Chris Botta for those who may not know is the Islanders media relations VP and has been associated with the club for over twenty years and does a blog this year called Point Blank here as media relations coordinator Cory Witt does a media blog on the club here and for the most part when both are not assigned to cover other assignments do a very good job with the updates.
Some may feel because Mr Botta/Mr Witt were kind enough to add New York Islander fan central to the list of people they selected for the blog box I would give them a free pass on things I may disagree with?
Anyone who follows this blog knows that has not been the case and when I feel Mr Botta or the club have gotten it wrong I have written about it.
I tend to think fans are under the impression Mr Botta spins the truth but so many occasions he has written and given his opinion which at times has turned out differently than what the Islanders actually do.
Folks need to understand the difference between Mr Botta issuing a press release for the club vs instances where he gives his personal take on a subject. He's also not part of the hockey staff making decisions which a few folks at times seem to forget.
For myself Chris Botta and the staff were the star of the show in Atlanta with so many interviews of writers or media people this blog has been critical of and will continue to be based on what they write. I look for fair and objective treatment of the club based only on how they play or how they are covered and I think it's important to ask hard questions when this does not happen.
I like the fact Mr Botta sent out e-mails, got responses and let the fans get to know these writers, their viewpoints and appreciate how hard the Islanders have worked to tell the Islander story this weekend. It's really above and beyond what I expected and to read a Ray Ferraro talking about 1993 just makes it even better.
I'm sure it does not hurt to have some of these writers see and deal with the club directly which will make them think a little more before they unload on a decision the Isles make in July and August. Given some of Adam Proteau's and Ken Campbell's articles earlier I want to see what they have to write now that they have met some of these people in person as Mr Campbell did with Rick DiPietro.
Mr Botta let the writers responses speak for themselves which is absolutely the correct thing to do even if it's not what we may want to read or what I may not agree with, but that's another blog for another day.
Anyone who has followed Mr Botta for years knows on occasion he has not been shy about stepping up and claiming unfair treatment of this club by the media. He also seems to understand he has to keep a good working relationship with the Times, News, Newsday, Post and countless other publications in the process who want to set up interviews with players so he will ask questions of Leon Caver at the Daily News and the Daily News commercials on the radio but at the same time correcly point out wrote " we want and need the Daily News coverage " which makes it a tough balancing act.
It seems this process picked up out on the West Coast to let some of the media that have not seen the Islanders in years get to reconnect with the franchise. To the staff's credit this was also done at a time when a lot of attention was on Kyle Okposo coming to Bridgeport back here.
I remember a long time ago Mr Botta did a feature when the Milstein's purchased the club. Howard Milstein, Steven Gluckstern, Tom Gulotta had the press conference and wanted the Stanley Cup present. Mr Botta's instincts at the time felt that was not a good idea and put it in his article. He went on to write they gave him the hope of dreaming about the club winning another cup by doing so but at the time it was an honest answer where he even went on to admit he did hold back in some past updates because things were not too good at the time but it was not going to happen again.
I may not agree with everything Mr Botta writes but I really learned to respect him for letting us get to know him a decade ago, regardless of how things worked out on the ice under those owners and if they did not live up to their promise.
Of course in his final blog entry from Atlanta here Mr Botta does his usual great job crediting Charles Wang and Atlanta for giving Rick DiPietro and Islander fans a first class show.
For myself in Atlanta Chris Botta and the staff have been the MVP of the Islanders show despite the Islander goaltender getting a lot of votes, it made me pay more attention than I was expecting to.