year, meaning Islanders fans will have to wait at least one more season until he arrives on Long Island.At this point, the only thing you’d expect to happen is something great. In Okposo, the NHL figures to have another young stud to go along with the unprecedented youth movement taking the League by storm. Last year, the scoring race was won by a 19-year-old Sidney Crosby, an 18-year-old Jordan Staal led the NHL in shorthanded goals, and just about every one of the 30 teams seems to have at least one player on the roster barely old enough to shave. That trend figures to continue again this season with the Blackhawks headed in the same direction with youngsters like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane hoping to make the squad.

Okposo could join an elite group of fresh-faced NHLers, but will put that on hold for another year. He’ll go back to one of the proudest NCAA programs in the United States when he pulls on the Minnesota maroon and gold for another season, returning to a program that’s chock-full of NHL draft picks every year.

Last season, Okposo was second in scoring with 40 points in 40 games for a team that also dressed 2006 first-overall pick Erik Johnson (St. Louis) and 2004 fifth-overall selection Blake Wheeler (Phoenix). Last year’s No. 5 selection, Boston’s Phil Kessel, also came to the NHL by way of the Gophers and won the Masterton Award in his rookie season.

“The competition’s great, especially in the league we play in, the WCHA,” Okposo says. “Night in and night out, you have to bring your A-game or you’re not going to have a chance. It’s really good for me in that way; it really pushes me and pushes my teammates. As far as the team goes this year, I think we have a really good crop of guys coming back and some good freshmen coming in. So it should be a fun year and we’re going to make a run for the NCAA title.”

In Arabic (Okposo’s father, like Jarome Iginla’s, is from Nigeria) his last name means “thunder storm.” Before long, the storm is going to hit the NHL with gale force. And may also include a trick shot here and there.

But first, it will remain in Minnesota for at least one more season, where Okposo will only get better in preparation of realizing his NHL dream.

“I think it’s going to be great,” he said. “Going back next year to Minnesota, where I think I learned a lot this year. I went in there as a freshman and I didn’t really know what to expect. Now I know what to expect, so I’m going to try and be a leader for that team and hopefully we get over the hump, get to the Frozen Four and get an NCAA title.”

And beyond that, we’ll all just have to wait and see what happens. --

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