Islanders at the 2008 WJC

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/24/2007 03:17:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here

NYI Fan Central WJC Section has been updated and moved to the top of the blog for those wishing the follow the games and the running blog set up by the club to cover the Islander prospects. All articles on the players and special features will be part of the daily updates here until the end of the tournament.

Islanders Website: Assistant GM Ryan Jankowski checks in on his way to the Czech Republic in a blog that will run throught the tournament.

Kyle Okposo, Rhett Rahkshani, Stefan Ridderwall, Thomas Marcinko, Robin Figren, are the Islander prospects participating.

Merry Christmas from NYI Fan Central

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/23/2007 04:18:00 AM | 2 Comments


Peace on Earth !!!!!!

Good will toward men !

New York Islander Fan Central will be back Wednesday Morning.
Have a great holiday.

Islander News Articles 12/23:

Newsday: Erik Boland covered tonight's win with comments from Richard Park on his goal and Ted Nolan on the club's effort.

"This gives us a great feeling going into the holiday. It will make the food and everything taste better," said Park, who scored his sixth goal of the season. "The last two games have been good for us. A different guy has stepped up for us."

"I think Richard Park's been our most underrated player the past couple of years," coach Ted Nolan said. "He does everything."

Newsday: Erik Boland's other article is about how the veterans have helped Blake Comeau with a few words on Kyle Okposo and if they could become Islander teammates?

"They've been great with me since I've been here," Comeau said before last night's game. "Coming up here, you're a little nervous, but they all told me, don't panic with the puck, make plays and when I get the chance, shoot the puck."

"I'm not sure what's happening in that situation, but all I know is I've seen Kyle play at minicamps and he's a great player," Comeau said of possibly playing with Okposo.

Daily News: Peter Botte's limited space game report is on Richard Park's overtime goal with quotes from Park and Miroslav Satan and Ted Nolan. Also reported is Kyle Okposo will be sent to Bridgeport (no quotes) and Shawn Bates will have season ending surgery on his hip.

"We knew going in we didn't have the firepower to blow anybody out 6-1...but we're getting back to the way we need to play," Ted Nolan said.

"We've been falling, so to get these four points (this weekend) is huge," said Miroslav Satan, who also scored to extend his point-scoring streak to six games. "All of a sudden, the picture looks a little brighter."

John Dellapina has a three page article on Drury/Gomez and a full game preview for today as well as a blog and games for the week updated.

NY Post: Jay Greenberg makes a rare Coliseum appearance so Dan Martin could be the second or third Knicks writer and does a good job in his short space letting the fans know the Islanders have problems scoring. Of course if this were a Ranger game he would be selling Lundqvist's goaltending as the story but nothing from DiPietro.

NY Post: Larry Brooks does a little stomping of his own on former Ranger Chris Simon.

Washington Times: Corey Masisak has the game coverage and comments from coach Bruce Boudreau on the Islanders back when they were a dynasty.

"They were so darn quick and so good. You didn't realize how good those guys were until you were actually playing against them and getting beaten 7-1 — which happened a lot."

Washington Post: Free subscription only.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann has a mostly Islander-centric feature on Mike Bossy and TV star Kevin Connolly going shopping with the United Way.

Newsday: Neil Best has a mostly Islander centric update on the history of the teams television contract with former general counsel Bill Skehan speaking out about why the Islanders are signed until 2030-2031 and will
will receive about $20 million from Cablevision this year.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Of course Mr Best makes it mostly negative about the club's losses and questions if the teams is worth the value they get each season and if they would still have a franchise without this contract before making sure to get in a Christmas plug for the Garden.

Islanders seemed to do well enough financially as soon as Roy Boe sold the club to John Pickett.

Newsday: Steve Zipay's Sunday Newsday feature in the Islanders only full time paper is on...............Henrik Lundqvist. Has the recap of Manchester's 5-1 win at Harbor Yard Saturday.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game coverage on the loss with Captain Mark Wotton's comments as Bridgeport fails to get back to five hundred with Drew Fata, Jack Capuano and Joey MacDonald. His blog here has more on the loss.

"We were a little sleepy-sleepy the first seven or eight minutes," coach Jack Capuano said. "We were outstanding the rest of the game."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has a great feature on Dustin Kohn staying with a Westport family which is an idea Howard Saffin credits Bill Torrey for going back to the days of when Bryan Trottier stayed with a local family.

Union Leader: Covers the Manchester Monarchs.

QMJHL: Karl Jahnke has an article with former Islander assistant coach Danny Flynn who's coaching the Moncton Wildcats, where he also worked for Ted Nolan as an assistant where they won the league championship.

"Working in New York was a great experience; the players were very good to me. But the opportunity to put my stamp on the team in Moncton was something I couldn’t pass up. I’ve been coaching 20 years in junior and college hockey, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m excited to be back and I want to build a championship calibre team."

New York 3, Washington 2 ot

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/23/2007 02:37:00 AM | | | 2 Comments

Islanders website: Has the recap of the Islanders 3-2 overtime win Saturday against Washington with comments from Ted Nolan and Bill Guerin.

"Tonight Billy found a way and got us a big goal," said head coach Ted Nolan. Billy is a big addition to this team. You look at Richard, who has been one of our best forwards the last two years. He wins faceoffs, plays on the power play and penalty kill. He adds great value to this team."

Added Guerin: "Faceoffs are so important in this game," said Guerin, who scored following a faceoff win by Mike Comrie. "When you win those draws you have the puck more and create more opportunities. Those were two key faceoff wins."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Last two days have been huge. not classic wins but games the Islanders had to have two points. Two games over five hundred vs two games under five hundred is a lot of ground to make up in this league.

Hopefully the wins gives this team the confidence they will need moving forward.

A lot like the first Coliseum game against Washington, except this time Guerin found the net late.

Seemed like the earlier season formula to stay in games kept the Islanders in this one and it paid off. Washington had very little pressure or quality chances thanks to solid team defense across the board in this one. DiPietro was solid, but did not have to be great and steal the game, but as always he has virtually no margin for error.

The setup to Satan and his rush to the net was perfect, twice he dropped the shoulder this season and both times the goaltenders were beaten.

Hard to blame anyone for Ovechin's goal because he's a star player and knew where the screen was.

Park was a one man wrecking crew on his goal but one Cap did hit another with the stick and Kolzig for some reason had five hole wide open.

Islanders need to build on this Wednesday.

12/22: Washington at New York 7pm Fsn

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/22/2007 10:43:00 AM | | | Comment Here

Caps website: Has the early preview of tonight's game.

Islanders website: Should have something later.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Washington is coming off a loss at Montreal but before that went to Detroit and lost in a shootout Monday, beat the Bolts, Rangers and Devils between losing 5-3 against Buffalo.

Kolzig has been struggling and under a little pressure but is a quality goaltender, Washington on any given night can put up five goals.

Anyone who thinks this is two points in the bank may find themselves disappointed.

Should be interesting to see what the merit system produces tonight in terms of lines but a win usually means the same lineup. Long time between games for Bryan Berard now. Bergeron cannot be very happy with this either, especially if Sutton plays after another whiff led to a goal.

Islanders have to get something from Guerin, Comrie and Sillinger or they need a repeat performance from their fourth line with a lot more from Satan, Vasicek and Hunter's line or expect the Isles to play for the low scoring game. If pattern goes like last time Dubie could start but I'm doubtful that will happen because no one is talking about it and they did not respond for Dubie against Atlanta.

Freddy Meyer kicked the puck that led to the rush for Hunter's goal for those who watched closely.

We'll see what happens tonight, but with Ottawa looming on the road and the Devils, Islanders need this game.

Sound Tigers are home Saturday against Mancheter at 7pm

Not sold on hockey ratings in NY

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/22/2007 09:44:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Ted's Take: Caps owner Ted Leonsis has a hockey blog and reprints the local ratings which Sports Business Daily and the Islanders website reported here yesterday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good blog by the Caps owner, worth checking out.

Here is the link to the full sports business daily article which may or may not work for everyone here which include the versus ratings Mr Leonsis and the Islanders did not provide which is understandable given the update is Caps or Islander centric.

Through 22 games, the NHL on Versus is averaging a 0.3 HH rating, up from a 0.2 HH rating through the same number of games last season. Versus is also seeing gains in viewers (up 24%), as well as with men 18-34 (up 1%), 18-49 (up 27%), and 25-54 (up 43%). The most-viewed game this far this season has been the Flyers-Penguins matchup on December 11, which earned a 0.5 national HH rating and 445,096 viewers. That game was also the net's most-watched NHL regular-season telecast ever.

The following presents ratings for NHL games on Versus through 22 games, with comparisons to the same point last season (THE DAILY).

'07 22 0.3 186,029 254,558 43,022 100,270 101,988
'06 22 0.2 155,432 204,697 42,464 79,103 71,541

Islanders FSNY 22 0.25 176.0%
Devils FSNY 22 0.36 138.0%
Blues FSN Midwest 16 2.43 125.0%
Rangers MSG 23 1.08 124.0%
Wild FSN North 17 2.62 114.8%
Red Wings FSN Detroit 27 4.64 56.8%
Flyers CSN Philadelphia n/a 2.30 28.0%
Penguins FSN Pittsburgh 28 5.08 21.8%
Capitals CSN Mid-Atlantic n/a 0.50 12.0%
Sharks FSN Bay Area n/a 0.90 6.0%
Ducks FSN Prime Ticket 18 0.27 -3.6%
Blue Jackets FSN Ohio 29 1.04 -9.6%
Kings FSN West 24 0.31 -11.4%
Panthers FSN Florida 24 0.17 -22.7%
Lightning Sun Sports 25 0.66 -25.8%
Stars FSN Southwest 14 0.41 -34.9%
Blackhawks CSN Chicago n/a 0.60 -45.0%
Thrashers SportSouth 20 0.18 -45.5%
Coyotes FSN Arizona 16 0.23 -52.1%

Ratings for the Hurricanes, Predators, Sabres, Bruins and Avalanche were not available.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Call me cynical but until I know the New York numbers are provided by Nielsen to these publications and not Barry Watkins in the P.R department at Msg like the earlier update I'm not sold on these numbers. Msg no doubt was embarassed by poor local hockey ratings for the Rangers and the teams they own broadcast rights too (not the Sabres) so this all seems like another p.r spin campaign by the garden to their sources in the media business.

I also want the FSN-2 numbers which is where many Islander and Devil games appear.

The other markets numbers do seem in line.

New York Richard Sandomir's update back in October of 1998 as far as I am concerned best represents what Msg owning the Islanders television right's until 2030 means.

Islander News Articles 12/22

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/22/2007 07:31:00 AM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has comments from Ted Nolan on how his line changes worked in reverse with the fourth line carrying the club in the third period with Blake Comeau asked about his opportunity here, Andy Hilbert talks about the coach going with the players who play well.

Ted wanted a few guys to put a little spark in the lineup ... Whether I'm out there for one shift or 10 shifts, I try to make an impact every shift."

Teddy has stressed the last week or so that he's going to go with the guys who play well. We saw a little bit of that in getting a shot on the power play," he said. "Everyone knows you have to come out and play. It doesn't matter who you are."

Newsday: Greg Logan has comments from Jarkko Ruutu/Sidney Crosby about Chris Simon. Crosby also calls Brendan Witt one of his toughest opponents.

"I don't want to blow the whole thing up," Ruutu said. "It doesn't serve a purpose. Everybody can see it online and on TV and form their own opinion. I don't have a comment on the whole thing. It's in the past. We've just got to move on."

"Witt goes out of his way to finish hits," Crosby said. "He wants to establish that physical presence. You have to be aware. If you get caught sleeping for a second, you get hit pretty hard. He's a guy who prides himself on that."

All A.P for the Times, Post and Daily News out of Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Dave Molinary prints what Greg Logan did not provide in his game coverage which was Blake Comeau's comments about his first NHL goal.

"When I looked at the net, I heard guys yelling, 'Shoot,' and there were bodies there and a lane was open," Comeau said. "I put my head down and tried to shoot it as hard as I could, and it ended up going in."

Pittsburgh Post Gazettte: Shelly Anderson asked Penguins coach Michel Terrien and Ted Nolan about Chris Simon's suspension.

Pioneer Press: Bruce Brothers article today has Don Lucia's response where he defended his twenty year record. WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod blasted Garth Snow for his comments, while Wild Gm Doug Risebrough gave his thoughts on signing college hockey players in season. Athletic director Joe Maturi wondered why Snow did not come out and watch the program before passing judgement. Snow's former college teammate at Maine, Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Carney defended Snow but did not know the circumstances.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What is notable in this article is Mr Brothers comments the Islanders asked Okposo to give up his college eligibility and play a season of junior hockey in Canada this winter before joining their organization. He said no and announced in June he would return to the Gophers. This was not reported last summer.

Again I ask the same question?

Why couldn't Don Lucia have simply respected Okposo's decision and wished him luck and kept his criticism of the Islanders behind closed doors? This promoted Garth Snow's response which led to all of this which is only going to hurt this kid moving forward.

All due respect to Joe Maturi, but it was reported in Greg Logan's blog back on December 2ND here that Garth Snow had intended to visit Kyle Okposo.

“I’ll be visiting Kyle in the next few weeks,” Snow said. “We’ve had Bryan Trottier, Kenny Morrow and Steve Webb from our staff see him on a regular basis and talk to him on the phone. Things aren’t going to go perfect the whole season. He’s not putting up the points, but he’s playing a well-rounded game and he looks like a man playing with boys. We think very highly of him.”

All due respect to Bruce Brothers but how come he did not include this in his article being that he's getting reaction from the college level and the Minnesota Wild? The entire story should be told from all sides.

Washington Times: Corey Masisak has an article on former Islander Viktor Kozlov's frustration over not scoring.

Sound Tigers Website: Has the recap of Bridgeport's 2-1 at Hartford Friday night.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports on the Sound Tigers fourth straight win, a 2-1 shootout win at Hartford Friday. Joey MacDonand's had thirty three saves, Jeff Tambellini scored the Sound Tigers lone goal to tie the game with less than two minutes to play and won the shootout with another goal.

"I made the save when I had to. It didn't look good for a while. We took some penalties, but we stuck to it, and we got a greasy goal."

"We just tried to stay in shooting lanes," Tambellini said. "Joey did a good job. He hadn't played in a couple of nights, and he came in and did a pretty good job."

Hartford Courant: Bruce Berlet who's paper has an association with Newsday provided Wolfpack coverage and had a few words from Jeff Tambellini on his goal.

"A couple of guys had lost an edge, so I just threw the puck at the net to get it to the front," Tambellini said.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blogs on the Sound Tigers win and includes the " non-concrete rumors " were the Islanders were speaking with Okposo before Simon-Ruutu. Also an ECHL all-star update was given with Trevor Smith, Michael Haley selected and former Islander prospect Ryan O'Marra.

New York 4, Pittsburgh 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/22/2007 07:04:00 AM | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the recap of the Islanders 4-2 win at Pittsburgh Friday night.

"It's been a long time since we had a cushion like that," said head coach Ted Nolan about the two-goal lead the Islanders generated in the third period. "It was nice to have that lead and be conformable on the bench. It was great to see Andy and Comeau get big goals for us. It doesn't matter where they come from. We got a good effort from the guys tonight."

"Blake Comeau and Tim Jackman made nice plays," said Hilbert about his third goal of the season. "I don't know if it found the back of the net but it went in. Comeau is wise beyond his age, and a great player to play with."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders needed two points here any way possible and got them, that's the bottom line here and at the end of the night the scoreboard had four goals listed for New York.

Comeau, Jackman and Hilbert were the Islanders best line all night. I'm glad Ted Nolan stuck to his merit system and had Comeau and Hilbert on the ice at the end of the four minute powerplay where that give and go with Comeau was his best play of the night, not his goal.

The transition on Hilbert's goal was perfect, Comeau's skill to thread the puck to Jackman who made a perfect feed to Hilbert bought him time for his shot.

Satan's line made a nice play in the opening minute that got them a goal from a high quality area.

The transition goal from Hunter right after Comeau's was outstanding and what this team should be doing every game. Nice rush will skilled chances and a shot Sabourin had no chance on. Pittsburgh looked a little tired in the third but for the most part easily contained the Islanders for the better part of two periods which is an old story given the lack of speed on this roster. They take too long to get into position on offense.

DiPietro did his job and for the most part so did the pk, who could have folded after Bergenheim's selfish elbow and arguing penalty. I'm glad Nolan stuck with him because as usual he was one of the most noticeable Islanders in terms of hard work.

Instead of looking at the downside which there was a lot of as usual, for this game I prefer to just talk about the win. Tonight the fourth line won the game for them and it was very impressive.

Hopefully it's the start of something, that was one nice shot by Comeau.

How will you feel on Feb 21st?

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/21/2007 05:36:00 PM | | | Comment Here
These were my post game comments after the Pens game last week on Chris Simon and after the Islanders announced their statement.

I hope long suspension or not, the Islanders send Chris Simon's idea of character packing as soon as possible because there is no call for that kind of conduct and clearly at this point in his career he cannot control his temper. If Ted Nolan cannot separate his loyalty to Simon from his player actions here he is part of the problem.

After the Islanders released their statement Monday:
If Chris Simon needs counseling, I hope he receives it and the club supports him in that endeavor. Having written that I have serious doubts he will ever wear an Islander uniform again.

Personally, if I were Chris Simon I would announce my retirement but I can only speak for myself. Only he knows if playing hockey brings this reaction from him.

Point Blank: Chris Botta had a fascinating blog Friday about the Islanders decision to support Chris Simon and about how Charles Wang is loyal to his people when they have problems.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I respect Mr Botta's perspective and Charles Wang here for looking out for their employees as a good company should. In terms of Chris Simon playing hockey again for the New York Islanders I cannot change my opinion from what I wrote after the Pens game.

If Ted Nolan or Charles Wang wants to support Chris Simon off the ice, that's fine because that's the right thing to do. In terms of supporting him in terms of returning to play hockey games I think that's something Ted Nolan and Charles Wang should not support and distance themselves from.

Bottom line here is how will Charles Wang and Ted Nolan feel if something else happens on ice after February 21st with Chris Simon? What if playing hockey brings this reaction out of him now and what if he needs that kind of emotion to defend and compete as an enforcer at this point in his career?

How are they going to feel if Simon returns and contributes nothing because he is worried about another incident? Anyone who has seen his recent games saw some poor penalties out of frustration.

Is it worth taking that risk for Chris Simon at this point in his life after two horrible incidents that cannot be defended to find out?

If Charles Wang or Ted Nolan wants to support Chris Simon the best thing they can do is find another job for him off the ice. To allow him to return again to me is only part of the problem and not something they should support.

Not my decision and I could be wrong, I'm no insider but this is how I see it.

12/21: New York at Pittsburgh 7:30pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/21/2007 08:13:00 AM | Comment Here

Islanders Website/AP: Has the early preview of tonight's game in Pittsburgh.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm going to miss this game tonight but have the dvd recorder ready so comments will be up tomorrow morning win or lose.

Given the distance in the division is going to open up even more based on this game Islanders need points here in the worst way included in this is falling under five hundred.

Pittsburgh scored five goals last night in a 5-4 win at Boston, it's their third game in four days but Dany Sabourin was off and will start. Will be interesting if the Islanders or Ruutu have a proper hockey response here for Chris Simon meaning a fight.

You look at this game and see the firepower to score on one side and then the struggling Islanders on the other side. Why would Pittsburgh be interested in a low scoring game, even if it means taking some chances to score early against a club that usually needs half a game or longer to score?

That written all the games have been the usual 3-2 game. My guess is Nolan treats last game like a win and has no lineup changes, Comeau looked very good.

My guess is Comrie, Guerin and Fedotenko start scoring or Ted Nolan may just put one of them in the stands and back up his recent comments. They are not producing for a third line much less a first line.

Does anyone else think Satan's powerplay shot is exactly what they need down low and not from the point as Richard Park takes his wrist shot that is not fooling many goaltenders unless there is a screen? Satan looks very tenative on the point but down low his skilled passing and shot are critical.

Quick NYI Fan Central Q & A

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/21/2007 07:45:00 AM | | Comment Here
I got an e-mail today asking how I draw the line in the content I post here?

It's a great question because even thought this blog is connected to the Islanders website, I am not a member of the print media so do not take my NYI Fan Central Comments as some kind of writer telling you what's going on behind the scenes because that would not be fair or honest. I just give my perspective on an Islander or hockey related event.

Having written this when I look at other sites I try my absolute best to make sure the articles posted here are not from blogs, fan sites or message boards but newspapers with professional hockey writers. When those writers have a blog that's is acceptable to me for the same reasons Michael Fornabaio's blog appears.

I had this problem today deciding to include articles on Kyle Okposo and read the writers profile before deciding to include it in our daily news digest.
Another person wrote and told me about my stance against the New York Times not including Islander coverage in their paper which led him to question the publication in their hockey blog section.

One of the many thing here I will always do is question poor or incorrect Islander coverage. I may not always be correct but I will hammer my points home in an attempt to get this team blogs and hopefully full time New York Islander beatwriters in the Times, News or Post the way things used to be.

I hope folks pick up on this and do likewise.

Garth Snow responds to Minnesota

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/21/2007 06:35:00 AM | | | | | | | 7 Comments
Star Tribune:Brian Stensaas reports Garth Snow blames Minnesota coach Don Lucia's coaching which led to Kyle Okposo leaving the university and responded to speculation this was done because of Chris Simon's suspension. Lucia responded to Snow along with Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi who was dumbfounded by the gm's comments.

Asked for specifics, Snow said, "[Okposo] just wasn't getting better -- bottom line. And to me, that's the frustrating part. We entrusted the coach there to turn him into a better hockey player, and it wasn't happening. We feel more comfortable in him developing right under our watch."

"Whether it was Kyle or another player, until things change in that program we'd probably make the same decision. There should be a coach there that looks in the mirror."

"Obviously, it's Kyle's decision whether to stay or leave," Snow said. "But we contacted Kyle and asked how things were going. And that's why we're where we're at."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A few publications defended Garth Snow who is a product of the college system for his decision here. One pointed to Ted Nolan at Moncton using some US college players but not sure of specifics.

Why Don Lucia could not have shown some class and respected Okposo's decision and wished him luck without assigning blame here is not in the best interest of Okposo moving forward whether he understands this or not. It's not as if the Islanders issued a press release blaming Don Lucia until the coach put this on the team with his NHL rights.

Bottom line Don Lucia can blame the Islanders all he wants but his player decided he has had enough of playing under this coach and his program. Okposo could be right or wrong in the end but it's his decision.

This is a Minnesota paper so of course things are going to be a bit slanted toward the University's side with them getting the final word because when all is said and done they will be covering Don Lucia's team and Joel Maturi's sports programs but Garth Snow had his say and explained why the Islanders did what they did. Islanders have had a lot of high draft picks this did not happen with.

This just puts a big shadow and more pressure on Okposo at the WJC and especially when he returns and has to speak about it or perhaps does come to an agreement with the Islanders. That's why Lucia should have kept quiet if he really had the best long term interest of the player which should always be the priority.

Joel Maturi had no place speculating on a spot for Okposo with the Islanders. Elliot Olshansky has comments from Tim Whitehead, the head coach of Maine which is Garth Snow's alma mater, former Islander assistant Jeff Jackson who is head coach at Notre Dame and Michigan coach, Red Berenson. This was also not Don Lucia's first time having problems with an NHL team he spoke out about. Jack Johnson's situation is also brought up here for discussion as well as the new cba changing the relationship between college and NHL organizations.

One thing that can be said with some certainty is that this is not a problem that is specific to the Islanders. "I happen to know [Islanders general manager] Garth Snow," said Tim Whitehead, head coach at Snow's Alma mater, the University of Maine. "He's a great man. I think this must have been a very unique situation. Garth was fabulous with us last year with [the pursuit of undrafted free agent] Teddy Purcell, so I think this is a very unique case. I think every case is unique, each player's situation."

Updated 9:30am Elliot Olshansky has a full update and response to Snow's comments and the article from the Star Tribune.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Forgetting Don Lucia's comments about Calgary having a similar ring to his Islander comments it's a good discussion on the changes through the cba. The days of teams going European under this cba (at least for the moment with rumblings of changes to this) and keeping a players rights forever have ended so the gm's now look to the college level which can give a gm four full years or more before a club has to sign that prospect.

Of course this is completely contrary to Kyle Okposo's current circumstances.

Islander News Articles 12/21:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/21/2007 05:44:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Roderick Boone is the latest in the Islander Newsday coverage by committee department while other clubs have a dedicated full-time beatwriter employed. Ted Nolan, Bill Guerin/Mike Comrie talk about the club's offensive struggles and how they can build off the chances they got against Buffalo.

"The one thing you always try to do every day is build upon something, and [Wednesday] night's game is as well as we've played in quite some time," Nolan said after practice yesterday before the Islanders flew to Pittsburgh for tonight's game against the Penguins. "We've just got to keep fighting and keep battling, and keep getting shots on net, try to get better screens, try to get some better tips."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This was written before the club flew to Pittsburgh, will there be a Newsday article tomorrow? Steve Zipay had two articles from Minnesota on the Rangera after last night's game and of course a bunch of blog updates. Newsday's Islander blog had no updates since yesterday morning. NY Post did not even bother going to Minnesota.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Dave Molinary reports Dany Sabourin was rested for the Penguins last night who played Boston in a 5-4 shootout win who will play their third game in four days against the Islanders.

Lot's of comments around the NHL about Chris Simon's suspension from the players so here's a sampling from those defending/supporting him to those looking for a permanent ban:

Toronto Sun: Mike Zeisberger has an article where Wade Belak speaks out against Chris Simon.

"I know he regrets it but, obviously, he snapped and now he's paying the price," Belak said yesterday. "He's been suspended seven times now. That's a lot of lost salary.

"The NHL is cracking down and I can understand that, but it's not just the league. The players feel that way too. We're fed up with guys not being accountable, and I'm a guy that has had his share of fines and suspensions.

Toronto Sun: Joe Warmington has reaction in Chris Simon's hometown of Wawa, Ontario where he has done a lot for the community with comments from relatives.

Long Island Exchange: Joe Pietaro weights in on Chris Simon.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article is on Utah callup Keith Johnson who was paired with Jeff Tambellini and Frans Nielsen.

The nerves kicked in a little bit the first couple of shifts," said Johnson, who had a strong AHL debut Wednesday. "We've got a good group of guys. They told me to relax."

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Hartford Wolf Pack
WHEN — Tonight, 7
WHERE — XL Center (formerly Hartford Civic Center), Hartford
ON THE AIR — No radio; Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

First Nations calls for Campbell apology

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/20/2007 03:23:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Cnw group: Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine said NHL
Vice-President Colin Campbell should personally apologize to suspended New York Islanders player Chris Simon for telling reporters yesterday that he would be meeting with "drug and alcohol doctors" in order to deal with his behavourial issues.

"I agree with the NHL, and the vast majority of hockey fans, that
Mr. Simon must be punished for this unfortunate incident with a Pittsburgh
player during last Saturday's game," said National Chief Fontaine. "However,
it was extremely hurtful to Mr. Simon, and his many fans, including those in
our First Nations communities, to hear from Mr. Campbell that such behaviour
is related to drug and or alcohol abuse."

"I spoke to Islanders coach Ted Nolan last night who informed me that
Mr. Simon has been very hurt and embarrassed by Mr. Campbell's comments, even
though an NHL spokesman did make a correction. Mr. Simon, and all of his fans,
would like to hear an apology, especially since it smacks of stereotyping,"
added the National Chief.

Kyle Okposo & NYI Fan Central record

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/20/2007 08:00:00 AM | | Comment Here

Like Kyle Okposo's goal.......Wow !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

New record set at NYI Fan Central again yesterday with over a hundred and fifty first time visitors. Again this page came close to three hundred page views which is not a record but came close.

For all our new visitors the blog and message boards provide space for your hockey topics or discussions of the blog postings. I'm getting a lot of e-mails so do not be shy about writing here whether it be the message board or the blogs posted.

Of course this blog has and will continue to be very active.

The more folks we can get talking about the Islanders the better. It also helps me in my search for more things I can add to the page that Islander fans are looking for so your input is always welcome.

You will find a blog site here that provides a lot of updates with news feeders and information on the Islanders. Mr Prospects on the message board does a great job updating the prospects game by game, I do a thread for every game.

Thanks again

Pioneer Press: Bruce Brothers who had done several updates on Kyle Okposo this season wrote the Islanders sweetened their offer to Okposo a few days ago which is why he left school but no quotes because Okposo is heading to the World Junior Championships.

Islander News Articles 12/20:

Newsday: Erik Boland covered the game and had comments from Rick DiPietro, Ted Nolan and Brendan Witt, who credited Bergenheim's screen for his goal.

"I think the focus was good," "We played the type of game we've talked about playing. The last month we seemed to get away from playing our smart kind of style and being opportunistic, and we did that tonight. Unfortunately, we weren't able to score more goals."

Newsday: Greg Logan's afternoon update on Kyle Okposo basically repeats Garth Snow and Don Lucia's comments, he also correctly points out Okposo's recent comments to the media in Minnesota he was not happy.

Newsday: Greg Logan reports Simon is expected to appeal his sentence while Colin Campbell apparently gave the impression Simon had a drug or alcohol problem because he said he will meet with drug and alcohol doctors. Mr Campbell forgot to include the league's program also includes behavioral issues. NHL public relations head Frank Brown clarified Campbell's mistake while Islanders spokesman Chris Botta confirmed confirm that drugs and alcohol is not an issue.

Meanwhile Ted Nolan was incensed with Colin Campbell for a stereotypical remark, who called Garth Snow to clarify his words while Ted Nolan was preparing for the game and defended his player as did Ruslan Fedntenko but in the meantime Nolan ripped Campbell.

"It's a stereotypical comment that people say about ethnic races ... For Colin Campbell to come out and say something like that, it's idiotic.

"It's disrespectful to Chris. For him to come through some of the things he's come through to be where he is in his life, it's very, very disrespectful, and it's hurtful."

Updated 9am
Newsday: Greg Logan in Newsday's blog gives his overall take on all of yesterday's Simon-Campbell-Nolan events and the suspension but also makes a fair point about racial sterotyping and Simon being guilt of a racial slur himself which led to one of his past suspensions.

NY Times: Found someone named Frank Litsky to cover Simon's suspension with more elaboration on Campbell's meeting with Simon but of course did not cover the hockey game which is only hypocritical of the Times sports editor.

“He is very contrite and very apologetic, very quiet, almost to the point he is somewhat humiliated of what he has done,” Campbell said. “He’s been contrite, but he’s never come out and said, ‘I will never do this again.’

“We dug out the clips on the things he has done in the past and looked at them and think we have been fairly kind in assessing as low number of games to a couple of those incidents. It just hasn’t been a deterrent. So what is a deterrent? I am hoping 30 games and the help he is going to get, the counseling.”

Daily News: Peter Botte other than covering the suspension did not write a single word about the Islander game last night or apparently was permitted space for a game article. But did have more from Nolan after the game on Campbell's mistake and a lot of repeat quotes in his limited space.

"It's easy to say you're sorry after the fact," Nolan said following the game. "It really bothered me, the implication, even if it was just a careless omission. These types of things are very damaging for someone in (Campbell's) position to say when he has no factual information. If we said something like that, we'd be suspended. But there are no repercussions.

NY Post: Dan Martin wrote about ten words in one paragraph on the game and made sure to report Nolan's anger with Colin Campbell's mistake. Only thing noteworthy here is Nolan said Simon's suspension could run longer than thirty games.

"I can never predict what's gonna happen down the road," Nolan said

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Total joke sports editors Leon Carver (Daily News) or Greg Gallo/Dick Klayman (Post) did not allow Mr Botte or Mr Martin space to do a proper game article with the Simon suspension update. I cannot blame the writers for space to cover games but the game is the reason people attend and needs to be written about always.

My culture is different from Ted Nolan's so I have to defer to something he would consider offensive. Only Colin Campbell knows if he meant anything ethic about it which seems doubtful if he called Garth Snow to clarify what seems a misunderstanding but frankly I did enjoy reading Nolan blast Campbell for his poor people skills which has a little to do with this and a lot to do with his past conduct in a job I feel he has no place being in.

Nolan is correct in that if a coach or player made this kind of mistake a fine or discipline would follow, mistake or not.

Buffalo News: Bucky Gleason covered the Sabres win.

Globe and Mail: Roy MacGregor has a full feature from Chris Simon with comments about his suspension and reports he has had plenty of support from all circles of the NHL and beyond but they cannot come forward. He gives his full version of what he did on the ice and about some of his career suspensions.

What I did was wrong," Simon said."I'm not a complainer. I've never complained before. I took my suspensions and moved on. But I don't think this one was fair."

Simon anticipated the suspension, but thought 10 games would be "on the high end." Online polls and radio talk shows, on the other hand, have suggested 30 games might be on the low end.

"I wasn't trying to injure him," Simon contended. "I tripped him and I was telling him to [expletive], and I did step on his foot. I pushed down on his skate, I don't deny that, but I wasn't trying to hurt him. I don't think a player has ever missed a game from one of my suspensions.

"I look at other guys who have been repeat offenders. One guy used his skate a second time and he got only five games. What I did was wrong, but this is unfair."

"He plays an agitator role," Simon said. "You have to let him know you're out there. That's not an excuse for stepping on his foot, but it's being described as something it's not. It's letting him know I'm there. It's like a shot in the arm."

At no point, he said, was there any intention to cut. "Guys were laughing on the bench," he said. "I don't think they'd be laughing if they thought he was hurt."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's an article Newsday's limited hockey staff or New York's hockey media did not have the time to apparently bring us or Simon knows how poor the NY hockey media is so he did not take their calls. Logan ripped him in his blog and did not cover the game last night.

As for Mr Simon's comments:
I'm a thirty year plus Islander fan who knows the hockey mentality and understands when players like Chris Simon talk about the code. What he did was wrong and despite what he says his intentions were could have seriously injured Ruutu. He not only stepped on his foot but brought his skate down on it like a stomp, he did not just press and there are a lot of ways to let a player know you are there in a game, this is not that way.

And fair or not what he did last year has a carry over effect whether he cares to see this or not.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio covers the Sound Tigers 3-0 win at home against Steve Stirling's Norfolk Admirals gives Bridgeport a three game winning streak. Jeff Tambellini had a shorthanded goal and assist who skated with Frans Nielsen. Attendance was 1,309, beating out last Wednesday's 1,611 as the team's smallest-ever announced crowd.

"We're keeping the puck, not just throwing it away," said Jeff Tambellini, who had a goal and an assist in the three-goal second period. "When we're all getting more poised with the puck, making plays coming out of the zone, the game's a lot easier."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has an Okposo update where the only new information was Howard Saffin deferred comments to the Islanders.

Ct Post: Sound Tigers weekly was also released with the upcoming games and blogged on the Sound Tigers win

Virginian Pilot: Paul White has the Admirals Coverage of their loss to Bridgeport.

Pioneer Press: Charley Walters reports the maximum bonus that Gophers sophomore hockey player Kyle Okposo can get, is $255,000 spread over three years. He'll make $62,500 if he plays in the minors, $765,000 if he plays in the NHL.

Buffalo 2, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/20/2007 04:35:00 AM | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the recap of Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres with comments from Brendan Witt and Ted Nolan.

"The one thing you're looking for is effort," said head coach Ted Nolan. "Tonight we certainly had the effort. We wanted to have an honest effort, play hard and get some shots to the net. We did that tonight. Miller made some great saves and once in a while a goalie has to steal a game. Tonight, Miller stole the game."

"We're at .500 now, so we have to try and get these last two games before the break," said Witt. "We have to stick with our plan and not get frustrated. We'll get some bounces and the flood gates should open. All we can do is keep shooting the puck."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What can I write?

In the context of one game the Islanders worked very hard but the other goaltender played well. This was not like the game against Montreal where they threw forty five harmless shots at the opposing goaltender, they worked and skated but like all season this team simply cannot make the kind of play where the goalie has no chance or have the kind of talent that can create skilled goals when they need one.

It's not easy to win games with less than two goals most games in this league, something's going to happened and on this night Freddy Meyer took a penalty that seemed a marginal call, Brendan Witt's stick broke which allowed the Afinogenov to set up the kind of goal the Islanders do not seem capable of setting up which is one where a shooter has an open net and some time. First Buffalo goal the rebound went right to their forward off Meyer or DiPietro.

In the overall picture losing the point was a disaster for a club struggling so muchy overall it's hard to see things getting better unless they can bring this effort every game and find something that works in terms of finishing.

The Islanders skated well, if they can bring this effort to their next game we'll see what happens. They just do not have the offensive talent to create skilled goals and would have been shutout if Miller was not screened on Witt's shot.

12/19: Buffalo at New York FSN 7pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/19/2007 04:51:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Islanders website/AP: Has the preview of tonight's game against the Buffalo Sabres. Freddy Meyer and Blake Comeau will play, Bryan Berard and Marc-Andre Bergeron will sit.

"Talk about a team guy," said head coach Ted Nolan of Meyer. "He's been very patient, working his tail off and he deserves a chance to play. So he'll team up with Andy Sutton."

The Sabres' have won three games in a row and are 10-4-0 in their last 14 contests, Dimitri Kalinin returns to the lineup for Buffalo.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The time for talk is over for the Islanders and so is the announcement about Chris Simon. Either they work hard from the opening minute or Buffalo will pick up where they left off a week ago when they led from beginning to end.

Both teams have had four days off going in.

Interesting Ted Nolan said how players will have to earn ice time or they will not play and there will be changes. This is the club he will have until after the trade freeze which begins today so what changes is he going to make other than give Richard Park more minutes for a forward not working hard.

I'm very interested to see Blake Comeau's second go around with the Islanders, who skated with Richard Park and Tim Jackman. Comeau has been playing left wing for Bridgeport even though he's been a right wing.

If the Islanders have a sixty minute game in them, it's time to show it.

Kyle Okposo leaving Gophers for Isles

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/19/2007 02:32:00 PM | | | | Comment Here Jeff Dubay on a Minnesota sports radio program had reported through their sources Islander first round pick Kyle Okposo will play for team USA at the World Junior Championship but will leave the University of Minnesota and sign a contract with the New York Islanders when he returns from the tournament.

This was talked about at length on this program with comments that Okposo told his teammates he was not coming back. Opinion page makes it clear this is an unconfirmed rumor but the same person who wrote this said reliable sources are reporting Okposo is done with Minnesota and will sign and report to the Islanders. It was not made clear if that means Bridgeport or New York and the person breaking the information did not know.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders still have to negotiate a contract in season here folks, it's not going to be an inexpensive one and will be a hit to the cap if he plays in the NHL.

Not much of a shock given Okposo's comments recently about how much of a struggle he has had his second year playing out of position on a club with injuries but this does upset the balance of college hockey for him to leave school in season and will bring a backlash. I even read he wondered if he should have went back to school so it looks like we have our answer.

As for Islander precedent's some may recall Sean Bergenheim was signed out of the WJC a few years ago but returned home after the tournament to see limited ice time.

First Chris Simon now this on the same day plus a game? Too much all at once.

Minnesota's coach Don Lucia has his weekly radio show on Wednesday night at 7pm
here for those curious because no doubt we will get confirmation or a quick denial.

Check back for more updates

Updated 3:30pm Kevin Allen confirmed Okposo story around same time the radio station did.

Updated 4:22pm
Newsday: Greg Logan's blog reports Kyle Okposo is in the process of negotiating a contract with the Isles according to sources at the NHL and collegiate level. The Golden Gophers have called a news conference for 5 p.m. ET to announce Okposo’s decision.

The Islanders offered no comment about the situation and have not scheduled any formal announcement of a signing. After he returns from the WJC, Okposo will join the Islanders organization and could be assigned to either the Isles or their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. Brian Stensaas reports a university athletics department spokesman confirmed Okposo leaving the Gophers this afternoon with Coach Don Lucia expected to release a statement around 4 p.m. today.

Updated 5:20pm
Gophers Gophers coach Don Lucia in his press conference blames the Islanders for putting Okposo in a very difficult position.

“While I’m disappointed Kyle is leaving at this point of the season, his dream has been to play pro hockey,” Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. “It is unfortunate that the Islanders put him in a very difficult position. I think our team has made strides the last few weeks and I’m looking forward to the second half of the season

Updated 6pm:
Islanders website: Has learned that Islanders general manager Garth Snow and Okposo’s representative Neil Sheehy are currently in negotiations on an entry-level deal.

“We’re extremely excited about the possibility of Kyle joining our organization soon,” said Snow. “He’s a great talent, one of the most exciting prospects in the game. Kyle has the dedication and character we want for our franchise.”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm not sure how the Islanders put him in a very difficult position here? They were supportive of him going back to school last summer and all the comments of Okposo struggling have been from the player, not the Islanders.

Bottom line it is Kyle Okposo's decision as to whether he stays in school or signs a pro contract at this time or plays somewhere else. The Islanders can not force him to do anything.

Chris Simon suspended thirty games

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/19/2007 12:27:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Islanders Website: General manager Garth Snow released a statement following the league's announcement Chris Simon has been suspended for thirty games.

“Since Saturday night, the focus of the New York Islanders has been on Chris Simon the person, not him as a player or on his place in our lineup. As we announced on Monday, the Islanders are going to provide Chris the time and support that he needs for counseling. For Chris right now, hockey must be secondary to the priority of taking care of himself.

“Chris has played 15 seasons in the National Hockey League, has won a Stanley Cup and just as importantly has won the respect of his teammates. He is an Islander, deserves our compassion, and we ask that all Islanders fans join us in supporting Chris every step of the way.”

Associated Press: Has Colin Campbell's and Ted Nolan's comments. Simon was to be paid during his time away from the club, but now with the suspension, he will forfeit $292,683.

"It's excessive," Nolan said Wednesday after the Islanders skated before that night's game against the Buffalo Sabres. "What I think has no bearing on the facts. The league suspended him ... now we have to support Chris while he goes through this process and give him all the compassion and all the support we can give him as an organization."

Newsday: Greg Logan returned for an article on Simon's suspension announcement with comments used by Ted Nolan, Garth Snow in the Islander website/AP update.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Ted Nolan's closer to the situtation than myself but I'm surprised he think's the suspension was excessive. I'm shocked the league put themselves in a position where something could happen again this season or the NHLPA put some pressure on Colin Campbell here to not throw the book at him.

The Islanders after thirty games can put him back in their lineup, it's likely to be a very unpopular move with the fans given the reaction over this latest incident.

By my math Simon can return to the Islander lineup around February 20th. I'm just hope the Islanders before they put him back in their lineup make sure they are satisfied this conduct will not be repeated.

Poll results: Where will Isles finish?

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/19/2007 06:43:00 AM | Comment Here
The results are in for this week's poll question which was where do you think the Islanders will finish in the Easter Conference.

Division winner top three 0 (0%)
Four through seven 2 (20%)
Eighth again 3 (30%)
Out of contention 1 (10%)
Bottom of conference 4 (40%)

Thanks for voting, next poll will be released in a week after the holidays.

Islander News Articles 12/19:

Newsday Katie Strang has more on Chris Simon from Ted Nolan and Bill Guerin but the coach said the club has more pressing issues with some very interesting comments about ice time and reassessing his lines.

"We haven't been playing as well as we should've, and there's a lot of people in that category that could play better. To replace one Chris Simon, we can do that, but to get our game back to where it has to be, that is the bigger issue right now."

"We've watched it go on for too long. It's going to be a merit system. It doesn't matter who you are, you've got to perform and play hard, and if you don't, someone else will,"

NY Post: Dan Martin's second off day appearance in a row is on Ruslan Fedotenko's run in with Simon when he was with Tampa Bay which led to a suspension. Ted Nolan singled out several Islanders who he has not been pleased with but for now is not making changes.

"I remember I hit him pretty hard and I'm sure he didn't like that," said Fedotenko, who was with Tampa Bay at the time while Simon was on the Rangers. "Sometimes, emotions take over and you just react. It's not a big deal. It's part of hockey. I hope to see him soon."

"We have faith in this group. You need your best players to be your best players. We need [Mike] Comrie, we need Bill Guerin, we need Fedotenko. It's not added pressure, just the responsibility of that line. Andy Sutton, [Bryan] Berard, [Marc-Andre] Bergeron need to play better."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has comments from coach Jack Capuano and Jeff Tambellini that moving him from the point on the powerplay back to the wing position down low has helped him. There is more speculation on when his next callup to the Islanders could be.

"It gets you in the game a lot," Tambellini said. "You're fighting for rebounds in front of the net. Sometimes, at the point, you can feel like you're just standing there, watching."

"When you go up there, do as much as you can and hopefully get a chance to stay," Tambellini said. "When you come down, hopefully play well enough that they look to you when they need somebody."

Norfolk Admirals at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
WHEN — Tonight, 7:30
WHERE — Arena at Harbor Yard
ON THE AIR — Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

Bridgeport recalled C Keith Johnson from Utah (ECHL). LW Kip Brennan is suspended, and LW Sean Bentivoglio (neck) is questionable.

Kalamazoo Gazette: Rick Shanley reports on team USA playing against the Kalamazoo Wings in a tuneup for the WJC where Kyle Okposo scored in a 4-2 win.

"They gave us a great game; They play hard," said Team USA forward Kyle Okposo, the seventh overall pick in last year's National Hockey League draft. "We turned the puck over a couple of times and they pounced on it. That's how the tournament is going to be, so we were lucky to be able to play these guys."

Islander Notables 12/18:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/18/2007 08:06:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders had an interesting survey today that I filled out for them that was available from Islanders insider. Darren Dreger announced Chris Simon's hearing lasted thirty minutes Tuesday and did an informal poll among the players as to how long he should be suspended with the lowest being five games and the highest being fifty or more games, a decision will be announced Wednesday.

National Post: Mark Spector has an article with reaction from Bill Guerin, Sheldon Souray, Jeff Halpern and Marty Reasoner on Chris Simon.

"First of all, he's a good guy. A good person," Guerin said. "This guy is a part of our family - that's just the way it is. The thing that stinks is, Chris Simon has done way more positive in this game than he has negative."

"He went through a couple of years there in Washington where [the shoulders] were really bad, and he still tried to do the best he could with it." Guerin said. "He's done that job as well as anybody ever has, and he's a great teammate. It's never about himself; always about doing things for the team and defending his teammates." Adam Proteau who needs no excuse to write something negative about the Islanders wants the book thrown at Chris Simon and is far from alone in media circles with this perspective.

Buffalo News: Mike Harrington reports the Sabres are going to get back defenseman Dmitri Kalinin, who has been out for 23 games for Wednesday's game.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog cleared up any misconceptions about Jeff Tambellini missing the media after Sunday's game and reported Keith Johnson was called up to replace Blake Comeau.

Rock the vote for Ted Nolan

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/18/2007 01:51:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Newsday: Anthony Reiber asks fans to vote for the best coach or manager in New York with Ted Nolan leading the voting by a wide margin at this time.

Of course the New Jersey Giants and Jets are included because Newday writes the teams the publication covers every game is the criteria for elimiating the Nets and Devils as well as the Red Bulls and Liberty.

Ted Nolan could be No. 1 on this list if he had the chance to work with more talent. How would he do coaching the Rangers, for instance? But there's no denying he has done a good job with what he has on Long Island. If the Islanders miss the playoffs this season, he might have to fall on this list. But for now, he's No. 3.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Considering Nolan has beaten the Rangers so many times the last two seasons and finished only two points behind them because of a replay it's hard to take Rieber's ranking seriously.

I know it's Newsday but Ted Nolan at this time is running away with the voting, despite the Islanders struggles this season.

Feel free to vote for Isiah.

2008 Draft Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/18/2007 01:03:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here International Scouting Service updated it's prospect list for the 2008-09 NHL draft today for those who follow hockey prospects. Kyle Woodlief at Red Line Report are what I like to follow because the work is outstanding.

I will add Red Line Report's update link (feeder does not work) to this blog today for those who wish to track the 2008 draft. For now it will be listed in the WJC section.

When fans of teams in the media attack

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/18/2007 12:28:00 PM | | Comment Here
Philadelphia Daily News: Ed Moran today does what a passionate Flyer fan reporter is supposed to do who's lobbying to help the club he covers on the ice. He writes an article designed to put the focus on the league for the Flyers leading the NHL in penalties.

Coach John Stevens also adds his quotes to it.

NYI Fan Central Commnts:
I bring this up as a New York Islander Fan Central topic because our limited media does not do this to help our club. Not last year when the Isles had the second worst powerplay to penalty disparity at minus ninety and not in games like Saturday where Crosby got his call. If anything the people who punch the time clock to cover the Islanders will go the other way and blame the team for the penalties before they step out and lobby for anything that would benefit the Islanders.

Features like this for the Islanders are unheard of unless a team employee writes it.

Mr Moran does a fine job here making his point the suspensions have the league cracking down on penalties against the Flyers. You see this for other clubs too at times from the beatwriters when officials make too many penalty calls against the teams they cover and are fans of.

It just does not happen here from our media because we have no Islander fans covering the club.

But we do have blogs and this is what my NYI Fan Central will do when called for to put the spotlight on such coverage and the motivation behind it.

How long would you suspend Simon?

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/18/2007 11:20:00 AM | Comment Here
The video topic posted by NYI Fan Central showing Simon's stomp on Ruutu generated an all-time record for first time visitors to this blog yesterday at close to one hundred not counting returning visitors.

We all know a suspension will be announced so it's time to put yourself in Colin Campbell's position and make your call as to what you would do. I'm always critical of Campbell so I will make my decision before he does.

If it wery my choice Chris Simon would be suspended for the remainder of the 2007-08 season and playoffs for openers.

He would have to undergo counseling under league guidelines and would have to apply for reinstatement and prove to me before I allow him to play he can seperate hockey from losing his self control.

That's what I would do if it were my choice.

So what would you do?

Season starts Wednesday for Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/18/2007 09:07:00 AM | | Comment Here
Sure the Simon fallout will continue until his suspension is announced, but bottom line the Islanders have a game tomorrow and have to get to work or this team is going to fall out of contention and it will not matter if Simon is given a chance to return this year or not.

That should start with a club that got the better of them Wednesday in Buffalo, who will have the same four days off the Isles have.

It's tough to escape last place when teams from the same division will play one another and a lot of three point games out there. Either the Islanders start scoring and start finding ways to grind out wins whether they are ugly or not or they are going to find themselves separated from the teams in playoff position.

The norm to qualify for the playoffs is a combination of at least ten games over five hundred and ninety two points. Islanders from here have to play at least nine games over and have to do it with a club that has not had a four goal game since the first week of November.

It gets worse too considering the shots against have gone up dramatically against Rick DiPietro in the recent stretch of games with Buffalo, Pittsburgh and even Phoenix getting to the Islander net. If he has to make forty saves for this team to win he is not going to be able to keep the club in games to the level that will be required.

On the good news front I love the call up of Blake Comeau and feel he had hit a wall in Bridgeport and like Trent Hunter just needed a chance to play in the NHL with lower expectations.

Of course Hunter was a proven thirty goal scorer in the NHL when he was struggling and got the call, Comeau was benched in Bridgeport last week and is not a proven AHL scorer.

That written Blake Comeau's overall resume is one that says he can play at the NHL level and no doubt he will work hard. How much time Ted Nolan gives him is another matter. What he does bring is a skill set and some speed lacking on the roster.

Sure has been very quiet on the Bryan Berard front. Marc-Andre Bergeron has aleady said he's scared mistakes will land on him the bench and he made a big one Saturday what happens if he's benched again after his previous outburst?

Speaking of outbursts gm Garth Snow has been far too quiet for a team that has struggled but then again he was quiet when the club was winning. Don't expect any Milbury like comments to the media because as a gm he has not done what he occasionally did as a player. Being a gm by committee also puts him in a position where he may not be speaking for the majority.

Season starts again for the Islanders on Wednesday, a few more losses and they are going to become must wins because they do not have the fire power to go on long winning streaks or even play near the level they did at five on five a year ago.

Winning streaks? Islanders last five game winning streak was in December for those looking for a little karma.

Unfortunately it was December of 1993.

For those wondering starting Wednesday the NHL holday trading freeze begins.

Islander News Articles 12/18:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/17/2007 10:49:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Katie Strang basically repeats the quotes from ITV with Ted Nolan, Bill Guerin and Brendan Witt who will have his hearing in Toronto on Tuesday.

"He's very remorseful, he's very sorry for his actions, and we as an organization don't condone it and don't appreciate the thing he did the other night," Nolan said, "but on the flip side of it, we have to have some compassion, some understanding and some support, and that's exactly what we're going to do."

"This is a tough thing he's going through," Guerin said. "He knows he messed up, he knows he needs some time off, and I'm sure he'll get it from the league, but he knows he's got some support here."

"The league's going to make their statement [Tuesday]," Witt said. "Whatever it is, he's man enough to take it and we're here to support him."

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's article is about how Simon has done nothing for the club all season unlike a year ago where he did a lot to lift the club so he will not be missed anyway.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It could be true about Simon's impact but he has not seen the first line minutes he saw a year ago with the signing of Ruslan Fedotenko and the promotions of Sean Bergenheim and Jeff Tambellini or the signing of left wing Jon Sim.

For Mr Herrmann to show up for the first time since Mr Logan's last vacation and use statistics to make an argument of Simon's value is not fair because there are other things players do to help teams that go beyond stats, especially on a team where scoring is down from last season.

Having written all that, Chris Simon could be the teams leading scorer and it would make no difference here.

Updated 8:30am
What's the bigger story, Simon or the Times, Post and Daily News found enough money in their sports budget's to assign a writer to cover practice when they do not even cover games?

NY Times: Dave Caldwell reported Chris Simon after meeting with Wang, Nolan, Garth Snow and four veteran players Monday in an office overlooking the practice rink addressed his teammates in the locker room.

NY Post: Dan Martin was allowed to write on an off day and visit practice to report on Chris Simon and speculates Simon's suspension will be announced today, even though his meeting is reportedly today in Toronto.

Daily News: Peter Botte who was not assigned the Coyote game with AP only coverage makes the trip on an off-day and is provided a little more space then he is alloted for games?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Only act worse than Simon's is the double-standards by the sports editors in letting their part time beatwriters appear to get reaction on an event like this. If the want to cover hockey, cover everything.

Edmonton Joural: Jim Mathewson checks in with a Simon article asking if it is worth the trouble keeping him and has reaction from Geoff Sanderson.

"You want those guys to play on the edge, but sometimes it's hard to stay on the right side of the line," allowed Oilers winger Geoff Sanderson. "He might be done." Jeff Tambellini was nominated for AHL player of week but did not win.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Today's the day we likley find out why Tambellini did not speak with anyone after Sunday's game where he had a hat-trick.

Islander statements on Simon, Comeau

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/17/2007 07:31:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Released statements by owner Charles Wang and Chris Simon, who has been granted time away from the team.

"The Islanders and I agree that the right thing to do is for me to take some time away from the team. I have enjoyed a long career achieving my dream of being a player in the National Hockey League and I’m proud of my accomplishments. But I acknowledge that time and assistance is needed before I return to the game.

"I want to thank the Islanders for providing the environment for me to become a better player and person, and our fans for their support along the way."

Islanders TV: Has comment from Ted Nolan, Bill Guerin and Brendan Witt where Nolan said there was no consideration to releasing him. Upper management briefed the team leaders, who then had a team meeting.

Newsday: Katie Strang wrote a brief article quoting the Islanders press release. No ruling has been made from the league at this time.

THN: Ken Campbell in the Hockey News jumped all over Simon and called for the league or the Islanders to cut ties with him for good without even including the club's statement. Michael Farber's article has one of those un-named executives saying the Islanders statement was an interesting tactic and that the club beat the league to the punch. Colin Campbell, who will meet with Simon tomorrow gave his comments.

"I don't want to say anything before a hearing," Campbell told On the Fly Monday afternoon. "Certainly, the player deserves time in front of the league. But this is a serious matter, especially because he's a recidivist. In fact, a multiple repeat offender. There is a lot of concern from the league. Luckily' neither one resulted in major injuries, but these are not minor infractions."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If Chris Simon needs counseling, I hope he receives it and the club supports him in that endeavor. Having written that I have serious doubts he will ever wear an Islander uniform again.

Personally, if I were Chris Simon I would announce my retirement but I can only speak for myself. Only he knows if playing hockey brings this reaction from him.

What is Michael Farber talking about when he writes:
precisely the kind of things that Canadian-born hockey players are taught never to do.

Are there players in other countries taught to do otherwise Mr Farber?

Simon's not settling new standards here for anyone regardless of what country they were born in. One look at Canadian born Dale Hunter, Marty McSorley or Todd Bertuzzi and their past actions with countless others tell us where someone is born has no place here at all.

Islanders Website: Also issued a release on the promotion of forward Blake Comeau.

Logan blog update on Simon:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/17/2007 12:30:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan blogged Sunday night and ripped Chris Simon for his selfish action against Pittsburgh with Brendan Witt's comments about the play. Mr Logan questioned why he would repay Ted Nolan's loyalty for bringing him back by embarrassing his coach and the Islander organization.

“You don’t get any momentum going when you’ve got to kill a five-minute penalty,” Witt said. “That hurt.”

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Dave Molinary reports the league office has not revealed when Simon will have a hearing.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Logan did not even bother reporting Blake Comeau was recalled. Time for more comp vacation days for the Islanders only full time beat writer while coverage by committee becomes the rule again.

Funny but Steve Zipay is almost never off and outblogs Greg Logan four to one most game days if a beat writer is required to blog at all.

Monday Islander coverage? Nope, just a blurb in the sports briefs on Simon from Greg Logan, not even in the on-line edition.

Katie Strang went to Msg with Zipay to get Gretzky's story. We will have to learn the breaking news from the Islanders directly or the shock jocks in the Canadian media.

Updated 10am
I have no interest in posting an article on Chris Simon in a publication like Maxim that likely held onto it like SI waiting for a problem to release it.

For all the folks who wish to read it I'm sure there are other sites that can do that for you. This will not be one of them. E.J Hradek gives his thought's on how long Chris should be suspended.

Bridgeport 4, Albany 3: Comeau to Isles

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/17/2007 12:00:00 AM | | | | | 2 Comments

Sound Tigers website: Has the post game on Bridgeport's 4-3 win Sunday over the Albany River Rats where Bryan Trottier again was behind the bench.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game report is on Jeff Tambellini's hat-trick (shorthanded goal, even strength, powerplay goal) in a 4-3 win where he left before taking to the media, Albany having to use seven players on tryouts Sunday to replace eight flu-ridden players.

"Jeff's been playing well," Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano said. "He's been taking it to the net and scoring goals for us, which is great."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogs on the Sound Tigers win Sunday and the callup of Blake Comeau to the Islanders after the game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Love the callup of Blake Comeau, but he needs to see minutes, not fourth line shifts and less than five minutes a game. Ted Nolan had high praise for him last year.

Maybe the media just missed Tambellini but strange he had a huge game and left without talking about it.

Trots looked good behind that bench this weekend, I wonder what his involvement was in terms of the games or if he was just doing observing for the Islanders. Kenny Morrow was also working with the players and behind the bench recently.

Video of Chris Simon-Ruutu

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/16/2007 11:27:00 AM | | | | 4 Comments

Best view I have seen so far, about fifty seven seconds in the clip shows Simon's skate come chopping down.

A few thoughts on blogging & the Isles

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/16/2007 08:44:00 AM | Comment Here
About NYI Fan Central:
I hope folks do not get the impression my blog is only about posting articles from other publications. I do put up the daily articles but instead of just doing that I also post comments about what's written about and do separate game, team and NHL updates.

In other words, more is more at a site called New York Islander Fan Central. I include the articles/my comments while maybe others just do comments for their sites.

Perhaps doing things this way gives an impression I only do the articles?

Most of my comments in the articles you can make a separate blog out of, but I like to give all sides of a story beyond my commentary on a subject.

I wanted to answer a question I got in an e-mail yesterday asking if it's tough to do negative reviews or it's been discouraged by the team because I'm a blogger listed in the box?

The folks at the Islanders (Chris Botta/Cory Witt)have not written one word to me about the content of my blog and outside of singling out this blog on their website at least twice for the time I put into it, I have received one e-mail from Mr Botta telling me how much he loved the energy and time I put into doing this and thanked me. Mr Witt sends a bulk e-mail for every game asking if we plan on attending to respond.

That's been my full contact with the Islanders to this point.

In short, they have been fantastic and it's an honor to have my blog linked on their website regardless of the club's record or whether I am critical or not. First class people who clearly respect our viewpoint whether we are right or wrong in the end.

As everyone knows I was not interested in interviewing players and want my blog seat reserved for an aspiring journalist because our team needs more fans in the primary media. I'm doing here what I do best as I have always did at Islanders-Sound Tigers and HF.

Only here there is no moderation so I can concentrate on hockey. How the club plays is how I write about it based on my perspective. I think I'm fair and what happens on the ice will tell whether the updates are positive or negative.

Regarding the Islanders on the ice:
I'm going to be honest, this is one of the worst Islander teams I have seen in a long time. They are tough to watch or get excited about and I have never seen an Islander team struggle to score like this and here come the forty shot games. I have
no doubt the players like one another but on the ice is another story.

Even the 2005-06 club that was awful was able to raise their game on a few select nights better than this team had done since the opening weekend. I hope things change for the better but I'm very skeptical at this point that they will because this team is setting all time lows in terms of offense for the franchise. I expect things to get worse as teams go all out to score early and force a club that cannot finish to gamble. Skilled teams like Carolina, Ottawa, the scoring teams like Toronto and a West Coast swing I expect will break this team's season and send them out of realistic contention.

I think it's going to get very ugly and I hope I'm wrong. Who's going to resign for this when they can get a fresh start?

I'm going to try to avoid being a broken record in the game updates, but the games played on the ice have been a broken record, it's tough to avoid.

On Chris Simon:
Let the flood of negative Chris Simon articles begin when he is suspended again because this time he cannot be defended. Mike Sillinger wants to say Ruutu maybe was faking his injury that's fine and could be true but that does not excuse attempting to put a skate blade down on some one's ankle, leg or foot.

What's next?
I have no idea where Garth Snow and Ted Nolan look from here for help or they just stubbornly stick to their plan and hope for the best which at this point seems unlikely to change. Actions speak louder than words and at this time no major changes have been made. In the end I have no problem playing for the long term if it turns out the team has to take the hit now for it to happen but to do that Bergenheim should be on the ice in the third period, Tambellini, Nielsen, Comeau, and Colliton also need to be here. Steve Regier has earned his look given his production.

Wayne Gretzky was singled out for playing the kids with the comment that ninety percent of the coaches go to the veterans. Ted Nolan is one of that ninety percent and when crunch time comes it's time to win or lose with his veterans most nights.

Number's game on defense:
I'm kind of hoping they resolve the numbers game on defense and send Berard or Bergeron packing and if someone gets hurt Meyer, Fata or whoever gets a call. It's something that's been hanging over both players all season as the Islanders wait for an injury on defense that surprisingly had not happened or a mistake to put one of them on the bench. Freddy Meyer has played full season in the NHL and looked descent enough when healthy a year ago.

What's missing?
I hoped Garth Snow and Ted Nolan were correct in their judgment but I have always written that Jason Blake would never be as good on any other team then he would be here. Islanders miss Blake just as bad he misses them.

Blake's energy to carry the puck and the play for better or worse is something the Islanders miss every game. It was far from perfect when he was here but it worked and produced a lot of wins. He cannot play that way in Toronto but here it was necessary and that's a big difference. Talk of character, coming to work every game and liking one another is fine but Alexei Yashin's shot is also missing from a lineup of players that do not have any world class shots beyond Bergeron's from the point.

It almost seems Ted Nolan is trying to make Richard Park this teams Jason Blake but he does not have Blake's wrist shot or extra speed.

No, I'm not suggesting the Islanders take back Jason Blake at that price or with his illness, what's done is done. You hope for the best for both sides and move on.

In terms of the AHL and the prospects:
I know Jeff Tambellini got a shorter look this time but I have never seen that speed from him where he stands out nor does he have a great shot. I have some serious doubts now that he's part of the answer here. Part of that could be the problems to score all over the roster, but part of it goes on Tambellini who has had a lot of call ups since he was brought here. He is easy to take off the puck and his defense does not seem to be at an NHL level. I keep seeing a player who fair or not cannot make an impact.

Along those lines I'm tired of reading Dustin Kohn is a healthy scratch at Bridgeport. He has a third period goal and assist a week ago, if your club is near the bottom of the league why bothering playing journeyman veterans unless Jack Capuano has no choice or has to win for his job status with all due respect to the veterans brought in.

By the way if Dan Marshall got fired for last year's Sound Tigers product tell me how Jack Capuano survives this year if his club finishes in the league basement, given his Islander background was being part of a coaching staff in 2005-06 that did not win?

Anyone think Charles Wang regrets letting go of Dave Baseggio because that happened when the club was in transition without a gm or coach two years ago?

What's next at NYI Fan Central:
1. A rare off day Monday unless something major breaks and I suspect it will. News feeders work fine now so you will miss nothing if you view this blog.

2. Full coverage of the WJC.
3. More of the same.

I think it's fair to say what you read here now is what you will find when you visit this blog. It's a very versatile product that will cover practically any Islander related item that expands into NHL subjects when time allows or I feel the need to write about something.

Thanks again for the great support and feel free to ask questions or use the message board or respond to the blogs. Plenty of e-mails but don't' be shy about talking hockey on the page.

I'm trying to get the header problems fixed so temporarily I'm leaving the header which is not sized properly visible so the folks at goggle can help see the problem and provide a template fix, please excuse the appearance.