"It's a little far from home," Nystrom said wistfully. "It would be nice to get back and play a game . But this is great. I'm real excited; I know a bunch of guys on the Islanders, and I'd like to get one on Ricky. I'd have all summer for the bragging rights."
Newsday/countless sources: Report on Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals signing a 13-year, $124-million contract extension yesterday with the Washington Capitals that he negotiated without an agent. It still does not eclipse Rick DiPietro's contract in years which is noted in the article.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Is this why we had a lockout? Seems like this is what owners have to pay franchise players to keep them for their career because if Ted Leonsis did not give him this offer someone else would have as soon as they could. I wonder how DiPietro feels about this and Mike Richards contract because more and more it's proving he did leave money on the table if he does play the entire length of the contract.
Ovechkin did not even need an agent to negotiate this deal. No doubt some of the jealously from Toronto and markets that could not sign him will produce criticism for Leonsis. Congratulations to Ovechkin who will no doubt be featured on the NHLPA site for this deal.
Newsday: Neil Best reports in his blog Newsday.com offers more Islanders stuff than ever and then goes into the seniority list at Newsday.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Compared to when Newsday was covering the Islanders when they were winning the Stanley Cup or even in the 2002 playoffs when they were getting close to ten articles in one day's paper?
Islanders now have a Thursday web feature, the Sunday agenda is controlled by the Rangers beat writer which is a disgrace considering John Dellapina and Larry Brooks already do this for the Rangers on Sunday.
It will be interesting to see if the club is happy with a coverage increase or if they want Mike Bossy used to talk about which is not just a fair share but what they deserve from the local paper.
Sorry gang, I come from a time where the Islanders could play a weeknight home game against a Western Conference team and draw the backpage of the Times, Post and Daily News. I'm not expecting that again but my point is the Isles as a franchise should not be satisfied or settle for what crumbs they can get here.
Calgary Herald & Calgary Sun: cover the Flames who could have some words from former Islanders Adrian Aucoin and perhaps Eric Godard.
St Cloud Times: Kevin Allenspach has more on college prospects leaving programs with Kyle Okposo the focus and Don Lucia comments.
"I don't think it's a financial decision," said Lucia, 49, who makes it sound like the players respond to a pied piper whenever an NHL representative starts talking. "From the (pro) teams' perspective, why wouldn't you sign someone when it's cheaper to do so now than it was in the past? They use that adage 'Bring 'em all in and see who survives.' They use the curve that 'You're going to have to spend some time in the AHL anyway, you might as well get started now.' I guess I'm getting to be a dinosaur but, to me, it's 'Get your degree.' How many of these players are really going to make a living for a long time playing hockey?"
National Post: Mark Spector has comments from Mike Sillinger and Bill Guerin on steroid use in professional sports.
"It would make you more powerful. I just don't think it would make you a better hockey player," reasoned New York Islanders forward Mike Sillinger. He has played for a dozen NHL teams in 17 seasons, and claims no knowledge of steroid use by a teammate. "The game's played at a high speed, and you have to be able to think the game. [Steroids] might make you bigger, faster, stronger. But it's not going to make you a better hockey player."
"I don't think anyone can even scratch the surface of where baseball is going," Islanders winger Bill Guerin said. "Everybody was doing them."
Calgary Herald: Jean LeFebvre has Eric Nystrom's comments on what the Islanders meant to him growing up and Dubie's mask with his father's picture on it and how it came about.
"He's following the tradition and the legacy on Long Island that my dad had a big part in building," said Nystrom after meeting with Dubielewicz after Thursday's practice. "He was part of those championship teams. There's a strong tradition there and these guys are filling the tradition."
"I didn't really have much of an idea of what I wanted to do with my mask," said Dubielewicz, who has a painted image of former Isles captain Denis Potvin on the other cheek. "Then a couple of guys came up (with the concept) of getting some of the heritage on there and I thought it was a great idea. Like Eric said, there's a strong tradition on Long Island and obviously his father was a big part of it. I thought it'd be pretty neat to get some of that history on a mask."
Albany Business Review: Reports a new business venture for Bob Nystrom as well.
Edmonton Sun: Derek Van Diest reports Robin Figren will be staying with the Oil Kings for the rest of the season with gm Bob Green's comments.
"I definitely wanted to stay," Figren said. "I really enjoy it here and I think things are going really well for me. I think we have a good group of guys and I didn't want to go anywhere else."
"There were future considerations that we could have gotten for Robin in terms of younger players or draft picks," Green said. "But I've been at the draft long enough to know that it can be a crap shoot. There's no guarantee that when you get draft picks for good players that they're going to turn into good players.
"It would have been nice to do that, but by the same token, Robin is a great person to have around. In dressing room the younger players really respect him and he's a good leader."