NY Times: George Vecsey has a full feature article on Ted Nolan with comments from Charles Wang, Bill Guerin and Mike Sillinger.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Usual first class work by Mr Vecsey who covered the Islanders during the dynasty years and was at the Coliseum for Al Arbour's press conference.
Winnipeg Free Press: Gordon Sinclair jr reports Chris Simon flew to Winnipeg Friday, met with Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Phil Fontaine and delivered a message of inspiration at the Manitoba Youth Centre.
Mr Sinclair interviewed Chris Simon outside and he reported the Islander winger who's suspension is up on Feb 20th acknowledges he made some mistakes but that anyone who knows him understands there is nothing wrong with him as he briefly touched up his counseling.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Really good article that's worth reading, too bad no one else picked up on it or will come the time he does return because it was very classy for Chris Simon to fly all the way to Winnipeg to meet the kids and I have no doubt this is the kind of man he is outside a hockey rink because I have read these kinds of stories through most of his playing career.
As for Chris Simon a few hard questions have to be asked. Can he play effective hockey in pressure situations and not over-react in a profession where his specific role is to over react and if he tries to control himself can he still be an effective hockey player?
How will Mr Wang and Ted Nolan feel if there is another incident which is why I ask is their loyalty and support to this man's on-ice career part of the problem?
Based on what happened after his first suspension what's going to be different this time?
What if a player decides to go over the line with Simon, who no doubt at this point will have players from other club's doing all they can to get him off his game to provoke him and likely more.
Also a very fair question has to be asked who leaves this team for his return because Chris Simon, Blake Comeau, Sean Bergenheim, Ruslan Fedotenko and Richard Park are the club's left wingers with Andy Hilbert also capable of playing the left side. Past this season Jon Sim is a left wing with two year's remaining on his contract. From a hockey standpoint all of these players bring more on-ice value to the club than Chris Simon and if the team does drop out of contention how do you not play your prospects in Comeau and Bergenheim who are visible and work hard most games?
Should I even mention Jeff Tambellini is a left wing who's dominating for Bridgeport on a club desperate for scoring?
And if the club does get hot how do you pull players who likely contributed to that?
Newsday did not pick up this story or even tell the fans there is a game Saturday afternoon as Mr Boland filed his story Friday and his editor did not include space to tell folks there is a game today. If your a casual fan looking for Islander hockey today you will not know the Islanders are playing.
No Islander blogs either folks unless you go to Steve Zipay's page who apparently get's paid by the word based on how much he is blogging for his beat.
Sporting News: Reports in a feature number one goaltender Cristobal Huet will start against the Islanders today.