Final thoughts on Fight Night

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/25/2007 09:03:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
The media will call the final result a sidebar to what happened and as we all know preseason does not tell us much unless a club has glaring weaknesses.

Fights are nice and if your going to fight you might as well win, but there was more to last night's game then the fights.

Last night's game told me a few things about the 07-08 club that I had questions about.

Will Simon change his game in light of a record suspension at this teammates expense?

Obviously not. That may seem like a foolish question on the surface but sometimes you see a player get that kind of suspension and change their game to make sure they do not get in trouble again and they are not the same player willing to do anything for his teammates by instinct. It had me wondering if Simon needed a change of scenery back to the Western Conference before he was resigned.

Does the team have any character?

Forget the lineups, the team rallied down 4-1 and won the game 5-4 in a game the opposing coach had his best defensive pairing for over twenty minutes. You can call the power plays that generated the goals poor goals, you can blame the goalie on the other team for questionable goals, but Isles at least showed a little character to turn the game around and on a team with so many new faces it is something that maybe they can build on.

New Coaches?

Again, say what you want about the pp goals but this is a new assistant coach running the powerplay and his plan produced goals. That helps the new players and Gerard Gallant, who was fired by Columbus settle into a job and builds their confidence in what they want to do.

Lineup impressions?

Things can change tomorrow but given how they were used and played, Tambellini looks like the second line left wing and generated chances early. Berard on the ice with the top line when the game is on the line combined with his performance says he makes the club if he wants to sign while Aaron Johnson looks too good to send down giving Garth Snow a very tough decision.

The first line produced like a first line, even if it was all on the powerplay and usually five on three powerplays.

Vasicek charging the net, scoring and making sure he runs over the goalie is exactly what this team needs from him if he's going to be a second line center every
game. He did the same thing late in the game too a second time before losing the puck and that's an element Kozlov never showed to his game last season. That must continue for this signing to work out this season. If it's one highlight in another six goal year, it's worthless.

Fedotenko scored a goal and easily could have scored in overtime. On this day he looked like the player the Islanders need him to be.

Sutton sent his message, now he has to show he can play defense. Bergeron I think played over twenty five minutes. Martinek showed no effects from his injury, neither did Meyer. The pass Martinek set him up with for that rush is something few on this roster can do and outstanding.

Bergenheim looked like a fourth liner or someone headed to Bridgeport. Hilbert fought but other than that just did not make much of an impression.

Meyer getting Shanahan to blow up was also interesting.

I wonder if the Islanders change the plan for the goaltenders against New Jersey tomorrow. Only two goalies are in camp.

Aside from that there is more to see. Competition for spots on this roster are going to be very interesting going into opening night.

One other thing already that seems clear, Ted Nolan seems to be able to get this group to respond to his coaching like last year's group.

Best early sign of all.

Colliton at Sound Tigers practice Tuesday

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/25/2007 08:02:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Michael Fornabaio updated his blog Tuesday Jeremy Colliton was at Sound Tigers practice. Also provided is what seems like the Sound Tigers preseason lineup for the first game on Wednesday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Unofficially subtract Collition from Islander roster in terms of the remaining forwards. Would not be surprising to see Brennan kept around until after the Ranger game Friday. If by some chance Simon's suspension is extended Brennan may stick around as a healthy scratch into the season but both those senario's at this time are unlikely.

Sound Tiger News Articles 9/25: Camp opens

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/25/2007 12:02:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Ct Post kicked off Sound Tigers camp Monday with an update on Frans Nielsen.

"I'm a lot stronger when I do have the puck," said Nielsen, who played 54 games for the Sound Tigers and 15 for the New York Islanders last season. "No one is pushing me off the puck."

* The front office added bigger players this summer to keep guys like Nielsen from getting pushed around. Nielsen took matters into his own hands, too.

"He put it on in the right places," coach Jack Capuano said. "He came back with a toned upper body."

* Nielsen said he likes the added strength, though his legs will have to get used to carrying 15 more pounds. But adaptation, Nielsen understands. He needed about a month to adapt to the North American game; he was used to the European style of carrying the puck over the blue line, so he felt a step behind when his teammates would dump it in and chase it. Once he figured it out, the points came in a rush. He had four points in his first 11 AHL games; he scored 40 in his last 43.

"Last year, you look at the guy: The hockey sense is there. The character is there. The leadership is there," Capuano said. He had a goal and an assist with the Islanders, becoming the first player trained in Denmark to skate in the NHL. "Hopefully I'll be ready soon to go back up," Nielsen said. "My big goal is to be there next year."

* Albany finished with 81 points, just over .points-500, to take the final playoff spot; Bridgeport finished two points back, just under.

"Not being able to play the fun stuff, it's not fun," Nielsen said. "We need to be a playoff team."

"All we're looking for is guys who have some passion, guys who want to be held accountable, guys who want to play hard," Capuano said.

ARRIVALS — The group includes 13 players on AHL contracts, including returning captain Mark Wotton, second-goalie candidates Maxime Ouellet and Mike Mole, returning centerman Gregg Johnson and his younger brother Keith, tough Pascal Morency, Kazuma Takahashi of Japan, and youngsters Justin Bourne, Christian Gaudet, Tyler Haskins, Mitch Woods, Martin Frechette and Jordan Hart. Another 14 players are on tryouts, including New Canaan's Jeff Dwyer and — no relation — veteran Gordie Dwyer. Another tryout, forward Olivier Labelle, played for Syracuse last season.

Sound Tigers website had a report on day one of camp.

Preseason games are as follows:
9/26: vs Hartford
9/28: vs Providence
9/29: at Lowell
9/30: at Hartford

Season begins 10/6:

Post Fight: Islander News Articles 9/25:

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/25/2007 12:21:00 AM | | | | Comment Here

Newsday starts off the post game coverage for Tuesday with the Islander perspective here and the Ranger perspective here.

"You don't want to see that much fisticuffs in hockey, but sometimes, it has a tendency to bring a team a little closer," Isles coach Ted Nolan said. Asked if he was worried about his goal.tender suffering an injury, Nolan added, "Ricky is a team guy first. He saw Simon get jumped by two guys, and he jumped in to help his teammate. You don't want to see a guy like Ricky do that, but he did it for the right reasons."

* When Montoya came out of his net, DiPietro instructed him to drop his gloves and take off his mask and then pulled Montoya down and pummeled him.

"Any time you see a teammate fighting two guys, two good fighters, you've got to jump in and make sure he doesn't get hurt," DiPietro said of Simon, who left without talking to reporters. "It's good to see guys stand up for each other."

"It's a great rivalry," said Guerin, who got his first taste of it. "There was some bad blood from last year. Some things needed to get sorted out, and they did."

Said Renney: "I thought Chris Simon was out there to play hockey tonight. I thought his first intention was to play a strong game of hockey and get himself ready for the season ... It's a spontaneous game and things can erupt ... Both teams were finishing their checks. I don't think anybody was looking for a number on the back. I don't think anybody was out to hunt anybody down."

"I didn't really have a choice, you had to stick up to your teammates," said Montoya, who said the lump over his left eye was caused by a puck in practice, not a fist. "I wanted to showcase my talents but obviously, he wanted to get something going."

Here is the second peirod brawl and goalie fight in full:

Already Scotty Morrison of CBC sports is blaming the league and Simon for him being allowed to play the preseason here even though he apparently did not watch the game and needed reports of actions by players. He also wonders about the response in the US to this.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Morrison is kind of funny here, does he honestly think anyone cared about this game either way in the US? Not like it's going to kick Jobba Chamberlain off the back page in a dress up as a team initiation. I don't think he understands no one is going to notice this at all locally except maybe someone looking for the usual justification to not cover hockey.

Greg Logan updated his blog Fisticuffs and fraternity to include last night's game and wonder if Simon could have games added on to his suspension. He also wonders if DiPietro fighting after two concussions was the right decision.

“I saw he got a match penalty,” Islanders coach Ted Nolan said of Simon. “That was no way a match penalty. We saw it on tape. Everything in preseason, they’re a little rusty. That’s one of those things where Garth [general manager Snow] will speak on that later.”

“I believe in man-to-man combat, not man-to-two-men combat,” Nolan said. “Somebody can take care of themselves, but not having two guys jump on one guy all the time. That’s what they did. Simon handled himself the first time pretty good, but he got jumped the second time from behind, so, that’s why Ricky jumped in.”

“You don’t usually worry about a guy like Si, but when he’s trying to fight two guys, you’ve got to get your nose dirty,” DiPietro said. “Whatever I can do to help out a teammate in need, I’m going to do it.”

* Asked if he considered the risk of another concussion.

“No, at that moment, you’re worried about your guys. That’s all that matters at that moment is protecting your guys, protecting each other. I thought we did a good job of sticking together. That’s what good teams do. They stick together and fight and do whatever they have to do to get a win. We did that tonight.”

“Simon has to get game-ready because he’s going to miss the first five games of the regular season,” Nolan said. “We didn’t play him in the game tonight to [fight]. We played him to get him ready for when he misses five games at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, that happened, so, we’ll make up our lineup in the next couple days heading into the Garden.”

Larry Brooks of the Post sort of wrote one Islander centric article
here his Ranger centric article with quotes from DiPietro are

Fight Night: NY Islanders 5 vs Rangers 4 ot

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/24/2007 07:27:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Islanders website doing in game updates. I'm watching and thought I would give mine.

Good webcast, no problems. Mears, King on the call.

First period:
Lot's of fights in the first three minutes before things settled down, empty seats downstairs.

Sutton immediately threw a huge elbow at Ryan Callanhan, Isles killed the penalty and hit him for a breakaway as the pp expired but was stopped by Al Montoya.

Colliton Orr immediately fought Sutton who got one hand free and threw all the punches before the take down. Seconds later Jason Strudwick and Kip Brennan squared off which was more a wresting match. Seconds later Hollewig/Simon both got into it but no fight, minor penalties, Isles got a pp out of it.

Tambellini had only quality chance for Isles on that pp, not many shots and choppy play on both sides. A few giveaways by Isles defense.


Aaron Johnson looked very good stepping in for a hit and moving the puck, Martinek looked very solid in transistion as he did last year.

Rangers had the better pressure and chances, Tambellini has the best chances for the Isles.

Firsr peirod shots Isles 7, Rangers 5.
Ice choppy according to game reports.
Second peirod:
Missed the start of the second and apparently missed a lot starting with an Islander goal. Three more sets of fights with Hilbert, Simon and Sutton going with Dubinsky and two Rangers which is where I come back in.

After that Berard a penalty, Johnson a double minor and two Ranger pp goals by Drury and Hollewig followed. Immediately a huge brawl breaks out with Simon-Hollewig and all players on the ice. DiPietro get's involved and Al Montoya comes across center ice. After being reluctant to take off the helmet Montoya does and got the takedown before DiPietro rolled over and pounded Montoya.

Both goalies ejected, another five minute major to Simon and another ejection. Isles
got a pp but Rangers eventually get another three minute advantage. Three fights or penalties between Simon and Hollewig in half a game. Refs calling everything and a Guerin high stick leaves man power at three on three before another long Ranger five on three.

Rangers lead 2-1 pp's lead to an 11-1 shot disparity only eight minutesd in. Five Rangers in box with Simon/DiPietro ejected and Studwick/Montoya ejected for the Rangers.

Rangers given a 3-1 goal on a replay on a play it looked like Dubie saved and was called no goal on the ice by the official.

Apparently DiPietro had no problem fighting and went off to huge cheers, he wanted to fight and got involved.

Rangers given their third five on three of the peirod after another penalty to Meyer. Another goal as the five on three expires makes it 4-1 before we finally get back to even strength.

Shots for peirod now 15-1 Rangers.

Islanders pp creates a few chances against a prospect goalie in net for the Rangers, before Bergenheim takes a penalty before another Ranger penalty evens things up.

Andy Hutchinson a dangerous cross-check on Tambellini that was only called two minutes. Isles five on three produces an bomb by Berard that Comrie put's in the empty net on to make it 4-2. Malik takes a penalty to give Isles another five on three which Guerin scores in the final seconds to make it 4-3.

Islanders four shots, three goals.
Rangers twenty second peirod shots.
Seven pp goals in peirod.
End of second...Amen
Third Period:
Isles pp to start third period.
Hilbert penalty
Byers penalty for Rangers
Hilbert slashed coming out of box.
Another Islander five on three.
Comrie dove for puck and got body diving to keep puck in but penalty.

Sutton pp time.
Bergeron and Berard shots blocked are hurting the Ranger defenders. Some chances by Islanders but not finishing.

For the moment things are at even strength.
Isles first line did all the pp scoring with Berard a huge factor.

Vasicek comes flying off left wing for the tying goal 4-4 on a great cross-ice transition pass from Martinek and Bergeron. First even strength goal of the night for either team.

Isles buzzing.
Shanahan to box, Isles pp.
Isles tenth pp.

Meyer penalty away from play.
Ranger pp.
Comrie looks good shorthanded.
Johnson another clear.
Martienk stand up and clear at blue line.
Sutton cut by puck into bench.

Drury left alone, Dubie stops him.
Isles some pressure with Guerin line, Ranger prospect goalie is called Weekman as opposed to Kevin Weekes. Dubie good save on Dawes.

Going to overtime.
Broadcast felt Bergenheim played well.
Third period shots 8-6 Islanders.
Dubie good save on Shanahan after setup from Drury.
Isles icing.

Vasicek again breaks in and drives the net. Fedotenko shot blocked.
Meyer hit Drury and Shanahan went back at him.
Four minutes Shanahan
Two minutes Meyer
Islanders ot pp.

Berard only defender on ice.
Comrie takes puck at net, assisted by Berard. Could have been Fedotenko too.

Comrie four point game first star.
Berard third star.

First line produced, second line with Tambellini looked good, Berard looked like he could help and a lot of character to come back down 4-1 to score four unanswered goals. More fights than any game all last season.

No doubt the media will be talking about all the fights and especially a goalie fight and we may see more coverage than usual. Wonder what a five minute major does to Simon's suspension.

Montoya looked like a car with no breaks flying over center ice and skating right by DiPietro, that by itself was very funny.

That was a lot of fun for preseason, everyone got their money's worth tonight.

Fair to say these teams do not like one another?

More tomorrow.

Greg Logan blog update 9/24:

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/24/2007 04:34:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Greg Logan updated his Newsday blog monday afternoon with a few interesting items as always including tonights lineup.

Among the highlights:
Mike Comrie:

We’re all trying to get ready for the first regular-season game, but we all want to work hard and show each other we’re ready to play. It’s always a lot of fun playing against an organization’s rivals.”

As athletes, we worry about ourselves and what we have to do as a team and not so much about our opponents as individuals. Playing with Billy and Ruslan [left wing Fedotenko], we know we’ve got to be ready to play, especially the eight games that we play against each of our division rivals.

Bill Guerin:

“It’s pretty important,” Guerin said. “For us these are the biggest games of the year against the Rangers, and we’re at home. You want to get off on the right foot. You don’t want to stumble out of the gate. The best thing is just to relax and play, but there is some importance for us.

“You’ve got the guys who were there all the time, but the new guys coming in want to be a part of it right away. They want to show they belong. The best stage to do it on is against your biggest opponents.”

* Islanders coach Ted Nolan said he expects to go with a predominantly veteran lineup in the Rangers games tonight and Friday at Madison Square Garden and in the final exhibition Sunday in Boston. More young players will be added to the lineup for road games against the Devils Wednesday at Lowell, Mass. and in a rematch Saturday night at Bridgeport.

* Five of the Islanders’ six free-agent signees will be in the lineup tonight, including Comrie, Guerin and Fedotenko on the top line, second-line center Josef Vasicek and defenseman Andy Sutton. Only Jonathan Sim will sit out along with linemates Mike Sillinger and Trent Hunter. Others scratched tonight include veteran center Richard Park, forward Darryl Bootland and defensemen Chris Campoli and Bruno Gervais.

* Vasicek will center a line with Miroslav Satan and Jeff Tambellini; Sean Bergenheim, Andy Hilbert and Blake Comeau, likely will skate on the third line, and the fourth line consists of Chris Simon, Jeremy Colliton and Kip Brennan.

“I still think the intensity will be there whether it’s an exhibition game or a playoff game,” Nolan said. “The intensity’s always there when you play your archrival, but we have to take into consideration that it’s still training camp and we’re still evaluating. We’re trying to give people a chance to make the final roster.”

The remaining roster spots available

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/24/2007 03:59:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders listed the remaining players currently with the club today.

Fair to say we now have a good idea of how few spots are available unless a trade happens or someone like an Andy Hilbert(with a new two year contract) are put on waivers to play in the AHL which is very unlikely.

DiPietro and Dubielewicz are the two remaining goaltenders so the goal tending is set.

Forwards (18)
7 Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park
11 Andy Hilbert
12 Chris Simon
13 Bill Guerin
15 Jeff Tambellini
16 Jon Sim
17 Shawn Bates
18 Mike Sillinger
20 Sean Bergenheim
26 Ruslan Fedotenko
27 Darryl Bootland
37 Kip Brennan
57 Blake Comeau
63 Josef Vasicek
72 Jeremy Colliton
81 Miroslav Satan
89 Mike Comrie

Nineteen skaters for what are eleven spots if Nolan has to dress seven defenders as the club's website said he would do a few days ago.

You take Bates (injured) Bootland, Brennan, Colliton off that list and you are down to fourteen skater for eleven spots. This does not count a suspended Simon for five games who can only play preseason at this time which starts us at thirteen.

Then take Comeau, Tambellini, Bergenheim off the list and we have ten forwards, when Simon returns they have eleven forwards so right now three players are fighting for one temporary spot for five games if seven defenders dress or one permanent spot if six defenders dress.

Of course there will be injuries to present opportunities but this is what it boils down to. I would suggest watch where Nolan uses Tambellini, Comeau and Bergenheim more than the other players.

On defense:
Defensemen (9)
2 Aaron Johnson
4 Bryan Berard
8 Bruno Gervais
14 Chris Campoli
24 Radek Martinek
25 Andy Sutton
32 Brendan Witt
44 Freddy Meyer
47 Marc-Andre Bergeron

If seven defenders dress two players have to go and we know unless a trade happens Martinek, Sutton, Witt and Bergeron are going to play on this team. That leaves five players for three spots and all of them who played significant NHL minutes last season. Campoli, Meyer would have to clear waivers.

This includes signing Bryan Berard which is not a lock for a lot of reasons.

For argument sake you want to get down to seven defenders without a trade just to start the season. You take Gervais and Aaron Johnson and send them to the minors because neither one have to clear waivers. Even if this happened your left with an extra defender to find time for each game which is not the best situation and you have at least one defender in the AHL (Gervais) who should not be there while the other (Johnson) has been impressive in camp reports and played sixty one games in the NHL last season and may not belong in the AHL either.

Of course that is for the present. This is a group of defenders with a long history of injury problems.

Still for right now it's going to be a very interesting week to see who does make this team and what Garth Snow and Ted Nolan do to improve the roster if someone is available who can help.

Updated 5:30pm
Islanders website this afternoon had more on this as Nolan singled out Comeau, Colliton, Tambellini for their work as well as Aaron Johnson. Isles also gave the combos from practice earlier today with comments from Fedotenko and Johnson about tonight's game.

ESPN Scott Burnside NY Islander Preview

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/24/2007 02:27:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Like the proverbial piano waiting to drop on your head, today was the day resident ESPN Islander critic Scott Burnside did his
Islanders season preview.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I think Burnside's opening sentence says it all about my perspective on his work which is always lazy and sloppy on the Islanders. There's just something about Scott Burnside's Espn perspective that begs you to be dismissive of him.

It's not the worst prewiew I have read from him given his past articles on the club but it does not work hard to tell us information. In the end just the usual throw together preview that anyone writing about thirty teams in thirty days will do because he's too busy doing other features for today than do some actual work on previewing our team.

Goes without writing it Isles are predicted fifth in the Atlantic and near the bottom in the East.

Burnside makes sure the arena is front and center on almost every issue he writes about despite the fact the last two summers the Islanders have never done better in UFA with Guerin, Comrie, Sillinger and Witt and makes it seem like a miracle Garth Snow could get anyone to sign here.

He ignores that DiPietro faced the most shots per game in the league last year when discussing his save percentage and starts off with his contract and that he has to keep proving himself. The teams powerplay to penalty kill disparity is never mentioned.

Like I wrote I have seen far worse from Burnside, who had very selective amnesia in forgetting the club was in sixth place for a good part of last season. The obligatory dig at Yashin had to be thrown in for good measure and for some reason Burnside seems to think Ryan Smyth scored all his goals in an Islander uniform last year.

Just read John McGourty's preview that was posted on this blog a few day's ago, put's this to shame in every possible way.

Islander News Articles 9/24: Rangers 7pm ITV/Radio

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/24/2007 01:55:00 PM | | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Greg Logan's Newsday article today centers around Jon Sim but claims at the end the Islanders were expected to place several players on waivers last night for the purpose of sending them to AHL Bridgeport.

"I was some happy," Sim said of his surprising contract. "I'll try to earn it. To be signed July 1st was big for me. I wasn't sure when I was going to get signed or by who. When the Islanders called that soon, it was great. So far, the organization has been top-notch."

* Vasicek, who had two assists in Friday's OT loss at Montreal, most often has been paired with wingers Jeff Tambellini and Miroslav Satan in the early going. Although Nolan wants him to be more aggressive, he's pleased by how well Vasicek has played at both ends.

"I was impressed with his defensive responsibility," Nolan said. "We've just got to get him to play a little harder and more aggressive on the puck. If he does that with his skill level, we've got ourselves a player."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
How many times does Greg Logan have to write the Islanders tried to sign Drury and Gomez? This is about the third or fourth time meanwhile Logan never once mentions the front loaded contracts both received which pay them around ten million this season.

Michael Fornabaio already told us who was in Bridgeport last night so it's not too hard to make a guess at who was placed on waivers if anyone was.

Vasicek has to do some scoring if he's going to be on this club's second line, same for Sim if he's going to play in the top six forwards.

Steve Zipay's blog in Newsday here
reports, the radio broadcast is on Bloomberg 1130 and let's us know the Rangers lineup for tonight's game at the Coliseum.

Islanders website reports tonight's game is on Islanders TV and Bloomberg Radio.

Below is the list of the 29 players currently with the Islanders, while the rest are at the training camp of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. However, note that with four exhibition games remaining and decisions still to be made, nothing is set in stone.

Goaltenders (2)
39 Rick DiPietro
34 Wade Dubielewicz

Defensemen (9)
2 Aaron Johnson
4 Bryan Berard
8 Bruno Gervais
14 Chris Campoli
24 Radek Martinek
25 Andy Sutton
32 Brendan Witt
44 Freddy Meyer
47 Marc-Andre Bergeron

Forwards (18)
7 Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park
11 Andy Hilbert
12 Chris Simon
13 Bill Guerin
15 Jeff Tambellini
16 Jon Sim
17 Shawn Bates
18 Mike Sillinger
20 Sean Bergenheim
26 Ruslan Fedotenko
27 Darryl Bootland
37 Kip Brennan
57 Blake Comeau
63 Josef Vasicek
72 Jeremy Colliton
81 Miroslav Satan
89 Mike Comrie

You take Bates (injured) Bootland, Brennan, Colliton off that list and you are down to fourteen for eleven spots. That does not count a suspended Simon for five games who can only play preseason at this time which starts us at thirteen.

Then take Comeau, Tambellini, Bergenheim off the list and we have ten forwards.

Seems like three players for what will be one spot on the roster until Simon returns.
If they dress seven defenders on a regular basis after Simon returns

Updated 3:40pm:
Cory Witt updated his media blog on what new things fans will see when they come to the Coliseum tonight.

First Unofficial cuts made

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/23/2007 09:04:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

Michael Fornabaio of the Ct Post in his blog here basically announced the rosters for the Sound Tigers (and cuts for the Islanders) which begins tomorrow in Shelton.

CAMP, Day 0: Getting started
They had a team meeting tonight to get organized. Skulking around outside produced this list:

Group I
G--Morrison, Bucchino, J. MacDonald. D--Fata, Fraser, Kohn, Frechette, Offers, Ford. F--Bentivoglio, Haskins, K. Johnson, Regier, G. Johnson, Labelle, Cavosie, Gaudet, Haley, Morency, Nielsen, Sirianni.

Group II
G--Mole, Ouellet, Jaeger. D--Spiller, Hart, Wotton, A. MacDonald, J. Dwyer, Sertich. F--G. Dwyer, Walter, Takahashi, Woods, Damon, Bourne, Scherer, Smith, Jackman, Marjamaki, Slattengren, Pitton.

Among those still with the big club: Colliton, Comeau, Brennan, Aaron Johnson.

From the list we had a while ago, Jason Deleurme isn't here, but add Aaron Slattengren.

Practices begin Monday morning at 10 at Shelton, Group I first, then Group II.

Chris Botta's Point blank blog had a lot of off topic items but claims the club could be down to thirty skaters by tomorrow nights game at the Coliseum.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A little surprised a veteran like Frans Nielsen did not get to see a few NHL games considering what Nolan saw from him last season. Aside from that a team desperate for coverage and exposure to the point they need fan blogs, should be releasing player cuts for the media as several teams do.

Ben Walter cut this quick on a team that needs a center? Not a very good sign at all considering they gave up a first round prospect for him.

These are the kind of updates the fans are interested in. Michael Fornabaio in the Ct Post understand this and updates his blog while the organization will do blog updates on everything but what the fans are looking for.

If your going to do lineups, please do cuts. New York Islander fans and Sound Tigers fans are interested.

Islander News Articles 9/23:

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/22/2007 10:39:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Michael Fornabaio in his Ct Post blog wrote the the Isles will do their usual trick of not announcing official cuts at the start; they'll split them up into a Bridgeport group and a Long Island group.

Newsday coverage has an article on Sean Bergenheim.

Among the highlights:

* The call came in January. It was from Islanders owner Charles Wang, the man who told Sean Bergenheim in the fall of 2006 after he left his Russian team that he couldn't return to the NHL for another year because he wasn't signed for training camp.

"It was a really good call," Bergenheim said. "This is what happens sometimes in business. You've got to be able to forget a little bit the bad part about business. He called and said, 'Let's start all over.' We didn't talk about any contract for the next year. He just wanted to say, 'Let's not think about what happened anymore.' "

"Even though it was a pity I had to go over there, it was my decision in the end," Bergenheim said. "I'm not happy with the way it went, but I had a really good year over there even though I didn't play in the NHL. I don't really like talking about last year because I'm here now, and this is where I want to be.

"Garth [general manager Snow] and Charles and everybody has kind of forgotten about what happened last year. At least, I have. I'm just doing everything I can for the Islanders."

* For much of training camp, Bergenheim has been relegated to a fourth-line role, but he's not complaining because he wants to maintain a harmonious relationship with the organization and his new coach, Ted Nolan.

"I know I can play much better than I've played so far," Bergenheim said before turning in an energized effort in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Canadiens Saturday in Montreal. "It's a little bit of an adjustment for me to get back to the North American style. My style actually suits playing here.

"I don't consider myself only being a checking line guy. Skating is my strong point, but I also want to be a smart player, not just a guy who runs around. I want to do some damage, scoring goals and playing a smart, two-way game."

* For now, Bergenheim is trying to make the adjustment to the smaller rinks and quicker reaction time required in the NHL, as well as to Nolan's system. If he has to pay his dues a little longer to win a larger role, Bergenheim is prepared to do it.

"It's up to the coach, and for me, I accept everything I get," Bergenheim said. "Whatever Teddy wants me to do, I will do. But certainly, I believe that if I play well, I can earn a higher spot on the team. It's all up to me."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm not in camp with the team, did not see Bergenheim play last season but have seen how the Islanders seem to be using him so far. During the lockout Mattias Weinhandl led the SEL in scoring but came back here and could not earn a chance and now he's back in Europe. Tambellini has paid his dues and is a first round pick and a left wing same as Bergenheim. Having seen the overall NHL body of work from both players in NHL games Bergenheim seems the better bet to stick in the NHL and has the more complete skill set and an edge to his game Tambellini does not seem to have.

Not a lot of 2007-08 information applied to this but we all know for Ted Nolan it's about what a player shows him now, not what he did two years ago, we saw that with Campoli.

As Bergenheim said himself it's a adjustment to go back to the smaller rinks and it will take time. If it were my team he would make that adjustment in the NHL right now for better or worse.

If seven defenders dress there does not seem to be a spot for Bergenheim, even with Simon out.

Depth chart:


What's next at NYI Fan Central?

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/22/2007 06:53:00 PM | Comment Here

First of all my thanks to everyone who have visited the site and reached out to me since this blog began in late July. I cannot believe the feedback or new members who visit daily despite no promotion until today.

I'm going to do my best to make the message forum more active now that I think the blog has a strong balance of information combined with blogs for every news source that covers the Islanders.

Today some friends and I reached out to some folks I know would make a fine addition to our board with their quality of their hockey information and discussion. My plan here since day one is to build a strong small group of quality posters who will make for a small but great Islander discussion forum as I add to the blog while others can comment there or in the message forum.

Please spread the word to friends you feel will also help make the blog
discussions and our message forum better. Simply put, I'm looking for quality and could care less about quantity.

As for the blog itself, I think it provided a ton of information with a lot of news articles and sources in camp and that's how things will work here year round as updates will be made daily as I can do them or as our news feeds all over the blog will do for us.

I think there is a solid influx of Islander, Sound Tiger and NHL news sources for everyone here whether I blog or not daily. Those who have visited know this blog or know me from Islanders-Sound Tigers or HF understand this will be a very active blog and likely the most active of all Islander blogs.

Those who also know me understand I go find information from local papers outside New York and do not wait for the team to provide it from inside management whenever possible.

For a summary of what this blog will provide:
* News Articles on all things Islanders related.

* Occasional NHL items and hot button topics.

* Outside professional writer media blogs. (ie: Greg Logan/Mike Fornabaio)

* NYI Fan Central Commentary on everything hockey.

* Game Previews/Summary and personal commentary on the games both for the Islanders and Sound Tigers.

* All prospect information and reports I can find or others can provide.

* If possible guests blogs from other fans who would like to provide hockey perspective.

For a summary of what this blog will not provide:

* Off topic commentary about myself or who Mike Comrie is dating.

* Anything political.

* What happens on other fan blogs/websites, boards or mailing lists. I do not care who releases information or gossip first on trades/waivers/rumors. On this blog I want the information to be correct and from professional news sources.

My Thanks again to everyone, as always your comments and suggestions are welcome.


Islanders Saturday Scrimmage Report

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/22/2007 04:51:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders had their scrimmage in Summerside as we noted in some earlier blog updates. Mike Comrie had another hat-trick. has a report on the scrimmage.

"A lot of guys come from small Canadian towns, so we appreciate playing in places like this," said Mike Comrie. "The people of Summerside were very welcoming, and we thank them for their hospitality."

Guerin had two assists in regulation and Rick DiPietro played one period of shutout hockey for Team White.

Just past the midway point of the first period, Team White struck first. Derek Damon drove by Jordan Hart and pushed the puck past Joey MacDonald with the assist going to Miroslav Satan.

With 7:18 left in the first period, White scored again. Mike Sillinger found Trent Hunter at the side of the net for an easy re-direct.

Blue cut the lead to 2-1 when Guerin and Comrie teamed up. Guerin fed Comrie for a semi-breakaway. Comrie slid the puck under Maxime Ouellet at 4:24 of the second period.

It was all tied up at two when Guerin danced through the defense and found Comrie, who rifled home a slapshot at 9:56 of the second period.

White re-gained the lead when Jeremy Colliton found the back of the net 3:09 into the third period.

Aaron Johnson found Comrie for his second breakaway of the game and third goal.

39 Rick DiPietro
1 Maxime Ouellet

32 Brendan Witt - 4 Bryan Berard
6 Matthew Spiller - 24 Radek Martinek
43 Andrew MacDonald - 56 Dustin Kohn

7 Trent Hunter - 18 Mike Sillinger - 81 Miroslav Satan
20 Sean Bergenheim - 52 Tyler Haskins - 38 Marc Cavosie
10 Richard Park - 72 Jeremy Colliton - 64 Olivier Labelle
37 Kip Brennan - 59 Derek Damon – 48 Steve Regier

35 Joey MacDonald
60 Mike Mole

25 Andy Sutton - 44 Freddy Meyer
2 Aaron Johnson - 14 Chris Campoli
49 Drew Fata - 68 Jordan Hart

26 Ruslan Fedotenko – 89 Mike Comrie – 13 Bill Guerin
54 Gordie Dwyer - 65 Chris Gaudet - 42 Jason Pitton
27 Darryl Bootland - 51 Frans Nielsen - 28 Tim Jackman
58 Masi Marjamaki - 40 Justin Bourne - 77 Trevor Smith

Kimber Auerbach also had the scrimmmage report on the Sound Tigers website.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Don't take the posted lines on as etched in stone for entire scrimmages, Bergenheim fed Sillinger for a goal.

Was is etched in stone is we are down to six preseason games, Sound Tigers camp is going to open, players have to be returned to junior teams, there are cuts to be made and the staff has some tough decisions to make.

New York Islanders are returning home to New York.

Moncton media was great to the Islanders and the club seemed to have won over the community. Times and Transcript wraps it's coverage with two articles Islanders ‘love it here’ and Islanders classy.

New York Islanders Preview

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/22/2007 12:14:00 AM | | | Comment Here

Seems that 9/23 preview was supposed to release on the Islanders was ready on 9/21 or they are going to write more later on. John McGourty does the preview.

Examining the New York Islanders

Six part Preview:
Introduction Goaltending Defense Forwards Numbers Schedule Roster.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
McGourty provides the best preview to date on the Islanders, packed with information and numbers to back his viewpoint. A must read for Islander fans that does not go out of it's way to force a prediction at us but only tells us about the club.

Montreal 3, Islanders 2 OT

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/21/2007 11:50:00 PM | | | Comment Here has the recap of the Islanders 3-2 ot loss to the Canadians at the Bell Center Friday.

Jeff Tambellini and Radek Martinek each scored a goal, while Josef Vasicek added two assists. Wade Dubielewicz stopped nine of ten shots in a period and a half of work, while Morrison turned aside nine of 11.

"I was impressed with the play of some of our young guys, especially Comeau and Walter," said head coach Ted Nolan. "Walter was particularly smart with the puck."

"It was here that Martinek got hurt last year," said Nolan. "But he came back and scored a goal. Time heals all."

*Despite not putting up any points, the Islanders' most dominant line was made up of young guns Sean Bergenheim, Blake Comeau and Sean Bentivoglio. The three of them sustained pressure in the offensive zone for many of their shifts and generated a multitude of scoring chances.

* Thoughts from Chief European Scout Vellu Kautonen

"Jeremy Colliton and Ben Walter are two of the younger guys, who were definitely better this period. Tambellini continued to play well, scoring a goal. For the veterans, Jon Sim has been working hard and looking good out there."

"Bergenheim stood out for me in that period. He had some jump, and had a big hit in the corner. Jamie Fraser had a good showing on the power play. Besides hitting a post, he showed poise with the puck. Tambellini, as always, had an energized period, which always helps the team."

Robin Figren (Edmonton – WHL), Tomas Marcinko (Barrie – OHL), Max Gratchev (Rimouski – QMJHL), Simon Lacroix (Shawinigan – QMJHL) and Mark Katic (Sarnia – OHL) were re-assigned to their respective Canadian Junior clubs.

34 Wade Dubielewicz
33 Mike Morrison

14 Chris Campoli - 47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
2 Aaron Johnson - 24 Radek Martinek
62 Jamie Fraser - 8 Bruno Gervais

15 Jeff Tambellini - 63 Josef Vasicek - 16 Jon Sim
12 Chris Simon - 27 Darryl Bootland - 11 Andy Hilbert
20 Sean Bergenheim - 57 Blake Comeau - 67 Sean Bentivoglio
54 Gordie Dwyer - 29 Ben Walter - 72 Jeremy Colliton

Newsday's feature was on Radek Martinek and Friday's game. To this point Logan has mostly made the game a footnote at best.

"Martinek looked really good, and Johnson continues to impress," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "Marty was a big loss last season. He was in our top pairing with Brendan Witt, and losing him was a big blow. Watching him here tonight, I thought time's a great healer."

Interview with Bill Guerin

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/21/2007 07:59:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Kimber Auerbach who has been posting on Sound Tigers website had an interview with Bill Guerin and his impressions on some players among other things.

Out of the rookies, who are some of the guys who have made an impression in your mind?

Andrew MacDonald played really well. He seems extremely poised with the puck and makes simple plays. I have also liked the play of Blake Comeau. He goes into the corners without any fear and hits anyone who stands up to him. He has a lot of potential to be a great player.

One player that has said he's learned a lot from you the way you carry yourself on and off the ice is Jason Pitton. Can you talk of his play?

Jason Pitton has had a good camp. I see a lot of the same tendencies in him that I had when I was younger. He does a lot of simple things needed in a game that are hard to do like clearing puck out of zone the first time and not turning the puck over in the neutral zone. He has no fear of standing in front of the net and taking a beating for the good of his team.

Now wearing the C for the first time in your pro career what are some of things youve spoken to the young guys about on what they should concentrate on at camp?

Two things...1. Work Hard 2. Have Fun. It is a hard task to keep them relaxed but I try and tell them to keep those nerves to put into the game situations. Believe it or not theyll be much more confident with their nerves than without them. When you play with a few butterflies, youre mind is more in tune to the game as opposed to being overly confident and lackadaisical.

Logan Blog: Watch out for Blake Comeau

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/21/2007 07:34:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Greg Logan updated his Newsday blog and apparetly Blake Comeau, who impressed Ted Nolan last year is doing so again.

* That means Jeff Tambellini, Sean Bergenheim and Andy Hilbert, all of whom came to training camp ahead of Comeau on the depth chart, shouldn’t look back because Comeau might be gaining on them. All four forwards are scheduled to play in the Islanders’ exhibition game against Montreal tonight at Bell Centre.

* On Wednesday in Moncton, Nolan gave Comeau a shot to play on a line with veterans Mike Sillinger and Trent Hunter in the Isles’ 3-1 win over the Canadiens. The coach liked what he saw.

“We want the 20 best players,” Nolan said. “Sometimes, people think you have to get the best skill players. No, we’re looking for the right players. Comeau is making a good fight for it right now. I just like his hockey ability and his hockey sense.”

“You look at Andy Hilbert last year, and I don’t think he had a point for 25 games. We just want people who have some intelligence and compete.”.

* Nolan has praised Hilbert for his work ethic and for the way he played hurt in the playoffs, but Hilbert could be dropped to the fourth line. Veteran Jonathan Sim is penciled in with Sillinger and Hunter, while Tambellini and Bergenheim tentatively are listed with the second and fourth lines, respectively. However, it’s clear Nolan always has been partial to Comeau.

“I think he’s got a bit of confidence in me,” Comeau said. “He’s put me out there in situations where I’m killing penalties and playing four-on-four. I think he wants to give me an opportunity in preseason to see the kind of player I am and see what I can do. I like to play the power forward style and play physical. If I do end up making the team, it’s going to be because I am playing gritty and working hard.”

* For now, Comeau is trying not to get too excited about his prospects or read anything into the opportunity he’s being given.

“You start thinking a whole lot,” Comeau said, “and your game usually goes downhill. I’m trying not to think about it.”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's getting interesting, things change quickly. Still Hilbert just signed a two year deal, Bergenheim has a one way contract and Tambellini was praised last weekend.

Nolan said wait for the last three or four games to get an idea of what's going to happen. Islanders have six more pre-season games.

Greg Logan brings up other items in his blog for those interested.

Log Jam on Defense & TV schedule out

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/21/2007 07:04:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Ted Nolan admitted today there is a good chance the club will carry seven defenders as he talked about the log jam on defense.

* The Islanders already sported a defensive core that included Brendan Witt, Andy Sutton, Radek Martinek, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Freddy Meyer, Chris Campoli, Bruno Gervais and Aaron Johnson, who played in 60 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season.

Of those eight, only Gervais and Johnson have two-way NHL-AHL contracts, meaning those two can be sent down to Bridgeport without clearing waivers.

Despite Nolan's inclination – based on last year – to not carry extra players, he indicated today that "it's safe to say that we'll dress seven to begin with, but once the season progresses, we'll see. One good thing about Bridgeport being so close is that they players can keep their game sharp there, instead of practicing with us for two weeks and not playing."

"Berard played okay in his first game," said the head coach. "As the games move on, we'll see how he fits in. Campoli, Gervais and Meyer are all playing well, and so is the Johnson kid. To say who is going to get those six and seven spots, now, is tough. Once the dust all clears at the end of preseason, hopefully we'll have the best seven defensemen available."

"We really wanted to instill at the start of Training Camp that spots won't just be given away," said Nolan. "It's the best league in the world and one of the most competitive businesses, so they need to be earned. Things have a funny way of working themselves out."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This was easy to see coming and no surprise to this point which is why it's very possible we could see a trade. I cannot see Gervais back in the AHL after Nolan saw him up close last season. If seven defenders do dress Tambellini and Bergenheim will not have a spot. Seems like it's not possible Aaron Johnson could make the club if he can be sent down.

One thing for sure, this group is very injury prone. To expect six defenders to play eighty two games is not going to happen. We saw what happened last year when the lack of depth caught up to the club and that was with Witt, Hill and Poti healthy most of the season.

Msg released the Isles television schedule today.

No surprises, only Msg exhibition game is televised, about fifteen FSN-2 games. Thursday 9/27 at 7:00 on FSN that they are having the Islanders season preview show.

Milbury joins NHL on TSN broadcast team

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/21/2007 06:54:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Tsn reported Mike Milbury will be joining TSN as part of their broadcast team.

"Mike has a reputation for being one of the most entertaining characters in the world of hockey," said Mark Milliere, Vice-President, News & NHL on TSN. "He's controversial and quotable, and will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge about the game to our broadcasts."

"I've appeared on TSN numerous times for my antics as a player, coach and GM, but this time around will be an entirely different experience," said Milbury. "I'm really excited about the opportunity to interact with such a talented broadcast team, while offering my insights on the NHL to Canadian viewers, who are without a doubt the most passionate hockey fans in the world."

* Milbury, who never shies away from the media spotlight and has provided more than his fair share of memorable quotes, once described himself as follows: "I'm a 1978 Toyota with 86,000 miles on it, rust spots, and a hole in the floorboard, but hey, I start every morning."

NYI Islander Fan Central Comments:
As always Milbury is entertaining with his comments, he is good for hockey and everyone in the media business seems to want to hire him. Despite his mistakes here he is entertaining and this game badly needs that. Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury make for must see television.

Jiggs McDonald my Islander Hall of Fame Pick

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/21/2007 05:13:00 PM | | 1 Comments

Jiggs McDonald give an interview up at Islander camp which he's attending in preparation of calling some Islander games next month.

“It gets the juices going and makes you wish they would get the puck dropped for real and I could get back to the booth,” said McDonald, while watching the Islanders and Atlanta Thrashers battle it out in front of 4,100 fans.

* During the month of October, the 60-something McDonald will go extend his 38-year NHL broadcasting career, when he works games for Islanders TV.

“I shouldn’t feel this way. But every now and then, back in the recesses of my mind, I ask myself if I quit too early. Did I walk away with two, three, five more years left in me?” he said.

* Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster Bob Cole is now 72 years young, giving McDonald a sense he isn’t too old to still do the job.

“I was very surprised to see the commissioner at the game with the large entourage he brought with him to North Bay. But when you realize the relationship the NHL has with Hockey Night in Canada, it is their No.-1 outlet worldwide. So why not have him (Bettman) here? After the fact I think people might have wondered if he hadn’t shown up,” said McDonald.

* In preparation for his October ‘gig’ with the team, McDonald has logged significant time on the Internet, getting background on players and getting a sense of what kind of lineup the team will have.

* Having worked with both the Islanders and the then Atlanta Flames, McDonald was asked where his loyalty resided.

“With three Stanley Cup rings, definitely the Islanders. Those were really great days,” he said.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I would take Jiggs back full time and dump Howie Rose in a second if that's what Jiggs McDonald wanted to do. Howie is always going to be known for being a Ranger and as an Msg employee paid to call Islander games, it is what it is.

How many people retired who do not owe the Islanders anything come back and do this for the club and it's fans?

Islanders could induct a lot of people into their new Hall of Fame that started last year with Bob Bourne. Bunch of players from the dynasty era that of course would all make great choices and some trendy picks like Pierre Tuergon who relate more to this generation of Islander fans.

My perspective no one deserves it more at this time than Jiggs who does not need this at all. He went all the way to the West Coast to call games last season (while Howie did not even show up during the Dodgers-Mets playoff with the Isles playing the Kings on an off day for baseball. Jiggs is up in camp this year to prepare himself to call our games he may not even get a chance to call. The city media is not even there to learn about our team and someone who may not even work is.

Put Jiggs McDonald in the Islander Hall of Fame this year, Mr Wang.

Montreal vs NY Islanders 7:30pm: Not televised

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/21/2007 10:07:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Cory Witt's media blog has the Islanders lineup tonight against the Canadians. Game will be played in Montreal at the Bell Center.

Goaltenders: 34 - Wade Dubielewicz, 33 - Mike Morrison

Forwards: 11 - Andy Hilbert, 12 - Chris Simon, 15 - Jeff Tambellini, 16 - Jon Sim, 20 - Sean Bergenheim, 27 - Darryl Bootland, 29 - Ben Walter, 54 - Gordie Dwyer, 63 - Josef Vasicek, 67 - Sean Bentivoglio, 57 - Blake Comeau, 72 - Jeremy Colliton

Defenseman: 2 - Aaron Johnson, 8 - Bruno Gervais, 14 - Chris Campoli, 24 - Radek Martinek, 47 - Marc-Andre Bergeron, 63 - Jamie Fraser

Due to broadband limitations at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Friday's game vs. the Canadiens will not be seen live through Islanders TV and NHL Center Ice Online.

Full replay of game and features will be available Saturday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

CJAD Radio in Montreal has the Islanders-Canadians game advertised on it's radio schedule tonight live, I do not know if it's in English or French but the website is in English for those want to listen.

Fair to say it's a big night for Hilbert, Bergenheim, Tambellini, Comeau and Jeremy Colliton with the club coming home after this game and Sound Tigers camp opening next week.

Islanders Fifteen to Remeber Friday 8pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/21/2007 01:19:00 AM | Comment Here
I know most Islander fans with any computer access will be watching the Islanders at the Canadians Friday, but FSN is winding down it's Fifteen to Remember from last year and were into the final weekend of last season with the Islanders at Philadelphia from April 7Th, 8pm for those interested.

Do not see Monday's game at the Nassau Coliseum scheduled on FSN against the Rangers at this time. Msg did release it's Sabres tv schedule which means Isles FSN-FSN/2 schedule should be out soon along with the season preview show.


New York Islander Fan Central | 9/21/2007 01:07:00 AM | | | | Comment Here reported on the rookie game where the Islander prospects won against a team
from Moncton.


* The Islanders rookie squad poured it on in the third period to win 4-2 over the University of Moncton, Thursday night at the Moncton Coliseum in Moncton, New Brunswick. Chris Gaudet, Tomas Marcinko, Drew Fata and Sean Bentivoglio scored for the Islanders, while Masi Marjamaki added two assists. Maxime Ouellet made 22 saves to earn the victory.

* Thoughts from player development assistant Steve Webb

"If there's one guy who really stood out in this game, it's Justin Bourne. He tried to make a difference out there every shift. He worked hard, making second, third and fourth efforts. This is a kid who came to camp on an invite, and people knew little about him. Now he's being recognized."

"Kohn is doing a good job transitioning from the junior level to the pros. His skating is effortless, and he's becoming smarter with the puck."

"Drew Fata also had a strong game. He has a great shot and skated well. Jamie Fraser played a good game, as well. He really used his speed well for the second game in a row."

"In the third period, the guys picked it up and took control. They started controlling the play and taking it to Moncton. Specifically, I liked Pitton's game. He skated and hit hard."

49 Maxime Ouellet
35 Mike Mole

40 Jamie Fraser – 7 Simon Lacroix
24 Dustin Kohn – 37 Jordan Hart
44 Drew Fata – 5 Martin Frechette

10 Sean Bentivoglio – 16 Tomas Marcinko – 18 Tyler Haskins
23 Trevor Smith – 9 Chris Gaudet – 15 Masi Marjamaki
20 Max Gratchev – 29 Derek Damon – 8 Justin Bourne
39 Steve Regier – 19 Marc Cavosie – 17 Jason Pitton

Islander News Articles 9/21:

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/21/2007 12:45:00 AM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday Friday article is a feature on new defender Andy Sutton here.

"We had plenty of offers," Sutton said of the signing process. "I was really holding out to get things right with the Islanders . . . This is a team on the up-and-up and making a lot of changes for the good. I really liked where the organization was going. It was a no-brainer for me."

"It will be great," Sutton said. "I've always loved playing with goalies that like to play the puck. With the new rules and the way guys chip [the puck in] and you can't rub them out or get in the way much anymore, having a goalie like that is so valuable. Ricky's so good with it, I just have to get open and give him an outlet and talk to him. There's really not much of an adjustment."

"Everything has been so top-notch," Sutton said. "Players around the league should really know that the New York Islanders are making changes, and they're a very solid franchise."

Michael Fornabaio had a brief Sound Tigers blog update in the Ct Post.

Times and Transcript had four more articles Friday, two on how fans could not get into the arena because of problems getting fans to seats Aiming high for hockey City must get act together at the Coliseum captions of the Ted Nolan golf tournament and Isles prospects win are featured here and

Kimber Auerbach has an article on the Sound Tigers website about the prospects win Thursday.

Michael Fornabaio interviews Sound Tigers coach Jack Capuano and previews next week's camp opening in Shelton here.

Updates to NYI Fan Central/Afternoon news

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/20/2007 05:26:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Some big changes to New York Fan Central today for those interested.

* Tags were cleaned up for a more accurate digest of information from the blogs.

* Message forum was also upgrade a little.

* A few nice pictures were added to the sidebars and counters, there will be more changes in that department.

* The big change is today I released our header for New York Islander Fan Central.

A little big at the end but had to make room for Bill Torrey and Ted Nolan. I think I got it right. I hope our members and visitors like the look and feel confident it reflects the hard work and quality this blog will provide if you visit this site.

Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.
Islanders Website had some of the articles from the Times and Transcript we had this morning with some new pictures.

Most of the players had today off. The lone skaters were those participating in tonight's 7 pm match up against the University of Moncton.

Here is tonight's lineup.

1 Maxime Ouellet
30 Mike Mole

62 Jamie Fraser – 70 Simon Lacroix
56 Dustin Kohn – 68 Jordan Hart
49 Drew Fata – 61 Martin Frechette

67 Sean Bentivoglio – 50 Tomas Marcinko – 52 Tyler Haskins
77 Trevor Smith – 65 Chris Gaudet – 58 Masi Marjamaki
53 Max Gratchev – 59 Derek Damon – 40 Justin Bourne
48 Steve Regier – 38 Marc Cavosie – 42 Jason Pitton

Cory Witt's blog had some media notes on Greg Logan and Evan Grossman. Also included was the story NYY Fan Central had on Garth Snow last month being inducted into a local hall of fame here.

Another Islanders season preview this one by
David Pressman, Contributing NHL Editor
Sports Network.

Former NY Post beatwriter Evan Grossman working for is with the Islanders in camp and was doing his own day by day blog.

New York Islander Fan Central Comments:
A lot of things in this blog that I did not see anywhere and well worth your time if you decide to read it. Grossman always came off as negative at the Post so it's shocking to read this and he has no vested interested in selling our club working for the league.

In his blog today:
I don’t make predictions anymore. Sort of a personal policy there, mostly having to do with a long line of off-the-mark prognostications. But I’m making an exception this year, and I’m going out on a limb here when I tell you people that the Islanders might have something special going on. Look, I’m not going to guarantee what their point total is going to be this season, and I’m not going to forecast where they’ll finish in the conference or the competitive Atlantic Division.

But I will say this: All those experts picking them to finish near the bottom of the standings are going to want a mulligan in about six months.

I just spent a week with the Isles during their training camp in Moncton, New Brunswick and a couple of exhibition games in some small hockey-loving locales, and while they didn’t win all three preseason games I watched, I did notice something a lot more important than what the final scores of those exhibition games said on the scoreboards.

Perhaps Chris Simon put it best when after the Islanders lost to Atlanta in Hockeyville, he said he liked how they stuck together.

I don’t know how the Islanders will fare this year, but I will tell you people that they are a team to be wary of. They stick together. They stick up for each other. And man, do they play hard.

A lot of people have counted them out already, before the season’s even started, but here’s what I saw, what I know, and what I think is in store for Ted Nolan’s team:

People were freaking out when the Isles missed out on some free agents this summer. They were convulsing when the rest of the division added big names and made so-called blockbuster signings. But guess what? Big names and monster contracts and glitzy press conferences do not win hockey games. They don’t win Cups.

Hockey is, and will forever be, a game where chemistry, camaraderie and character will take you a long way. Even all the way. The Islanders might not have a Jason Blake anymore, they weren’t close enough to home to hold onto a Ryan Smyth, but what they do have – and believe me, it was evident in so many places this week – is miles and miles of heart and character.

This isn’t just a suck-up either for letting me tag along this week. The Isles will tell you that I’ve never been one to heap unearned praise on anyone or anything in print. This is just me, a hockey fan, telling you that they’re definitely on to something on the Island. What they have, going into this season, is a team that’s not going to be much fun to play against and a squad that truly seems to care about one another.

The Islanders are a group that cares about winning, they care about competing every night and playing the game the right way. They’re not going to lay down for anyone this season, and I’m curious to see where they finish in the standings.

But my first impression is that they are a group that can make some noise this year.

I’m not making any bold predictions of first place or last place, but I will go out on a limb right here and right now and tell you that they’re going to be right there at the end of the season, when the games mean so much and the points are extra precious. OK, so maybe I can’t help myself, so I will make one prediction.

And it’s that they are a group that’s going to stick together. Good times, bad times, whatever happens this year, whatever adversity pops up along the way, you can bet your bottom dollar on that.

Who do the Islanders play for? Well, that’s easy. They play for each other.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Very through preview of the Islanders that goes a little too far into the history to make his point about upper management that only Charles Wang remains a part of with some of the scouting staff. When he's done telling us about Milbury, Spano and gets down to the roster for the most part does a very good job on the players he does write about. He he had no idea about Campoli and Gervais but gave more praise to Meyer than anyone could expect based on last season.

Still when your done reading this the point does have to be made this organization made four of the last five playoffs and gave the President Trophy Winning Sabres a good series that Isles could have easily taken seven games if they got one replay call. To say nothing of the video replay against the Rangers that kept the Isles from finishing sixth which would have meant they play Atlanta.

A lot of other NHL clubs that have not been to four of the last five playoffs that do not have to read the history lesson provided here.

This site released a lot of NHL team previews by different writers.

Edmonton Journal reports this afternoon
Robin Figren is still injured in Islanders camp and when he returns to the Oil Kings is expected to miss three weeks. releases it's Islanders Preview on September 23rd.
Finally, my congratulations to Tom Liodice on being named an Islander blogger. I did not know anyone else they selected but he's an excellent choice and has more than paid his dues the last few years.

Interesting thing is this blog had far more updates than any other one I looked at even though it's less than two months old. Some of the writers were from inside the city limits which again should have the organization tone down the Long Island mantra and stop limiting themselves.

EJ Hradek blog: " Better or Worse "

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/20/2007 12:34:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
E.J Hradek has been doing a running blog on each NHL titled
" Better or Worse " today he gave his thoughts on the New York Islanders.

* Hradek says this isn't a full preview. It's just his opinion based on their offseason movement.

In the end, the Islanders season will depend on something that hasn't changed: goaltending. Rick DiPietro has gotten better in each of the last two seasons. If he continues to be stellar, the Isles will again have a chance to contend for one of the final playoff spots in the East. If he doesn't, the Isles will be adrift in a sea of non-playoff clubs. (I know, it doesn't take a Toe Blake or Scotty Bowman to tell you that!)

As for the arrivals and departures, I believe it's a wash.

Despite the many changes (I won't go through each one, but I still think Bergenheim has some upside), I believe the Isles will be about the same, maybe a tad better. Still, I can't help feeling they'll find themselves on the wrong side of the playoff line.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Conidering some of the reviews, this one is very fair even if it does not go into detail. That written names do not equal chemistry, that's one thing history has told us many times.

NY Islander Articles 9/20

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/20/2007 06:59:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Newsday article for Thursday is about the work new assistant coach Gerard Gallant is doing with the powerplay.

* The biggest improvement the Isles could make would be to convince referees to give them more power-play opportunities. They ranked 12th in the NHL last season with an 18.1 percent success rate, but their 348 chances were second fewest in the league to Florida's 337.

"I don't know what their power play was last year, but there's no reason it can't be better because there's some good talent," Gallant said. "We talked about working on the power play early, and that's the main reason I stayed back the first two games was to work with some core veterans.

"My philosophy is that I look to have a couple of set plays. In the power play, when you're getting pressure, you don't have a lot of time to set up plays. But in five-on-threes and four-on-threes, you get a little bit more time. That's when I let the guys know this is their money play. If there's one play that's going to work against a team, we're going to go with that. But a lot of times, power-play goals are scored from guys paying the price in front of the net and getting shots through."

"Obviously, I know the league pretty well after spending the last nine years in Columbus," said Gallant, who briefly played with Nolan in the AHL. "I don't know if my experience was a factor or not, but Teddy knows my character and what kind of person I am."

Times and Transcript had the following articles:
NY Islanders always welcome NHL clash packs Coliseum Have faith Nolan tells grieving students NHL PRE-SEASON

Back in Bridgeport Michael Fornabaio did a Ct Post article Capuano gets feel for future Sound Tigers Montreal Gazette did a Canadian perspective article on the exhibition game.

Cory Witt's media blog gave his thoughts on the game. Kimber Auerbach did a website update on the game that had more of a Sound Tiger perspective.

Jack Capuano interview

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/19/2007 06:54:00 PM | | | Comment Here
New Sound Tigers head coach Jack Capuano did a full interview on how things are looking with the AHL team.

What's been your responsibility at Training Camp?

It's been a lot of fun getting our staff together and watching Teddy and his staff work the practices the first few days. Then when we broke camp a couple of days ago, it's our responsibility to keep an eye on the rookies and practicing with them. It's been good having our staff interacting with Teddy and his.

How will the Bridgeport systems compare to the Islanders'?

Teddy made a point that he wants to create a winning environment on Long Island and in Bridgeport. But the most important thing for Bridgeport is develop future Islanders. There were a lot of things Teddy met with us involving systems and the structure of our program. With the exception of maybe our power play or penalty kill, it's a similar system so that guys can fit in easily when they get called up.

What's it like coaching someone else's systems?

It's a little bit different, but as coaches in Bridgeport, we understand our roles. The philosophy between both clubs is the same. They have to play with passion, grit and they have to play the game smart. It's not a robotic game by any means. It's a read and reactionary game.

What type of communication will there be between the Islanders and Bridgeport during the season?

Teddy really wants to improve the communication between the two teams. There will be more times this year when our staff goes to Long Island or Teddy's staff comes to Bridgeport. It's important to have constant communication between the two teams.

How are the Sound Tigers shaping up this year?

The makeup of the team will be a little different this year. We have a little more size on our team, and we have more grit than last year. To win games you have to put pucks in the net as well. It's going to have to be an effort from everyone to be successful.

What's the competition like at Training Camp?

It's well known off the bat that there are spots available. Guys that train all summer and try to come in and earn a spot will be recognized. After a two weeks of competing hard there will be some tough decisions made.

NY Islanders 3, Canadians 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/19/2007 06:39:00 PM | | | Comment Here has the full postgame up for the fans on the first preseason win.

"I told Sim between periods I love players who compete," said head coach Ted Nolan. "We have a bunch of guys who compete hard. One of the key reasons we got Guerin was because of his hard work and leadership. He got the guys ready for the game and then stepped it up on the ice. I also thought Ricky was sharp. Training camp is all about him getting him ready for the start of the season."

* Another Islander who showed his physical play was Andy Sutton. The 6-6 defenseman threw his weight around all game with his thunderous checks and his strong play in front of the net.

"Sutton was getting nasty in front of the net," said Nolan. "If guys want to go there, they'll have to pay for it."

* Thoughts from Ken Morrow:

"I like what I've seen so far from Sutton. His physical play can change the whole momentum of a shift."

"With the lineup we have, this is the type of period you would hope for. It looks like the Comrie line is one that is going to stay together for a while. I'm always interested in seeing how the defense are, and so far, so good."

39 Rick DiPietro
34 Wade Dubielewicz

4 Bryan Berard - 25 Andy Sutton
47 Marc-Andre Bergeron - 32 Brendan Witt
43 Andrew MacDonald - 8 Bruno Gervais

26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 89 Mike Comrie - 13 Bill Guerin
16 Jon Sim - 10 Richard Park - 81 Miroslav Satan
7 Trent Hunter - 18 Mike Sillinger - 57 Blake Comeau
54 Gordie Dwyer - 65 Chris Gaudet - 28 Tim Jackman

Sound Tigers beatwriter Michael Fornabaio updated his blog after the Islanders game against Montreal.

New York Islander Fan Central Comments:

First period:
ITV worked perfect, team had some jump, drew a few pp's and mostly set up Berard and Bergeron from the point. Islanders outworked the Habs in the corners but the Habs had the better skill chances but few tough saves for DiPietro, who's outlet passes set up some chances.

Isles two goals were from hard work in front. Jon Sim came out from behind the net very quickly jamming at the puck until it went in for the 1-0 goal.

More good work by that line with Sillinger for the 2-0 where the Habs fumbled the puck, Isles centered in front and Sim scored again on a bit of a redirection.

3-0 goal Guerin took a toe-drag wrist shot from above the circle that Gordie Dwyer driving to the net that distracted Huet as it hit his glove and went in. Garth Murray jumped Dwyer immediately and the fought with few punches, Dwyer got the take down.

Late Fedotenko had a nice skill rush at the net. Overall good period for the Islanders where they won more battles for pucks and had the better grit.

Sutton threw one bit hit on a Hab player who paid the price to clear the puck shorthanded. Combos were pretty mixed but early Hunter-Sillinger-Satan/Fedotenko-Comrie-Guerin w/Bergeron-Berard on the back line. Bergeron got his shot early on a few chances. Nolan used Berard on a pk.

Second Period:
Montreal picked up the pace and had better chances but choppy play. Islanders looked very defensive and did not create much notable. Dubie in for third period.

DiPietro makes nineteen saves.

Third Peirod:
Montreal had some long shifts in the Islander end of the ice. Garth Murray started a fight that seemed to get the Habs going. Montreal backed in the defense and scored a goal on Dubie on a great shot early to make it 3-1. Dubie had to be good as the Islanders took four third period penalties and produced very little outside of one Trent Hunter chance where he was robbed by the Canadians second goal Denis on his backhand. Guerin looked like Hunter diving to block a third period chance. A few calls were weaker calls, especially on Blake Comeau who was called for a hold that was not even close. Dwyer took an offensive zone penalty toward the end, Islanders took another in the final second, Habs did not pull the goalie but scored after the final buzzer.

Islanders did not generate much after the first but where they did impress was in the passing lanes and clearing the puck, few breakdowns overall. Sutton threw another big third period hit.

Islanders television had a perfect feed the entire game. All the questions from low grade fans board made it seem like the old Sound Tigers web casts.

Greg Logan Blog: Bates, Impressions

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/19/2007 05:51:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Greg Logan updated his blob around 4pm Wednesday and several items were mentioned:

Mr Logan finally wrote something about last nights game against Boston.

* Back in the spring, Bates was pushing to come back from a groin injury in the hope of playing by the end of the Islanders’ first-round playoff series in Buffalo. He pushed too hard. While the team was in Buffalo, Bates suffered a major setback after a solo workout at the Isles’ practice facility in Syosset.

“I knew it was bad,” Bates said. “I was skating by myself and feeling good. It was one of those days where I went home, and I started internally bleeding and had to get rushed to the hospital. I spent the whole day in the hospital. It was a tough thing to go through.”

* Bates still is going through problems related to the injury. The combination of undergoing surgery for a sports hernia and trying to strengthen the groin and abdomen area that is crucial to his ability to be a strong skater still is bothering him after six months of rehabilitation. He’s continuing to work out on his own at camp, but no comeback will be attempted until he is 100 percent healthy.

“Right now, no, I don’t think it’s career threatening,” said Bates, who has two years remaining on his contract. “It’s a matter of getting the proper rehab and the proper strengthening. It’s going to take some time to get back. With this type of injury, you don’t want to come back at 75 percent because you’re vulnerable to doing something [to reinjure it] if you’re compensating. You want to be sure it’s 100 percent. I wouldn’t be the happiest person if I came back and got hurt in the first week.”

* When Bates finally does return, he’s going to find a crowded situation at center. The Islanders signed free agent Josef Vasicek to center the second line and are using veteran Richard Park to center the fourth line. Prospect Frans Nielsen has added 15 pounds of muscle and is looking good in camp, and the Isles also traded for Ben Walter, who scored 67 points for Providence in the AHL last season.

Speaking of general manager Garth Snow, Bates said:

“Snowy has a job to do, and that’s to put a team out on the ice. I’m not ready to start the season. You need four lines, and that’s what he’s done. I’m not worried about it, but I’m working hard to get back. We’ll see what happens when the time comes.“It gets to you mentally. But you can’t let it bother you because it will just get worse and worse. You try to keep a positive attitude and come to the rink every day and work hard.”

* Coach Ted Nolan wasn’t too impressed with his team’s performance in the second exhibition game, a 3-1 loss to Boston that came after a long day on which the Isles flew to North Bay, Ontario for their opening 4-3 overtime loss to Atlanta and then made the long flight to St. Johns, Newfoundland to meet a Bruins team that had a veteran-dominated roster. But Nolan said free agent center Josef Vasicek followed a poor opening game with a solid effort against the Bruins, including a fight he won with Andrew Ference.

“You look for guys to step up,” Nolan said. “Vasicek, with his skill and the way he can dish the puck, certainly can do that. The one thing we’re looking for is a little bit more competitiveness. In the second game, he showed that, so, now we know there’s something to build on.”

* The reviews for two other young forwards, Sean Bergenheim and Jeff Tambellini, were not so glowing.

“Bergenehim was a little bit rusty in the first couple of games, but we’re sure he’ll get better and better as we go,” Nolan said. “Tambellini was the same thing. He played okay, but we’re looking for better than okay. Okay, to me, is not very good. He can play a lot better.”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Feel bad for Bates, someone takes his spot two year contract or not it's going to be tough to get it back. Looks like he's going to be out for a long stretch given his comments.

Tambelli's scrimmage performance did not carry over to the two games he played and Nolan had something to say about that and Bergenehim, who should not have been on right wing in scrimmages and thrown to left wing (his natural position for games)
as I wrote before will be very interesting if he is demoted how it's handled given the past.

Center Ice worked throught pregame, anthem playing, DiPietro in net. Jaffe and Mears have the call, building eighty percent Habs fans. Let's keep that feed working tonight.

Drop the puck....

9/19: Islanders vs Montreal 6pm: ITV Telecast

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/19/2007 01:22:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Ted Nolan spoke to the teams website this afternoon on some player performances and tonights game. DiPietro will play the first two periods, Dubie to play the third tonight in Moncton.

"I thought Joey MacDonald played exceptionally well for us. Spiller also stepped up in that first game for us, and Blake Comeau played a strong game against Atlanta. Bootland stood out in the second game, but other than that there wasn't too much to talk about. Guys are just starting to find their way. You always look for guys who stick out. You have to stick out in order to make an impression."

"We have nine exhibition games, so we have a long way to go. We probably won't start fine-tuning the line combinations until the final three or four. It'll be nice to see guys like Comrie, Guerin, Fedotenko and Sillinger out there. Ricky will probably play the first two games, as opposed to half. Then Dubie will fill in for the third. It should be a fun game."

The teams chief amateur scout had this to contribute:
"Defenseman Jamie Fraser used his speed and skating effectively to stand out. You could see that his year in pro hockey last season really helped his development.

"The line of camp invitees Marc Cavosie, Tyler Haskins and prospect Tomas Marcinko energized the group. They matched the work ethic of the other team. Also, by the third period Jeremy Colliton and Sean Bentivoglio were playing much better."

Islanders website has the preview for tonights game against Montreal at Moncton.

This game begins at 6pm New York Time, 7pm Moncton time.

Montreal,is 1-1 this preseason, splitting a pair of games with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

This is the first of two exhibition meetings between the Islanders and Montreal. The two teams square off again on Friday at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

34 Wade Dubielewicz
39 Rick DiPietro

4 Bryan Berard
8 Bruno Gervais
25 Andy Sutton
32 Brendan Witt
43 Andrew MacDonald
47 Marc-Andre Bergeron

7 Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park
13 Bill Guerin
16 Jon Sim
18 Mike Sillinger
26 Ruslan Fedotenko
28 Tim Jackman
54 Gordie Dwyer
57 Blake Comeau
65 Chris Gaudet
81 Miroslav Satan
89 Mike Comrie

Kimber Auerbach covers the Sound Tigers part of camp and touches on how some of the prospects and Jamie Fraser.

Moncton's Times and Transcript does a feature article on tonights NHL exhibition in Moncton with the Islanders and Canadians that basically tells us the local hockey writer is a Hab
fan and the Mayor is a Leafs fan.

More importantly Mike Comrie is nursing an injury.

The long-time local sports honcho wasn't entirely sure about the presence of Comrie, who is nursing a slight injury, but bottom line is confident Nolan will have most of his big guns -- including star goaltender Rick DiPietro -- deployed for tonight's big match at the Moncton Coliseum.

Among the quotes including an Islander spokesman and the Mayor of Moncton:

"(Islanders' general manager) Garth Snow said the team was going to be part of the community while they were here and they've done more than fulfil their promise to do that," said the mayor.

"It's been noticed all over the city and it started as soon as they got here on Friday with all the Islanders' players walking up Main Street and talking to the kids. It was a great way to kick it off and it's been wonderful all week."

Ted Nolan is featured in the Times and Transcript and talks about a lot of things but has this to say on the early predictions about the Islanders.

"The one thing I try not to do is concentrate on what other people say about you,'' he said.

"The thing that's important is whether you believe in yourself. I believe in this group of players and hopefully they believe in themselves.

"The NHL is not an easy league and there's no easy games, but if you do things right and you have the right attitude you never know what can happen. We're going to try to play to the top of our capabilities. If we do that, we'll be okay.''

Gordie Dwyer
article is also featured today in the Times and Transcript.

"It's great," says Dwyer, when asked what it's like to try out for the Islanders in his home province. "The hometown feel is obviously a little more incentive, but it's also good to bring an NHL club to the Maritimes. There's a lot of great hockey fans here and a lot of great hockey people in the Maritimes."

"It is to a certain extent, but I've been around the league for a little while now, and this is my 12th NHL training camp," says Dwyer, as he chugs a sports drink after an Islanders scrimmage at the Tim Hortons 4-Ice Centre. "I know how the game works and I'm just out here trying to give my best and hopefully things work out."

The general manager knows first-hand what Dwyer brings to the table. "I'm very familiar with him because I played against him," says Snow, who retired as the Islanders' back-up goalie prior to last season and moved into the GM role. "I love the way he plays. He competes, he's a guy who leaves it all on the ice, he hits everything in sight and he could be a great role player."

Dwyer knows Islanders assistant coach Gerard Gallant and credits him with helping land the invitation to camp. But Gallant says Dwyer got the invite based on his own merit.

"He opened the door himself, because he worked so hard in the summertime," he says.

Prospect Maxim Gratchev is also featured today.

"My No. 1 goal is to play in the NHL and I wanted to take the quickest route to get there. I thought major junior would be the best way to develop my game.''

Islanders' assistant general manager Ryan Jankowski believes Gratchev has what it takes to some day be a solid third-line player in the NHL.

"He's a heart-and-soul guy,'' said Jankowski, who's also the Islanders director of amateur scouting. "He's a water bug, an energetic player. He's a hard-working guy that has the skills to contribute offensively. His commitment is strong at both ends of the ice."

Prospect Mark Katic was featured late yesterday also in the local paper. Garth Snow visiting a local school was featured here and finally an article on the Islanders staff can be accessed here.