10/8/07

Washington 2, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/08/2007 05:24:00 PM
Islanders Website: Has the recap of today's 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

Newsday: Greg Logan's blog commented on Jason Blake, Meyer, Berard practicing with the club on Sunday again and only fifeen hundred tickets available for Wednesday's game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Cannot win them all but this was one game they kind of let get away themselves even though they did out work the Caps, it's one you remember late in the season when you need two points because it was a winnable game where the opposition seemed satisfied with a 2-0 record and did not have Semin in the lineup.

Shots for the Islanders was misleading but when you give up only twelve shots you have to finish your chances and force the Caps to open up which never happened who played a very patient game and made some good plays when they had to. Outside of a lot of individual plays that could have went in and changed the game, very little offensive chemistry. Islanders did not make it that hard on Kolzig or their defense and they looked terrible on the five on three and it really set the stage for the loss because they did not work to get the puck down low and Satan like last year looked lost on the point. Guerin lobbied the refs well for power plays and Islanders got a bit of a break on a Caps high stick goal that could have gone either way but Guerin looked slow and did not do much offensively.

Fourth line seemed to have the most jump and by the end it looked like Bergenheim had Tambellini's spot on the second line for a few shifts. Bergenheim's hit led to a good play by Bootland who fed Park perfectly for the 1-0 goal. Hunter had good jump as did Sillinger but Hilbert again could not finish when he was in position and Poti made a great play on a breaking Hunter.

Fair or not bad things seem to happen around Andy Sutton and Kozlov's goal on a great shot with Sutton in the way tied the game and a few times you could poor communication with Bergeron and made me wish we paid Poti. Martinek's two third peirod penalties did not help the Islanders get their offense going and he lost his man on the game winning goal which DiPietro had no chance on. Campoli had some good hits.

All Islanders can do is move on to the Ranger game. This one reminded me of a loss to Florida a few year ago on Columbus Day where they just could not win a game where they seemed to have control. In this league today you have to get games to overtime and get your points.

Unlike all of last year they now have a loss where they led after one period.

Freddy Meyer claimed by Phoenix

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/08/2007 12:39:00 PM
Cory Witt: Reported in his media blog Freddy Meyer was claimed by the Phoenix Coyotes.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports former Islander Ryan Caldwell was already sent back to the AHL.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Best of luck to Freddy Meyer in Phoenix. For selfish reasons you want him to stick around because you want the Islanders to have depth, but on the other hand you want the player to get a chance to play in the NHL and it did not seem likely that opportunity would be here. No doubt the club wanted to hold onto Meyer or could not make a trade.

Jason Blake has rare form of Lukemia

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/08/2007 12:25:00 PM
Tsn and several media outs along with the Leafs Website: Report former Islander, Jason Blake has been diagnosed with Lukemia.

"This morning I shared with my teammates news that I was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia," Blake said on the team's website.

"It is highly-treatable, and I have begun taking a pill on a daily basis that has proven to be very effective in controlling this cancer. The prognosis, and certainly the expectations of my physician, myself and my family, is that I will live a long, full and normal life. This situation will not impact my ability to live my life as I otherwise would, and will not affect my ability to perform at my highest level for the Toronto Maple Leafs. I'm looking forward to my first season with the Leafs and helping our club compete for the Stanley Cup."


NYI Fan Central Comments:
Terrible news. One minute an article about how he's not scoring, now this.

Put's things in perspective about what's important and makes me happy he has financial security with his new contract. Hopefully Blake goes on and has not only a long and healthy life but a long hockey career.

Where are they now? 2003-04 NY Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/08/2007 07:24:00 AM
Sorry gang, no team picture available.

Fun topic before an October day game on Monday. Did management make the right decisions to let many of these players on the 2003-04 roster after the lockout?

One answer can be after the lockout Milbury qualified some players he never should kept while others signed elsewhere. Michael Peca was traded for Mike York.

One thing for sure is many of these players careers fell off the map completely after leaving the Islanders. In many cases Islanders made the right call in letting these players go because they have not been impact players where they have gone in most places, many for big dollars that hurt their current clubs.

So where are they now?

2003-04:
Mike Milbury: Is now working on television. After his post-lockout decisions resigned during a terrible 05-06 season. Worked last year in the business part of the organization.

Steve Stirling: Got this club to a playoff spot with a lot of injuries that year (and more points than Ted Nolan got last season) was fired after the lockout after the team struggled badly. Today is coaching the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL who visit the Sound Tigers Friday.

Adrian Aucoin: Got huge contract from the Blackhawks who never saw how his yearly groin injuries were getting worse with age and hurting his mobility. Missed the better part of two terrible seasons with Chicago as captain before the Hawks unloaded him to Calgary who did not want another former Islander, Roman Hamrlik.

Sven Butenschon: After playing in Germany during the lockout returned to the NHL after the lockout, played ten games for Vancouver but mostly played in the AHL before returning to Manheim where he still plays today.

Eric Cairns: After his giveaways in game one of the Tampa series never played another shift for the club. Signed with Florida, went to Pittsburgh but injuries took their toll and was not offered a contract. Is back with the Islanders as part of the alumni and was announced at the home opener.

Roman Hamrlik: Got a big contract with Calgary after the lockout and had his ups and downs before the Flames walked away this summer. Montreal signed him to a five year contract for over twenty million which looks like a bad response to losing Sheldon Souray.

Kenny Jonsson: Never played another NHL game after the Tampa series. Signed a contract with a job after his playing career with his home town team Rogel in Sweden where he still plays but has had at least one more concussion.

Alexander Karpovtsev: Cue the jokes and Pat Foley's comments. After he played his three games with the Islanders and went home, Florida signed him after the lockout where he played a grand total of six games. Since then he still plays in the Russian leagues and in 07-08 is still active with Sibir Novosibirsk.

Radek Martinek: Was signed by Milbury to a two year contract, improved his game dramatically on defense and despite major injuries is a critical part of the Islanders blue line. Was resigned to a three year extension by Garth Snow this week is the only remaining player from the 03-04 defenders.

Janne Niinimaa: I guess Steve Stirling was not the only problem because after being unloaded to Dallas he never found his game there before being dumped on Montreal who rarely used him last season. The injury problems that began back in Edmonton kept diminishing his game. Today he's listed as being on HC Davos but is not listed as having played.

Shawn Bates: Unfortunately unlike Adrian Aucoin, the Islanders did not let Bates go when it was clear to anyone watching he has the same chronic groin problems. Islanders resigned him and had limited impacts on the losing team in 05-06 or the playoff team of 06-07. His injury from last year is still lingering but he is still with the club and still skating at practice as he sits on injured reserve. Have to think Richard Park's two year extension could spell the eventual end of Bates Islander career if he can play.

Oleg Kvasha: After being unloaded by the Islanders in a steal for a third rounder was not retained by Phoenix. He plays now with Vityaz Podolsk in the Russian Hockey league.

Justin Papineau: After never making it with the Blues, Islanders or Devils organizations he signed in Europe for 07-08 with EHC Basel.

Michael Peca: After being traded for Mike York and a draft pick, had a very tough year in Edmonton where he was critical of management, could not stay healthy early and was relegated to fourth line duty. The Olympic break got him healthy for the stretch and come playoff time he was outstanding and almost led the Oilers to a cup but was critical of management afterward again and signed in Toronto where another knee injury shut him down for the season. Signed an incentive contract with Columbus and already was placed on injured reserve.

Cliff Ronning: After his forty games with the Islanders became a victim of the lockout and is retired.

Dave Scatchard: Scatchard wanted big money after the lockout and got it from Boston who paid him four years and around seventeen million. A few short months out of nowhere they dumped his contract on the Phoenix Coyoyes where he never had an impact on a bad team before a concussion last season led to a buyout this summer. No team has signed him and no updates on his health but have to wonder where the Islanders would have been if they paid him as many fan wanted after the lockout?

Alexei Yashin: Management's somewhat unfair scapegoat for years of mediocre support from supporting cast (as evidenced by mediocre/poor results from so many of these players after leaving) led to fan/media opinion finally convincing management to buy him out and take a long cap hit against the payroll. Blake himself said the fans expected miracles from him. His fifty eight point season and ten points the final ten games were one of the biggest reasons the club made the playoffs, but his playoff struggles continued and that was the final straw even though Satan, Kozlov and Zednik had poor playoffs also. In the end why not save ten million long-term and start over while winning fan support for the move? Yashin's unfair reputation kept teams from signing him at what his agent felt was fair so he signed with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl where some reports are he is injured again.

Arron Asham: After years of inconsistent performance under several coaches despite outstanding acceleration and a great shot, Islanders decided not to bring him back.
Asham was not in high demand and had to settle for a pay cut to sign with the Devils, kept reading about hand or wrist injuries limiting him last year.

Jason Blake: Blake to this point is the one franchise talent from the 03-04 roster that left at his peek because they felt he was not worth that kind of money for that long based on one season. In 03-04 and until they day he left gave all he had every game for the club and was it's most visible forward. Could make a good argument both ways about signing Blake but his age and how he scored here suggest he may never be as good anywhere else as he was here because of how the Islanders were constructed. For a few years he should be good with the Leafs but my guess is Toronto find's out he was never a first line talent but on the Islanders had to be.

Mariusz Czerkawski: After Stirling got another twenty five goal season out of him in 03-04 returned to the NHL after the lockout where he played parts of one season with Toronto/Boston before going back to Europe where he today plays for SC
Rapperswil-Jona. Outside of Blake the one player management got the most out of for the least money before moving on.

Eric Godard: Godard lost a fight after the lockout with the Islanders and was injured for a while but on the ice at the time was virtually useless on a very bad team that could not score before going to Calgary where he played only nineteen games for them last season as he was in the AHL. He's reportedly on the Flames current roster.

Trent Hunter: Still a productive impact player with the Islanders to this day, but has never showed the scoring skills he did in 03-04 before a knee injury.

Mark Parrish: Was traded to the Kings in the Jeff Tambellini deal, signed a huge contract with Minnesota where he had one of his worst seasons and found himself on left wing and on the fourth line. Had another invisible playoff for the Wild last season despite his comments he never felt he had a chance to win with the Islanders at playoff time before the postseason last spring. Bounced around the Wild's lines a lot to this point.

Steve Webb: Maybe it's unfair to call him part of the 03-04 Islanders because he was reacquired in a minor league trade at the time? He played one playoff game and five overall games, took a penalty and that was the it for Webb who's career ended with the lockout. Today he's part of the Islanders community relations department and was introduced opening night.

Mattias Weinhandl: Islanders gave him every chance in 03-04 to produce. After leading the SEL in scoring during the lockout never impressed Steve Stirling to where he got significant minutes again and if I recall was waived and the Wild picked him up where he did not impress them over parts of two seasons despite good AHL numbers in Houston. Went back to Europe and today plays for Linköpings HC.

Garth Snow: After losing his spot to DiPietro in the second half of 03-04 never saw serious minutes again and was injured on a very bad Islander club in 05-06 but somehow was given a three year extension before...........why bother, we know.

Today he is the general manager of the New York Islanders and retired as a player, but his contract does count against the cap.

Rick DiPietro: Franchise goalie who built on his outstanding second half in 03-04 and playoff where he became the full time starter. Had no chance in 05-06 on a terrible team and struggled early and had some injuries but was outstanding in the second half. Faced the most avg shots per game last season and recorded a 9.19 save percentage and led the club to a ninety two point season.

Franchise NHL goalie who is signed through 2021.

10/8: New York vs Washington FSN 2pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/08/2007 05:58:00 AM
Combining the news articles with the game previews today because it's an early game.

Islanders website: Has early preview for today's game.

Newsday: Greg Logan's talks about Chris Campoli, Tambellini practicing on the second line with Satan and Vasicek and where Berard may fit if signed by the club.

"I'm just playing the game the way I know how to play it," Campoli said. "For me to help this team, that's the way I need to play. Right now, I'm shooting the puck and it's going in."

"Chris came into camp much more mature this year," Nolan said. "I think when you're younger and get things given to you a little too quickly, you take things for granted. Chris worked extremely hard this off season and it's paid off for him."


Washington Times: Corey Masisak has an updated on how former Islander Viktor Kozlov is doing well paired with Ovechkin.

Washington Post: Did not have an update this early on today's game.

The Toronto Star: Reports Jason Blake has been taken off the first line because both Sundin and Blake like to control the puck. Also talks about how many chances Blake creates with his hard work and skating but already the pressure is on Blake from the media because he has not scored in the first three games.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Kolzig is coming off of a shutout. Oveckkin, Semin, Nylander, Kozov are a very good offensive combinatinonb and the backline is improved with Poti. Caps have been a hard working team for years under Hanlon and will give the Islanders everything they can handle and more today. My impression is Sim will be out for a long stretch and a knee injury can really linger as we saw with Yashin and so many former Islanders.

Islanders could use a big offensive game from Satan and the second line with Tambellini getting his opportunity.

A small sidebar today is finding out if Meyer cleared waivers. You want to keep him if possible because this is an injury prone defense and you need all the depth you can get. As for Tambellini this is his chance to prove he can play on a second line in this league. Unfortunately he's going to have to do it with a center who had six goals last season but he's a first round pick on his second organization at a point where he has to show he can play in a top nine position as Nolan indicated.

10/7/07

Tambellini recalled, Logan, Fornabaio blog update

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/07/2007 05:46:00 PM
Cory Witt: Media blog reports Jeff Tambellini was recalled and practiced with the club Sunday.

Newsday: Greg Logan reports Park's conract is for 1.5m/two years with quotes from Nolan, Tambellini practiced [with the second line and Meyer/Berard status going into Monday.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio did an update on the AHL and some items of interest.

Richard Park resigned through 2009-2010

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/07/2007 12:39:00 PM

Islanders website: Announced Richard Park has been signed through 2009-10.

"Richard exemplifies the type of character players we want to be New York Islanders," said general manager Garth Snow. "He's a team-first guy who plays with his heart on his sleeve and battles every shift."

"To say I'm happy would be an understatement," said Park. "Since the first day of training camp last year, I was determined to make the most of the chance Garth Snow and Ted Nolan gave me. I love this franchise. My family has really made a home on Long Island. This is incredible news for us. I'm very appreciative of the opportunity to stay with the Islanders for a long time."


NYI Fan Central Comments:
Do not know the terms yet of the contract, but unlike Radek Martinek who has standout skills in a primary role this is not a player you give this kind of extension to because it limits your options. Park is a very hard worker and gives his best and more but you cannot lock up a fourth line center for this long when that spot should be reseved for a prospect. Now they have Bates for two more years and Park for this year and two more. Different positions but who has best potential to do more, Park or Tambellini/Nielsen, Comeau, Colliton? What does this mean for Ben Walter who is a center who had not gotten much of an NHL look in Boston.

Like Richard Park, but he's not an impact player and in this league you have to keep your options open.

A quick NYI Fan Central Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/07/2007 09:28:00 AM

I have gotten a few questions about the blog the last few days and wanted to answer directly here to save time.

* I have changed the news format somewhat to clean up the way articles and commentary are presented here. I feel it's important to credit all newspapers and sources while only quoting part of their work as I give my own commentary when I feel like it. With everything here I'm always looking to improve the blog and will keep experimenting.

* The message board is very easy to join, I would not have picked Bravenet if it were not so because I want it to be easy for myself. From day one my plan there was for a small group of diehards and it will take some time. Hopefully the folks visiting here want to talk hockey there and it catches on. Mr Prospects has been kind enough to do updates on the club's prospects so we have something there that folks can enjoy and I'll keep adding topics for folks to contribute to if they are not sure if they want to start a topic of their own.

* I have toned down some of Mr Botta's and Mr Witt's blog coverage in my blog because New York Islander Fan Central is not affiliated with the club. This blogger is not interested in promoting ticket sales or will do any advertising for the Islanders. In other words some of their blogs make for good discussion here while others are more their own and the same goes for the Islanders website. Either way I enjoy their contribution and have linked it to the page so all their work is available to our visitors.

* Finally, I do not believe in fan rumors from blogs or low grade message boards until a credible new source inside the media confirms it. Not a knock on anyone but for this blog the information does not have to be first but it does have to be correct every single time. I never want to put information on this blog based on fan speculation or rumor. I can do plenty of my own speculation based on rumor but to tell you something happened and is done I want it confirmed from a credible news source first. Not a fan blog, not my own blog.

Thanks again to all the folks who come here and visit.
NYIsles1/IslesTigers

Islander News Articles 10/7:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/07/2007 06:51:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan kicks off the coverage of the home opening win vs Buffalo.

Newsday: Mark Herrman showed up to do one of his three or four Islander articles a season to remind us how bad a franchise we are while crediting the early results and specifically Mike Comrie.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Funny how Herrmann did an entire article the other day on the 94 Rangers and sold how things can be that way again for a few days but wrote the Islanders dynasty in 1980s might as well be ancient Rome to the current players?

Of course what's a Herrman feel-bad article without some reference to Alexei Yashin somewhere because he likely never watches the Islanders play and does not know the current roster. We may see Herrman Wednesday but my guess is we don't see him again until Al Arbour coaches against Pittsburgh.

Newsday: Greg Logan did an updated on Meyer being placed on waivers and what this could mean for a possible Berard signing.

Daily News : Someone named Brian Bohl
who likely is an A.P writer or associated with the Buffalo media covered the home opener.

"We know we're a skilled line," Comrie said. "We're not satisfied after two games. There's a lot more we can all do out there."

"Both teams tightened up," DiPietro said. "It's tough starting a season back-to-back, but I thought we did a good job coming off with a lot of energy."

"It feels great, but it can turn around just as easily," Campoli said. "I'm just staying even-keeled and hopefully we can keep winning."



New York Post
: Dan Martin showed up for his first game to remind us it was announced sellout in an article that read like someone who has not covered a game since last season and did not know the players.

"Comrie told us over the summer that he wanted to be the go-to guy," coach Ted Nolan said. "He's been our go-to guy."

"Our role is to score goals," Comrie said. "We've done that for two games."

"Mike Comrie is a dynamic player with the puck," Rick DiPietro said.

"The last 15 minutes, we kind of sat back," Comrie said. "We have to keep playing."


Buffalo News: John Vogal leads the Sabres coverage of the game.

“It was substantially better,” said goaltender Ryan Miller, who made 21 saves. “We didn’t have quite the offense we had on the first night, but again, the Islanders adjusted to us, too.


Sound Tigers website: Had game summary. Joey MacDonald played well. Tim Jackman, Ben Walter and Frans Nielsen (from Tambellini) had the third goal. Dustin Kohn had a good game in his AHL debut.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio updated his blog on the line combos on the Sound Tigers won won their season opener in Hartford Saturday 3-2.

Ct Post: had article on the season opening win.

"The last two weeks, everything we've been emphasizing to our guys to do, they did," said Jack Capuano, who won his official debut as Bridgeport's head coach. "That's why we were successful."

"Give our young defensemen credit. This is a tough place to come into," Capuano said. "I'm proud of those guys. They sustained a lot of pressure from the forecheck. They made a lot of good decisions with the puck."

"The last two weeks, everything we've been emphasizing to our guys to do, they did," said Jack Capuano, who won his official debut as Bridgeport's head coach. "That's why we were successful."


Hartford Courant: Bruce Berlet leads the Wolfpack perspective on the game.

Sound Tigers next game is the home opener Friday against Steve Stirling's Norfolk Admirals.

Edmonton Sun: Jason Vogel reported prospect Robin Figren played well in his return from injury that kept him shut down in Moncton.

New York 3, Buffalo 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/07/2007 06:23:00 AM


Islanders move to 2-0 with a solid effort in a 3-2 win in the home opener.

Islanders website: Has the recap.

"You need your best players to be your best players and so far our best players have been exactly that," said head coach Ted Nolan. "Comrie wanted to be the go-to guy when he came in here and he's done that. And what can you say about Ricky, he made the save of the year last night and he's a big reason why we are, where we are."

"As long as we compete every night we know we have a chance to win," said Comrie. "There are still 80 games to go, so we haven't accomplished a lot, but we're going in the right direction."


NYI Fan Central Comments:
Tough game from start to finish and far different then the game in Buffalo. But this new group hung together well, did the work in the trenches while Comrie's skill combined with his line mates are finishing when they have to. Being shorthanded early took the club off it's offensive game but they had good energy again and did create some chances.

DiPietro again had to be very good and in the third had to face a lot of quality shots, defense had to be better and was for the most part. Campoli with a rocket for the first goal and making it impossible to take him out of the lineup with a lot of solid play on defense as well as Gervais. Sutton screened DiPietro on the first goal but had a better game tonight. Martinek again outstanding with several key plays to clear the puck. Witt got a bad break on the second Buffalo goal and his try at the empty net almost cost the club but the defense collapsed well around DiPietro and protected him under pressure.

Sim created two power plays and was a pest until he sprained his knee. One play he took about three or four whacks at Miller's pads which I have not seen an Islander do before a whistle for a long time. Islanders will miss his energy and he was a factor in the win.

Usual suspects showed up and were warriors, Hunter had some big hits and big defensive plays, Witt again blocked a shot that was painful to watch much less block.
Sillinger at both ends in the trenches does so many things that never appear on a score sheet to win a game. Fedotenko again looked like an impact player who belongs in a top six.

Islanders move to 2-0, next up Washington. If Islanders can stay with Buffalo's speed and skill and look faster themselves no reason they cannot keep it up against anyone. Sure they are going to face adversity and we'll see how they respond to losing but for this weekend against a good part of the club that won the President's Trophy a year ago and eliminated them Islanders looked like a team built for the long haul.

We'll see, for now we enjoy first place for at least one day.

10/6/07

Freddy Meyer placed on waivers

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/06/2007 04:43:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan reported in his blog the Islanders have placed Freddy Meyer on waivers Saturday. He has until noon Monday to clear before he can join the Isles’ the Sound Tigers.

Because Meyer is in the final season of a deal that pays him $540,000. Logan speculates this could open the door for a Berard signing but he may have a problem finding a spot.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So much for being stubborn on Snow's part and holding onto everyone. Looks like someone's patience has run out either it be Garth Snow, Bryan Berard or Freddy Meyer. Good question on Logan's part who would sit for Berard or does Nolan go to seven defenders? If Berard is signed now you have to ask was making him sit around opening night worth it.

Apparently the Islander quotes in camp from Nolan that he was leaning toward a seventh defender to dress did not happen in the opener.

Hopefully the Islanders hang onto Meyer and he is not claimed but I do not think he's going to be happy for long in Bridgeport.

For a few more days the saga continues.

10/6 New York vs Buffalo: 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/06/2007 11:01:00 AM


Islanders Website: Has the preview thread.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
They beat Buffalo once, let's see if they can do it again in front of a tough home crowd. They produce like they did Friday they will win the fans over quickly.

I do not expect any roster changes.

I'm going and will do a postgame blog late tonight or tomorrow. Hope everyone going has a great time.

LET'S GO ISLANDERS.

Cannot see Berard waiting much longer.

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/06/2007 10:30:00 AM
St Louis Post Dispatch:Jeremy Rutherford reports Eric Brewer injured his shoulder in a fight Thursday and was placed on IR. Jay McKee broke his foot in the preseason and the Blues are making callups on defense.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Unless there is a signed contract that cannot be filed with the league between Berard and the club why should agent Tom Laidlaw wait for injuries to create a spot for Berard with the Islanders?

Gervais and Campoli looked as good as Berard can look on offense. Gervais pass to Vasicek for the opening goal was fantastic, Berard is not going to look any better than Campoli did on his goal.

No gang, MAB and Andy Sutton are not being traded or benched after one game.

As much as I don't like the situation and think it's been handled poorly because Berard did practice on the first pp unit Wednesday part of me likes how stubborn Snow has been here not to force a bad move just to sign Berard.

Folks will rip on Meyer but in Philadelphia he showed some good skills at times and was not that bad here last year when healthy and this is someone Snow traded for less than a year ago. Johnson was well regarded by former gm Doug McLean in Columbus.

As long as Gervais and Campoli look solid the club can afford to be patient, but the question also should be asked should Snow be trying to get a pick for Meyer from the Blues if he really wants to sign Berard?

Even with Berard you have to take Gervais or Campoli out of your lineup, you cannot sit around and wait for injuries even if with this group it's a matter of when before someone gets hurt.

An outsiders impression is it's a matter of time before some team gets an injury and Tom Laidlaw finds his client a job whether it be here or somewhere else. Unless there is a signed deal in place he owes the Islanders nothing.

Those who want respect, give respect.

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/06/2007 09:31:00 AM
I changed my mind, bring back the Worst Damn Sports Show and let that be the pregame as opposed to Al Trautwig and Stan Fischler aka: Msg's used car Ranger salesman and that sad show they put on last night.

I try to go out of my way to ignore some of this but when it lands right in the middle of an Islander telecast it's just not possible.

Apparently now the trade off for a post game is our pregame is a generic Msg production from inside the Garden where they claim it's going to be an even split of coverage/commentary on all three teams. Yes, I know Msg owns the entire broadcast, the announcers and have since Sports Channel merged with Msg.

Butch Goring was in there with them for only the pregame and it's always fantastic to see him not only as an Islander great but a former Islander coach who produced one of the hardest working Islander clubs for a good decade his first year before Milbury ruined what he had going and brought in a team of right handed centers before Butchie took a very unfair hit and was fired. Goring said he and Nolan spoke about the club also.

So here's the thing:
Al Trautwig and Stan Fischler asking for questions from Islander and Devils fans because they claim the only questions they got were from Ranger fans. To quote Trautwig ninety nine percent of the questions were from Ranger fans.

Funny, I went to the site this morning and looked at the questions and around the time they were asking for questions
here the page was packed with questions from a lot of Islander fans and none of them were answered or brought up on television.

Anyway I thought I would ask my question, post it here first in case by some miracle they respond tomorrow even though I will not be around:

As Tony Soprano said:
Those who want respect, give respect.

Mr Fischler/Mr Trautwig:

You want questions from Islander and Devils fans both of you cannot be what you have been forever and that's James Dolan's paid Ranger shills, nothing more and nothing less.

You treat the Islanders horrible on Msg, hide our games, put Ranger announcers at Nassau Coliseum for Islander home games and leave our announcers home. You don't televise preseason games (unless they are Msg Ranger games) and don't give us a post game show while showing James Dolan's team non stop and all of a sudden you want Islander and Devils fans to ask you questions to help you finally sell all three teams?

Madison Square Garden and both you and Mr Fischler who made a living off the Islanders in the 80's when Msg would not let him in the building owe our fans a public apology which has hurt own club's exposure in the city media and even hurt the Rangers exposure.

Both of you have only served to hurt hockey in New York and by doing so hurt your employers team.

Ok, Mr Trautwig, my question?

How come you could not acknowledge the Islander fans at Msg last season and even made the absurd claim Ranger fans sold their tickets to Islander fans for
Giants-Dallas even though everyone knows Ranger games are rarely sold out (not padded sellouts) and Islander/opposing fans were out in big numbers as they always are?

After the Rangers poor ratings perfomance and you tried to spin it as the Rangers capturing the heart of New York was watching Bob Raissman in the Daily News called you and Msg employees delusional making such claims.

You want my hockey questions you owe Islander and Devils fans an apology starting with James Dolan who hid our playoff games on Metro for years to the point Charles Wang had to create an internet television station for his team.

You have hurt hockey in this town and now want Islander fans to just ask you questions like it's no problem.

Your doing the pregame tomorrow start with my question instead of the Ranger fans asking Drury what his favorite color is and then we'll see.

Now you have a question from an Islander fan.

Islander News Articles 10/6:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/06/2007 05:30:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan has the recap of the win. Nolan said Fedntenko, Comrie and Guerin have taken over the team from last year.

Among the comments:

"It's not easy to come in this building and score six goals," center Mike Sillinger said. "We've got a lot more depth than last year. You take seven guys out of our lineup who were heavily relied upon offensively, including a whole power-play unit of Blake, Smyth, Kozlov, Poti and Alexei Yashin, and we did a good job of replacing the personnel. To get these guys going and to get our power play going is huge for our team."


Newsday: Had a full article on Radek Martinek signing and noted Berard is still unsigned but Campoli scored a pp goal in the opener.

"Last year, he was our best defenseman when healthy," general manager Garth Snow said. "The key is for Radek to stay healthy. If he can play a full 82 games, he can be a force. His skating ability got us out of a lot of trouble."


Goes without writing it the Times, Post and News provided no coverage or A.P coverage.

Buffalo News: John Vogal provided a brief summary from a paper that usually is very late (10pm-1pm) getting it's game stories on line the next day. Check back later today for an update.

Updated 9am:
Buffalo News: Bucky Gleason's article blamed the departures of Drury and Briere for the loss along with some poor penalties but noted the Islanders outworked Buffalo.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Personally I thought it was the bugs at Jacobs field as to why the Sabres lost, I think the last thing anyone is going to do is credit the Islanders.

Ct Post Michael Fornabaio updated his blog on the roster changes from last year.

Ct Post: Has a feature story on Blake Comeau. Home opener is against Steve Stirling's Norfolk's Admirals with Kevin Colley who will drop the puck opening night.

Sound Tigers Website: Has the preview for Saturday's season opener at Hartford 7pm. Announced Mark Wotton has been named captain with Jeff Tambellini and Tim Jackman being named assistants here.

New York 6, Buffalo 4

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/06/2007 04:57:00 AM

Islanders Website has the full recap of the Islanders season opening 6-4 win at Buffalo that set a club record for most goals on opening night.

Five Stars of the Game:
1. Mike Comrie: Four points in Islanders debut says it all
2. Ruslan Fedotenko: A huge force in front of the net while on the PP
3. Bill Guerin: Played setup man with 3 assists in Islanders debut
4. Josef Vasicek: Used his size, hands and deceptive speed to his advantage
5. Bruno Gervais/Chris Campoli: The young defense pair jumped into the play effectively

Slapshots: Ruslan Fedotenko's first assist of the game was the 100th of his career...This is the first time the Islanders have scored six goals in a season opener...The top line of Guerin, Fedotenko and Comrie was a combined +6.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So much for not winning on opening night. Very tough start against Buffalo where it looked like Buffalo's speed and skill would dominate but once the Islanders settled into this game they showed some speed, skill and defense that they did not show last year.

Not the best of starts for Sutton or Bergeron but this is a new pairing. A few big mistakes but Buffalo's speed and skill has to be given credit also.

DiPietro let up four goals and early it looked like he would have to play great to get out of the first period giving up only four goals. His save early got the Islanders going and a huge third peirod save started the rush that led to the 6-4 goal by Hunter. Buffalo still has a lot of the speed and skill from last year's club and still Islanders hung in and created a lot of chances of their own.

Gervais pass for Vasicek's goal was amazing, the passing skill that set up Campoli's goal was rarely seen last season. I saw far more skilled setups and chemistry in one game then I think I saw in any game last year. This was not all Blake or all Kozlov or all Yashin, it was three lines working well together and being in position.

That powerplay looked good under a new coach.

Anyone see that hip-check by Martinek on Vanek? Wow.

All three lines contributed in the win and even though it was not perfect they showed a lot of things last years team did not seem capable of. As the game settled down Islanders defense stepped up and protected DiPietro a little better but out of his twenty odd saves it seemed fifteen required good or great saves from DiPietro and that will not work long-term.

Comrie and his line displayed chemistry that looked like a first line. Hunter was a warrior as was his line. Not too many penalties for a team that seems a league target far too often a year ago. Vasicek for one game was fast, big and looked like a top six forward, it has to continue.

It's one game but a lot to be impressed with to win in that atmosphere against a team which still has plently of speed and skill. Very good win and basically a lot of the things Snow and Nolan talked about what they wanted their team to look like.

You hear that grit and character talk and it gets old after a while when you do not see it translate into work during a game. Afinogenov at the end of a third peirod pp was burried by Trent Hunter.

Gervais and Campoli looked like a combination you do not break up.

Tonight this team backed up it's talk on the ice, it was great to see. Only one game but a very good one.

Opening night at home after that effort hopefully fans will come out and support them. I will be there and blogging late.

10/5/07

Radek Martinek signed through 2010-2011

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/05/2007 12:02:00 PM

Islanders website: Reports Radek Martinek signs a three year contract extension today.

"Our organization has felt for a while that Radek is one of the most underrated defensemen in the league," said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. "He is a very steady defenseman in both zones and he plays with a lot of grit. It was a priority for us to keep Radek an Islander beyond this season. We're very happy he was as dedicated to staying an Islander as we were to keeping him here."

"The Islanders were the NHL team that drafted me and Long Island has become a second home," Martinek said this morning. "I never even considered the possibility of playing for another team. I'm looking forward to this season and many more to come as an Islander."

"That's great news to start the season," said Islanders head coach Ted Nolan. "I'm happy for Marty because he's earned this, but I'm just as happy for our team and our fans because we just locked up one of our key veteran defensemen."


Greg Logan's Newsday Blog: Reports three-year extension worth a total of $4.5 million. Martinek is set to make $700,000 this season before the new deal kicks in next year and runs through the 2010-11 season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Outstanding move and a player they needed to lock up long term. Despite his injuries anyone watching his game knows how his play improved immesurably the last two seasons as he looks more and more confident. Martinek's ability to clear the puck and create a rush is something very under-rated not only on this roster but around the league. When healthy and at his best his play is on a level with former Islander Kenny Jonsson.

10/5 Buffalo vs New York 7:30 pm FSN 7:30pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/05/2007 04:17:00 AM


NYI.com has the pregame thread vs Buffalo. No lines but roster listed.

For your Friday viewing pleasure and recording get the DVD/VCR ready because in a miracle FSN is giving us a day of Islanders hockey:

14 hours of Islanders programming tomorrow, including all 4 Stanley Cup clinching games.

8:30am - Islanders season preview
10:00am - Hall Remembers - Denis Potvin
10:30am - Hall Remembers - Clark Gillies
11:00am - 1980 Stanley Cup Game 6
1:00pm - 1981 Stanley Cup Game 5
3:00pm - 1982 Stanley Cup Game 4
5:00pm - 1983 Stanley Cup Game 4
7:00pm - Isles at Buffalo - Pregame
7:30pm - Isles at Buffalo
10:00pm - Isles Postgame

Buffalo vs New York 10/5 Season Opener FSN 7:30PM start.
Coverage begins at 7pm on FSN.

Newsday's: Neil Best reports Islanders will get expanded postgame coverage this season but pre-game may be scaled back. Also a few words on Jiggs Mc Donald driving up to call games and then the Mets not making the playoffs. Despite the Mets' loss, he is set to work the Oct. 13 game in Philadelphia and perhaps others. "All isn't lost," he said. "I'll get these pipes going."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's OPENING DAY, or Opening Day depending on your point of view.

The long summer is over. I'm back with my own blog and message board and thrilled about it. I hope the club gives us a great season and everyone who comes here enjoys this site and what it has to offer. I will go all out with coverage, information ancd commentary for my part.

As for tonight:
Buffalo has some injuries, Islanders have no reported injures.

Islanders lost big in Buffalo to open a season a few years ago but different rosters.

Anything beats starting in Phoenix like last year before they get their bubble broken and start losing. A month later Islanders win against Phoenix.

Nolan has to have his club ready and he has to send a message with a good effort and two points, Berard or no Berard.

Tomorrow Islanders go right back at it with a very early home opener for the club given the countless years on the road.

LET'S GO ISLANDERS.

NHL Notables 10/5:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/05/2007 03:05:00 AM
Globe and Mail: William Houston had high praise for Mike Milbury's debut on TSN and had the following:

He was excellent. He has a strong presence, is confidently opinionated and brings plenty of colour to his commentary.

* On the feud between GMS Brian Burke of Anaheim and Kevin Lowe of Edmonton:

“I just love it that Brian Burke is apoplectic out there in Anaheim and has a Kevin Lowe Voodoo Doll in his office and a lifetime supply of pins. This is war and it will not go away."


* On Montreal’s underachiever Alexei Kovalev:

“He can score, he can make plays and then the next night he barks like a dog. This guy has got to show up every night or he's going to kill the coach. Well, the coach has to kill him. Take away the keys to his plane and block the door to Chez Parée (a Montreal strip joint). Make him concentrate on hockey."


NYI Fan Central Comments:
There was Mike Milbury the other night on TSN picking the Rangers to win the Stanley Cup at the end of a segment. He's entitled to say what he likes. I guess that puts to bed any misconceptions he has ties to the Islanders or consulting Charles Wang any longer.

Milbury like him or hate him is good for the NHL. I hope he never sells himself out for a paycheck like so many in the business do but my guess is sooner or later he will. I also think when the Jacobs family dumps Peter Chiarelli after a second poor season his friend and personal coaching choice in Claude Julien will follow and Milbury will be back coaching the Bruins.

Dallas Morning News : Mike Heika reports on the Dallas Stars not selling out their home opener and notes the Colorado Avalanche did not sellout it's home opener either. He also notes the countless articles on the thousands of empty seats in Detroit who could not even sellout it's semi-final games.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So let's recap:
Detroit cannot sellout home opener and pad attendance.
Dallas cannot sellout the home opener in a modern building.
Colorado cannot sellout the home opener in a modern building with Ryan Smyth.
Chicago has been a ghost town for years.
Rangers pad the attendance, announce sellouts and had seats available today.
Boston has significant attendance problems.
Devils historically have had significant attendance problems.
St Louis played in a building at around sixty percent of seats sold last year.

Sure I'm not including a lot of teams.

How can anyone blame the Islanders after all this time without winning for not having similar problems in a market where baseball and the other major sports dominate the media year round and coverage is limited.

Why is it Nashville needs 14,000 or they have to move again if Detroit cannot sellout a semi-final game or opening night after going to the conference finals?

Mike Ilitch as much as he likes cannot blame Nashville. The Stanley Cup champions were in town Wednesday and he could not fill his building. Did baseball take over Detroit like it did in Chicago, Boston and New York ?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No article here because this is over a week old but Roberto Luongo threatening retirement if the nets are made larger brings a response from me of I bet Ed Belfour's billion dollars you will not retire if nets are made larger. Just be grateful goaltenders equipment is not reduced to where it used to be or we would see a dramatic improvement in scoring.

Let's do a quick check of NY Post coverage going into the opener:
Ranger previews two.
Devils previews two.
Islander previews zero.

Devils and Rangers played Thursday.

Even the News and Times did one article. How much does a blogger cost?

Where's my check !!!!!!!!

Islander News Articles 10/5: Berard not with club

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/05/2007 12:16:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan's article centers on Satan having to replace Jason Blake's numbers this season and will see more pp time while the club could not sign Bryan Berard and he did not accompany the club to Buffalo.

Greg Logan's Newsday blog: Updated Berard status and clarified the situation regarding Aaron Johnson and Bruno Gervais and why they have to clear waivers with two-way contracts.

NY Times: Dave Caldwell wrote what will likely be only a handful of Islander articles all season at best. Quotes from Guerin, DiPietro, Nolan and Comrie.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

At least we finally have an explanation on Johnson and Gervais because there has been a lot of conflicting information on why they had to be placed on waivers.

Berard situation has officially turned into a distraction.

What was the point of having Berard at practice centering the number one pp unit Wednesday (and maybe Thursday) if the club is not going to sign him? Brendan Witt is one of the leaders on this club and talking about him as if his shot will make a difference and now someone else who should have been getting those minutes and workload will be put into the role? This is now a distraction for the club and one they did not need.

You either sign Berard and make room for him or you give his minutes to someone else and have this settled a week ago. This either reflects poor management by Snow and Nolan (or are trying to hold onto everyone) or Berard's agent is being unreasonable in negotiations which on the surface seem unlikely.

Things should never been allowed to linger for this long and the club merits the criticism in this situation because day before the season opener, the person who has been the pp quarterback through most of camp and the preseason is not going to be there.

You put a player on waivers if you want Berard in your lineup or make a trade, it's that simple. Now they are out a player who was in a primary role and another player is forced into his role at the last minute.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio
writes about the Sound Tigers young defenders, their ability to move the puck and does a feature on Jeff Tambellini.

Nichael Fornabaio's Ct Post blog: Updates new rules in the AHL and some Sound Tiger notes.

Hartford Courant: Bruce Berlet had a preview of the Sound Tigers and how tough the club us. Jack Capauano is quoted on the state of his team.

Sports ticker and several media outlets: reported former Islander prospect Ryan Caldwell came up and played in the Coyotes season opener.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So Phoenix found a roster spot for Caldwell while the Islanders and Bluejackets did not give him a chance. Granted it was a call up because of injury but where is Eric Boguniecki these days?

The Journal Gazette: Justin A. Cohn reports the Islanders have assigned Luciano Aquino to the Fort Wayne Komets, who open training camp in the new International Hockey League on Monday.

Finally in the last and least department:
NY Post: Dan Martin threw together a three paragraph summary as a preview for the Islanders while Brooks and Everson had two article previews on their clubs yesterday. Everson did travel to Tampa to do a game article for the Devils while Brooks of course did his Ranger article today. Post did not travel to Moncton unlike last year.

10/4/07

ISLANDERS NOTEBOOK 10/4:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/04/2007 01:18:00 PM
Islanders head coach Ted Nolan spoke following practice Thursday about a variety of topics pertaining to the team and the season NYI.com

"Bill Guerin has really taken control of the team," said Nolan. "He's a guy who goes out of his way to meet everyone on the team. Billy doesn't just talk to the so-called experienced guys on the team. You'll see him sitting at meals with the young guys. He's also really good at getting the team up before games. He's a real motivator, and has shown his leadership throughout Training Camp."

"You always learn from what you did before," said Ted. "We made some adjustments for this year. Bringing in Gerard Gallant, who has tremendous experience in the league, was a big help. We also brought in John Chabot, who is also a good character guy, to help on the coaching staff. Dan Lacroix will now be added help with us on the video side. I brought in a group of people to make me better. Plus, I know the personnel on the team better. I know what to expect from them and will use that to my advantage. I'm more familiar than last year, which will make for easier start to the season."

"We found our first line through free agency with Guerin, Comrie and Fedotenko. They looked like a good line to put together from the get-go. In the exhibition games, they seemed to have chemistry right from the start.

"We added a little more punch to our Hunter-Sillinger line by putting Sim in the mix. Hilbert is a reliable defensive guy, who will fit in well with Satan and Vasicek. Park is as versatile as anyone. He could play well on the fourth line or the first line or the third. He'll anchor that fourth line which also has Bergenheim, who is enthusiastic and likes to play the body. We feel like we have a good mix and good chemistry with all four lines."

"Miro has looked really hungry this year," said Ted. "He'll get his opportunities out there on the power play and we think he'll thrive in that situation."


Nolan's WFAN interview is archived here for those who missed it this morning.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Nolan did not mention Berard and talked about Satan on the pp point which looked like a terrible early season decision a year ago.

On WFAN, Joe Beningo and Evan Roberts asked directly about signing Berard. Nolan said said Berard is still here at his own expense trying to convince us to sign him that the evaulation continues but the club is hoping it works out and praised his talents.

A lot of talk about grit and character. Praise for Snow. Nolan said they got a first line esstentially for free and felt the club did well in free agency. Also that Satan should do better with players who can get him the puck and that he's healthy.

Praised Aaron Johnson and Freddy Meyer.

Islander News Articles 10/4:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/04/2007 03:39:00 AM
Newsday's Greg Logan gives us an update on Berard and some interesting comments from Brendan Witt here.

* It's possible a move will be made before the Islanders board the team plane this afternoon and head to Buffalo for Friday night's opener. Berard is paying his own expenses, which allows him to practice with the Islanders as Tommy Albelin did with the Devils last season. But judging by the fact he was running the top power play Wednesday, it's likely Berard will be signed sooner rather than later.

"We're trying to get ready for the season and trying not to let it be a distraction for the guys that are still uncertain," Witt said. "It's a lot of pressure for those guys. It's sort of like a mini-training camp for them still to win that job. It becomes very competitive."


In the knock me over with a feather department the Daily News Sports Editor Leon Carver actually had a writer named Jesse Spector do an article today where someone went to practice and got actual comments from the players and in an even bigger shock it's a good article where the writer knew the subject and brought out things Newsday has not reported. Berard was not mentioned.

"I don't think you really know what to expect," said Mike Comrie, who will center the all-free agent top line that also includes Ruslan Fedotenko and new captain Bill Guerin. There's so much parity in the league that if you work hard, and you compete, you have a chance to win every night.

"We realize we don't have one of the marquee big names or anything like that," Guerin said. "But you play as a team, you play hard, and we've got one of the top five goalies in the league, and we've got four pretty solid lines - everybody's going to have to do their part."

"Those first couple of games are big," said DiPietro, who suffered a concussion in March and missed the final seven games of the regular season, then rushed back for the playoffs after backup Wade Dubielewicz won the final four games to seal the Isles' berth. "You want to get that confidence going and get that good feeling back."

"We're going into this season expecting to win," second-year coach Ted Nolan said. "You can't have any other thoughts going in."


NYI Fan Central Comments:
Brendan Witt is correct. Islanders have too many defenders around and have to make some decisions now. If Berard is at practice and paying for it out of pocket and leading the defenders on the pp, it's time he be signed and some players be exposed to waivers or a trade is made. The season has begun, teams are playing games, this cannot be a distraction any longer and must be decided.

Witt's comments were encouraging, but why Logan brought up Sean Hill when he had all summer and all through camp to bring it up makes no sense, he's not on the club and he's not going to play the first twenty games for Minnesota.

What can I say about the Daily News, show up and cover our team daily and provide a blogger and it will be good for the Islanders and good for New York Hockey which needs all the exposure it can get in a New York City market where it's virtually invisible. Cannot cost that much to have someone blog for the club.

Michael Fornabaio it the Ct Post updated his blog
here and had four articles for the Ct Post Thursday edition Sound Tigers get physical BREAKING DOWN the Sound Tigers FIVE QUESTIONS for the Sound Tigers Jackman enjoyed brief NHL taste.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Impossible not to see how much Fornabaio puts into his work letting the fans get to know the club. Outstanding coverage cross the board. There is very good reason to expect the best Sound Tigers team since it's first season.

10/3/07

Islanders Wednesday Practice Report

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/03/2007 06:06:00 PM
Islanders tv had several video reports from practice Wednesday
here.

Steve Mears and Chris King covered practice.

Nine defenseman practiced, including Bryan Berard who was not with the club tuesday but returned to practice today. Video report also said things were close with Berard in terms of contract negotiations.

Practice Combinations:
Fedotenko-Comrie-Guerin
Hilbert-Vasicek-Satan
Sim-Sillinger-Hunter
Bergenheim-Park-Bootland

Witt-Martinek
Sutton-Bergeron
Campoli-Gervais
Johnson-Meyer
Berard

The point was brought up last years teams went the first thirty five games with the same six defenders healthy. Also to this point outside of Bates the entire roster is healthy.

DiPietro
Dubielewicz

Report also confirmed what Logan wrote that Gervais, Johnson would have to clear waivers, even though I have read several times that Gervais and Johnson have two way contracts.

Club leaves for Buffalo tomorrow afternoon.

Nolan and Guerin on radio Thursday

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/03/2007 05:53:00 PM
MEDIA ALERT: Ted, Captain on the radio Thursday
Bill Guerin: WBAB (102.3 FM) at 8:15 am; Ted Nolan: WFAN (660 AM) at 10:40 am

Captain Bill Guerin will be on WBAB (102.3 FM) at approximately 8:15 am with "Roger and JP" discussing the 2007-08 season for the Islanders....

Islanders head coach Ted Nolan will be on WFAN (660 AM) at 10:40 am with Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts previewing the weekend matchups with Buffalo on Friday and Saturday.

NYI.com report here.

Sound Tigers practice update

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/03/2007 02:07:00 PM
Michael Fornabaio updated his blog in the Ct Post this afternoon
here and provided the following:

2007-08 Bridgeport Sound Tigers skated as a whole this morning. With the usual caveats about subject-to-change, here's how they went today:

Tambellini-Nielsen-Comeau
Bentivoglio-Walter-Jackman
Regier-Smith-Colliton
Brennan-Johnson-Labelle-Morency

Fata-A.MacDonald
Kohn-Wotton
Spiller-Fraser

Masi Marjamaki was cleaning some stuff out. He said it's not final where he's going next. (It sounds like Europe.)

He tipped his cap to the fans on the way out. "They were always great. ... It's too bad I have to go. It would have been a fun year, to hear all the Sound Tigers fans yelling. I thank them for everything they've done for the organization and me."

Tambellini and Nielsen, together again.

"To this day, he's still the best centerman I've ever played with," Tambellini said. Toss Comeau into that mix, and that could be one fun line.
**********************************************************
NHLPA cleaned up it's website from yesterday and deleted several unsigned player profiles here
Bryan Berard was among those players so if he is signed check the Islanders page.

Fair to say if he's not with the club when they leave for Buffalo at some point tomorrow he's not going to be on the club.

Islander salaries are updated as well for the current roster:

Bates $1,200,000.00
Bergenheim $500,000.00
Bergeron $1,197,000.00
Bootland $525,000.00
Campoli $600,000.00
Comrie $3,375,000.00
DiPietro $4,500,000.00
Dubielewicz $500,000.00
Fedotenko $2,900,000.00
Gervais $475,000.00
Guerin $4,500,000.00
Hilbert $650,000.00
Hunter $1,550,000.00
Johnson $475,000.00
Martinek $700,000.00
Meyer $525,000.00
Park $475,000.00
Satan $4,500,000.00
Sillinger $2,200,000.00
Sim $1,000,000.00
* Simon $475,000.00
Sutton $2,500,000.00
Vasicek $750,000.00
Witt $2,800,000.00

* Bonus in contract

NHL Network launched in New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/03/2007 05:35:00 AM

A lot of things have been written about this happening for a while but quietly the new NHL Twenty Four Hour Network launched in the New York Market and is currently on Time Warner Cable channel 458 at this time.

No specific programs listed and at this time the network is free.

Commercials are seemingly all NHL centric.

Hollywood Insider has a report on the new network today.

It should be noted here NHL Center Ice also is showing early season games on it's free preview which usually lasts for about three or four days for those interested.

Here is an overview of the networks Canadian based programming here which has been on television in Canada for years. The US version is too new to talk programming at this early stage but for today the programming seems to be the same.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Likely a pay per view network after a free preview but a clear sign the league wants more coverage and an official twenty four hour network for it's fans in the United States.

In other words everything Versus did not do and Espn will never do.

Not much Islander programming and apparently the league still cannot sell that 1994 video surplus they overstocked on.

Where is the quality hockey information?

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/03/2007 03:21:00 AM
Let me preface this by writing it does not have to be positive or negative about the Islanders but please give us correct background information if nothing else. If a writer does that and tells us he thinks we will finish last so be it.

I guess in the end a lot of out of market writers have enough problems telling us about their own markets much less doing research on one outside. In this market New York City writers do not go near this team daily yet make predictions based on information that provide that just is not correct. Last Friday's preseason loss at Msg was made out to be a route by the Ranger headline writers and reporters even though it was a 4-2 game that the Bridgeport Islanders outworked the Ranger varsity for two plus periods.

Deb Kaufman was on television the other day talking Islanders and for all her work when she's around the club she came off as completely lost because she was not in Moncton for camp. Like many when the speculation comes without being around the club it's clear to see it's forced and reflects a lack of preparation or quality.

Chris Botta wrote in his point blank blog the other day the Islanders were not raided this summer here.

I can understand folks who claim Botta has to shill for the club as part of his job and protect the management and players but in this case he is correct whether you like his views or not. He'll never stoop as low as Al Trautwig does to keep his job but he does have to follow his boss instructions and goes out of his way to speak with the fans whether the news is good or bad.

Anyone who followed this club last season and all summer from the headlines knew the Islanders only offered three years and nine million to Jason Blake and had no intention of playing him close to eighteen million. Any idea that he bolted this club and did not want to be here is just not correct and the same can be said about Tom Poti and any other player who left outside of Ryan Smyth, who was not given an offer so far above market value it would have been a long term mistake.

Most of these articles are just so out of touch with the club it's impossible to respect them as credible. Anyone who watched the games and the numbers saw DiPietro face the most shots of any goalie per game last year and still finish with a 9.19 save percentage. Many writers doing previews could only talk about his injuries or his long-term contract, not the fact he faced a pp-pk disparity that was minus ninety. A few writers did get it right on DiPietro, many did not care to notice.

Someone wants to write DiPietro may struggle because of poor offensive support or his defense is not good enough or even talk about his hip and concussion injuries that's fair. Someone wants to write he'll struggle because of Howard Milstein, John Spano or his long term contract I disagree.

That's why most of these one or two paragraph previews are just simply lazy and not worth the effort to read them other that to read the obvious guess work going into them. If someone did one of these two paragraph previews and predicted the Islanders would win the cup it would be just as hard to take it seriously.

Good or bad, where is the quality information?

Islanders at league kick off party Tuesday

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/03/2007 01:19:00 AM


The NHL and Esquire, the men’s magazine, got the new hockey year started in style Tuesday night in New York with a star-studded party.

A constellation of stars descended on Central Park North for the posh party thrown at Esquire North, the magazine’s ultra-opulent bachelor pad that would be the envy of any NHL star -- of which there were quite a few. New York Islanders head coach Ted Nolan, Buffalo Sabres Ryan Miller and Derek Roy, Islanders’ players Mike Comrie, Bill Guerin, Rick DiPietro and Ruslan Fedotenko, former Isles’ great Bobby Nystrom and NHL legend Willie O’Ree rubbed elbows with a long list of celebrities......

DiPietro, Guerin, Comrie, Nolan video interviews with Evan Grossman are all featured here.

Islander News Articles 10/3: Berard in limbo

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/03/2007 12:37:00 AM
Greg Logan's Newsday article gives us an updated about Berard among other things.

* As of Tuesday night, general manager Garth Snow said no one has been placed on waivers for the purpose of going down to Bridgeport, and no trade is imminent. The top four defensemen clearly are Brendan Witt, Radek Martinek, Andy Sutton and Marc-Andre Bergeron. Of the remaining four -- Chris Campoli, Bruno Gervais, Aaron Johnson and Freddy Meyer -- all would have to clear waivers to go down to make room for Berard.

* Tom Laidlaw, Berard's agent, Tuesday said he talked again with Snow, and Berard is working out daily in the vicinity to stay ready.

"It's at the stage of negotiations where it's best not to say too much," Laidlaw said.



"It's still up in the air," Nolan said of the defense. "We have eight -- and possibly nine -- pretty good defensemen who can play for us. All of a sudden, every decision we're making is a tough decision, which bodes well for us."


* Asked who might play the point with Bergeron on the power play if Berard isn't signed, Nolan listed Campoli, Sutton and Martinek. But questioned about his confidence in Berard's defensive ability, Nolan sounded as though it's a matter of time before he's signed.

"He didn't play in the league as long as he has without having some kind of responsibility defensively," Nolan said of Berard. "We're not bringing him here to block shots and be gritty in front of the net. We got him to run the power play and create some offense for us."


NYI Fan Central Comments:
First time I have read Johnson and Gervais would have to clear waivers to go to the AHL. If putting them on the twenty three man list today changed their status to where they must clear waivers Snow/Nolan boxed themselves into a corner here or do have a trade brewing. Either way this club cannot go long with eight or nine defenders.

Seems like Berard is in the mix still but all bets are off and every day he is not at practice is another day he is away from the players and coaching staff. Tom Laidlaw needs to find a job for Berard and if it's not here it has to be elsewhere.

Michael Fornabaio's Ct Post blog announces the Sound Tigers roster and in a surprise Jason Pitton has been sent to Utah.

Well, it's out and it's final: Jason Pitton's starting in Utah. More than a bit surprising. (Marjamaki was said to be toward the low end of the depth chart, but I wasn't quite expecting him to be sent away; Pitton comes a bit out of left field.) And not a whole lot of comment on it, either. But it's done.

Mike Morrison has been signed and will back up. Ouellet and Mole were sent to Utah, as was just about everyone else who was still on the camp list but wasn't skating today (Jeff Dwyer, Ford, Hart, Sertich, Bourne, Haley, Haskins, Keith Johnson), except for Derek Damon (Florida Everblades). Gordie Dwyer wasn't signed.

And that leaves 13, six and two:

GOALTENDERS

33 - Mike Morrison
35 - Joey MacDonald

DEFENSEMEN

2 - Andrew MacDonald
4 - Mark Wotton
6 - Matthew Spiller
40 - Jamie Fraser
44 - Drew Fata
50 - Dustin Kohn

FORWARDS

7 - Jeff Tambellini
9 - Ben Walter
10 - Sean Bentivoglio
14 - Blake Comeau
16 - Tim Jackman
19 - Gregg Johnson
21 - Jeremy Colliton
23 - Trevor Smith
37 - Kip Brennan
39 - Steve Regier
51 - Frans Nielsen
55 - Pascal Morency
91 - Olivier Labelle

Fornabaio also has his articles on the roster decisons
here and an update on Jamie Fraser here.

Kevin Greenstein of the New York Sun that has infrequent coverage of the Islanders at best did an Islanders season preview today that reflects a lack of knowledge about the club and someone who was not in camp. The article basically discusses the player departures and how basically Comrie, Guerin will be chips to move at the trade deadline because he feels they cannot compete in this division at picked them for last a few days ago in his preview here.

Ted Nolan disusses his roster decisions.

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/03/2007 12:08:00 AM
NYI.com did an interview with Ted Nolan following today’s practice, pertaining to the roster moves that were made.

* On having eight defensemen on the roster:

“It’s a good luxury to have with eight or more strong defensemen who could play for us. It’s not necessarily about picking the most skilled people, but the right people. It’s going to be exciting, because every decision we make is going to be a tough one. This bodes well for us, because if it was easy, than we wouldn’t have people competing for jobs.”


* On filling the power play spot next to Marc-Andre Bergeron:

“We have a number of guys who can fit in on the power play. Campoli has some offensive ability and Sutton could jump into that position. Martinek is another guy. We have a bunch of guys who could fill that spot.”


* On the importance of defense:

“There is no question we’ve been focusing on the defense right from the get-go. From the first day of training camp, we emphasized our coverage of the defensive zone. Defense is the way to compensate for any weaknesses we might have. That’s why we have a tough decision on defense. We had a couple of young guys come in and play pretty well. Aaron Johnson played pretty well, making it even more complicated. Hopefully, we come up with the best solution as to who plays opening night.”


* On Jeff Tambellini being sent to Bridgeport:

“In order for Jeff to be up here, he has to be among the top nine forwards. Jeff’s not a fourth-line guy. The way Sim and Fedotenko played in camp, and the way Andy Hilbert performed for us consistently last year, it was just one of those things. That’s not to say he won’t be back up here in a very short time. He’ll get his chance, and if he performs on a consistent basis, he’ll stay here.”


* On Andy Hilbert playing alongside Miroslav Satan and Josef Vasicek:

“Andy will be a very reliable defensive person on the line with Vasicek and Satan. If you look at all the big lines on any team, there’s always one guy who is more defensively-minded, as the high guy and the first one back. He’s one of those guys who does a lot of the work, but doesn’t get the credit for it.”


NYI Fan Central Comments:
Obviously it was about last year with Hilbert for the coach and for his defensive play combined with a new two year contract. Problem with Hilbert on a second line is Vasicek scored six goals last season and is not a player who produces as a second line player for this to work he must produce and Satan cannot disappear or go into an extended slump. Do not recall Hilbert playing as a left wing with Satan last season.

Greg Logan in his Newsday blog asks the question why Andy Hilbert over Tambellini?

“I don’t know about scoring, but he’ll be a very reliable defensive player on that line,” Nolan said of Hilbert’s new role. “You look at all the big lines on any team, and they always have one guy who is more defensive-minded. He can be the high guy in the slot and the first guy backchecking and do the grunt work on the forecheck, one of those guys that does all the work but doesn’t get a lot of the credit for it. So, Andy’s going to be that guy on that line.”


“Jon Sim’s a great player, and he’s going to fit well on that line and complement those guys perfectly,” Hilbert said Tuesday after practice. “I’m not a veteran by any means, but I’ve played long enough to know a lot of things can happen. You only can control the things you can control and that’s working hard and letting everything take care of itself.”


* Playing with Satan and Vasicek will be a different experience for Hilbert.

“It’s something you have to get used to,” he said. “They’re European hockey players who play well together. You can tell they have chemistry right away. I have to complement them as well as possible by trying to get in on the forecheck, driving the net and doing the little stuff and letting them take care of the big stuff, so to speak.”


* By “big stuff,” Hilbert meant scoring. Last season, he went 22 games before recording his first assist and 25 games before potting his first goal. Hilbert totaled eight goals and 28 points for the season. But even though he managed just one point in the final 13 games, including the first-round playoff loss to Buffalo, Hilbert won Nolan’s admiration and faith by playing with an injured shoulder that made it difficult for him to hold the stick, much less shoot with authority.

“A lot of guys play hurt at that time of year,” Hilbert said. “It was something I had to do, and I just tried to play as well as possible.”


“I have scored all the way up my whole career,” Hilbert said. “Last year, I played with Silly and Hunts, and my role changed a little bit. If this is the role I have where I’m called upon to put some more points on the board, that’s something I have to take in stride and, hopefully, I’ll accomplish it. But I’m just going to go out there and work hard. Whatever role I’m put in by Teddy is a role I’m going to cherish.”


“My game has evolved into being more of a two-way hockey player at this level,” Hilbert said. “That’s something I’ve had to really work on. To be playing with Miro and Vasy, they’re obviously more offensive-oriented guys. So, I’ll take that as it comes. I’ve played on offensive lines before, so, I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself. I’m just going to go out there and play.”


NYI Fan Central Comments:
The pressure is on and he does have to produce. A second line center with six goals and a left wing with eight goals is not going to be enough on a team that needs scoring and defensive play.

10/2/07

Islanders announce roster: No Berard

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/02/2007 01:54:00 PM
Islanders Website at 1pm announced it's 23 man roster submitted to the league here.

ISLANDERS ROSTER IS SET New York Islanders
13 forwards, 8 defensemen, 2 goaltenders

The roster for the start of the New York Islanders' 2007-08 season has been set. The Islanders will open the season with a roster of 23, not including injured forward Shawn Bates. Ted Nolan's roster is comprised of two goaltenders, eight defensemen and 13 forwards.

The following players took the ice at Islanders Iceworks this afternoon for practice.

GOALTENDERS (2)
34 Wade Dubielewicz
39 Rick DiPietro

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

FORWARDS (13)
7 Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park
11 Andy Hilbert
12 Chris Simon (eligible to return Oct. 13)
13 Bill Guerin
16 Jon Sim
18 Mike Sillinger
20 Sean Bergenheim
26 Ruslan Fedotenko
27 Darryl Bootland
63 Josef Vasicek
81 Miroslav Satan
89 Mike Comrie

17 Shawn Bates (injured)

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders had to have a list submitted to the league by 3pm and now we know who is on that list.

It reads like it's final on the surface but this gives the club time to work a deal with Berard or make a trade, or the club has decided to go in another direction and not sign Berard which is entirely possible despite the quotes and comments.

We just have to wait and see what happens in terms of Berard to see how the rest of the defense falls into place. One thing the club could not do was announce a roster and tell everyone about private contract negotiations. That was for Logan's speculation as the club's beatwriter and he gave us an update within the hour claiming Islanders could sign Berard later today.

Islanders are not going to sit two defenders every game, with Meyer away from the club for now it will be seven defenders anyway if it extends into Friday.

Updated 3pm
Michael Fornabaio updated his blog in the Ct Post with the following:

OK, here's what we (think we) know so far:

--Most obviously this morning, Masi Marjamaki was not here. What's next with him, that's unclear at the moment.

--Of the tryouts and semi-tryouts, four survive: Morency, Labelle, Gregg Johnson and Morrison.

--The Islanders' 23-man roster includes none of Jeff Tambellini, Kip Brennan or Blake Comeau. It does include all of Aaron Johnson, Freddy Meyer and Bruno Gervais. Not clear yet what's going on with Berard, but they do appear to be fine with going with eight defensemen.

Here were the lines this morning:
Bentivoglio-Walter-Jackman
Regier-Nielsen-Colliton
Johnson-Smith-Labelle
Pitton/Morency

Along with the following 10:
D: Wotton, Kohn, Spiller, MacDonald, Fata, Fraser
G: MacDonald, Morrison, Ouellet, Mole

Gordie Dwyer was not signed.

Logan blog update on practice Tuesday

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/02/2007 01:01:00 PM
Greg Logan updated his Newsday blog this afternoon.

Season-opening roster
Here is the 22-man roster the Islanders had on the ice for practice today in Syosset:

Forwards (by lines)
Ruslan Fedotenko-Mike Comrie-Bill Guerin
Andy Hilbert-Josef Vasicek-Miroslav Satan
Jonathan Sim-Mike Sillinger-Trent Hunter
Sean Bergenheim-Richard Park-Darryl Bootland.

Extras – Chris Simon (suspended first five games),
Shawn Bates is on injured reserve

Defense (by pairings)
Brendan Witt-Radek Martinek
Andy Sutton-Marc-Andre Bergeron
Chris Campoli-Bruno Gervais

Extras – Freddy Meyer and Aaron Johnson.
Goaltenders – Rick DiPietro, Wade Dubielewicz.

Free agent defenseman Bryan Berard remains unsigned, but that might change later today. It's possible GM Garth Snow might be trying to trade Meyer to make room for the possible signing of Berard. It's also still possible Gervais could be sent down to Bridgeport.

Among the forwards, Jeff Tambellini was sent back to Bridgeport after failing to make the second scoring line.

Logan says he will have more updates later today.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Only new information Logan told us here was Tambellini was sent to Bridgeport for Andy Hilbert or Sean Bergenheim.

A little surprising because Tambellini did not play last year in Europe and had a camp on par with Bergenheim but both are different players with different skill sets. Neither one were dominating players according to all reports and games I saw.

A lot of folks are not going to be happy with a Tambellini demotion but he did not have to clear waivers and for now it was most painless option. Bottom line like it or not Andy Hilbert signed a two year contract this summer, it was going to take an awful lot for management to demote him based on a two week camp and he did have a career season last year on what was the club's best line at times. Should be interesting to see if he can produce as a second liner if that's where the club intends to use him.

Bootland will be the temporary replacement for Simon during his suspension as things stand and may be a healthy scratch as the Islanders may be dressing seven defenders.

Meyer and Johnson are very interesting situtations and one of them will be related to if a deal can be worked out with Berard.

Islanders are not set to announce the roster

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/02/2007 12:18:00 AM
Newsday's Greg Logan reported here Islanders are not set to announce the roster until all the players have been informed.

From the article:

* General manager Garth Snow and Berard's agent, Thomas Laidlaw, spoke multiple times Monday, but the talk fell somewhere short of contract negotiations.

"We're not at that juncture yet," Snow said Monday night.

"We're trying to get a feel for each other," Laidlaw said. "There are a lot of variables. From our side, you'd like to get it done right away. But there can be so many different scenarios. Do they have to move somebody? Is there a roster issue? I .really don't know what's going on from their side. But the discussions have been very good. They've been happy with Bryan."


* Snow said he was not prepared Monday night to announce any roster moves until all the players have been informed. He only acknowledged that the Islanders will start the season carrying more than the minimum 20 players on the NHL roster. A maximum of 23 is allowed. Suspended forward Chris Simon counts against that number but can be replaced by an emergency call-up if necessary.

* Johnson is expected to go down. Gervais, who played 51 games with the Islanders last season, seemed to be on the bubble Monday night and did not have a particularly strong showing in the preseason.

"It's business, so if other teams are interested, you look," Laidlaw said. "But I think Bryan's interest is with the Islanders. It's a great opportunity. They brought him in and gave him a chance, so I think there's a certain amount of loyalty. There's no anticipation to go someplace else right now."


Logan updated his Newsday blog
around 10pm and does some more speculation on the roster while reporting again Berard to this point has not been signed and it's likely Aaron Johnson will be sent down and at this point Garth Snow does not have trade talks going on.

Michael Fornabaio in his Ct Post blog as of 9pm Monday reports no word on this off-day. Apparently some affected players won't be told their fates until the morning, in New York and Bridgeport. That would seem to indicate they're working on deals with one (or two) (or three?) of their tryout players. And that would affect everything else.

Fornabaio also reports Petteri Nokelainen was sent to Providence by the Bruins.

Tuesday's Ct Post update was on Jason Pitton,

NYI Fan Central Commments:
Folks should consider in any hockey management structure the head coach is a big part of the decision making process going on right now and in many cases traditionally the head coach does talk to the players directly before announcements are made to the public. In this organization the head coach is an even larger presence because of the committee setup where he may have a larger say it these decisions.

We have no idea when Ted Nolan returned to New York and no doubt he's had a few very tough days with a loss of his brother and missed the final three games. To jump back in here and start calling in players immediately to inform them they have been cut and what they need to do so we can get a list right now maybe asking too much of Ted Nolan on this day as he settles back into work where he likely had meetings with the staff on players as decisions were finalized. There are times to question management and there are times to take a step back.

By 3pm Tuesday the Islanders will have submitted their roster, this is one of those times to take a step back. Make sure the players know before the media.

On the Berard front seems both sides want to do a deal and both are saying the right things.

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