Islander News Articles 4/9

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/08/2008 09:49:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Long Island Business News: David Winzelberg reports on Tuesday's Town of Hempstead Meeting about the Lighthouse where Hempstead Board became the agency in Nassau Hub plan with Islander owner Charles Wang's comments who felt this was tremendous along with town of Hempstead supervisor, Kate Murray's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If Mr Wang feels this is tremendous, I'm glad. I have no idea what this all means but if it starts things happening in a year that's fantastic. All I do know is the writer got the capacity on a renovated Nassau Coliseum incorrect. The republican machine and special interest have not been heard from in a while and I think we will start seeing that sooner than later from the folks at Smg or Al D'Amato or the holdovers from the Gulotta administration because this is a p.r battle too.

Newsday: Eden Laikin's article on the meeting gives a far different picture with the approval for environmental review with Kate Murray saying things would move quicker with only a coliseum renovation but neither Charles Wang or Scott Rechler think that is economically feasible with Mr Wang reminding the county that it is Nassau County's responsibility to provide the Islanders with a first-class arena.

Note-Greg Logan did one short article and not a single blog for the teams breakup day. Was this his concept of connecting with the fans he keeps telling people about?

Globe & Mail: Roy MacGregor has a few words from legendary Islander coach Al Arbour as to how important the first round of the NHL playoffs are.

Windsor Star: Sharon Hill reports North Bay which hosted the Hockeyville exhibition a year ago involving the Islanders and Thrashers did not win the competition this year with Roberval, Que winning this time around.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article is on the defense which has been struggling with comments from Jeff Tambellini and Jack Capuano along with what has to happen for Bridgeport to make the playoffs.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
WHEN — Tonight, 7:05
WHERE — Wachovia Arena, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
ON THE AIR — Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged on the Sound Tigers injuries/lineup changes with some speculation on Dubielewicz along with a few words on some players contract status.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
After Bridgeport plays at WBS Wednesday, they play Albany Friday and then will have the rival Wolfpack who likely will be hungry to eliminate Bridgeport in back to back games over the weekend if it goes that far.

Hershey has back to back games with Philadelphia Friday/Saturday before playing Binghampton Sunday.

Binghampton has games with Steve Stirling's last place Norfolk Admirals and Western Conference Syracuse Crunch before they play Hershey.

Binghampton leads Bridgeport by a point in the standings, Sound Tigers lead Binghampton in wins which is first tie-breaker.

Good news here is Bridgeport controls it's destiny against Binghampton in terms of the tie-breaker which is wins.

Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice: Jonathan Bombulie has the WBS Pens preview with former Sound Tiger Alain Nasreddine's comments.

When poor journalism attacks

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/08/2008 07:17:00 PM | Comment Here
Today's award for lazy journalism goes surprisingly to Ross McKeon of yahoo sports here who in his team by team final rankings review wrote the Isles scored the least goals in the league while allowing far too many shots and that they will need a lot of good luck to recruit with going in that direction in determing whether it was a good or bad year.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I know doing thirty reviews in a quick paragraph is a tough thing and if Mr McKeon wants to write it was a bad year that's his opinion and fair enough. There are a lot of good reasons can be given but to claim shots against would not be one of them.

The Isles cut their shots against from last year by close to two hundred shots from 2437 to 2248.

Also his review of the Blues seems very biased in favor of the team. Did he copy his words about Andy Murray from a year ago? Blues had close to three hundred shots less than the Islanders.

NYI Fan Central Final Review of Mike Sillinger

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/08/2008 02:10:00 PM | | Comment Here
Today NYI Fan Central continues it's review of the players with assistant captain Mike Sillinger.

Mike Sillinger:
I'm not sure long Mike Sillinger was injured or played injured before finally having hip surgery which ended his season.

Having written that what I do know is this player did not have the scoring impact he had the previous season and was counted on heavily to produce as he has his previous two years to make up for the offense lost over the summer and his lack of production hurt a club that scored two goals or less fourteen games in a row after a very light October schedule.

Sillinger's line carried last year's team to sixth place in the second half and he was a huge part of it. This year from the beginning with Hilbert and Hunter those players did not have the same offense chemistry, did not create as they did last season and Sillinger for all his faceoff ability and leadership was not able to provide the club with many big goals or even create a lot of quality chances aside from an ot winner against Tampa where he was very animated with Chris Campoli during a timeout.

As I wrote in Bill Guerin's preview was this by design in the teams attention to defense or simply a player in decline with a lot of mileage who finally could play no longer. I did not see the quickness or rushing into the play, I did see solid pk efforts and leadership but I did not see him as visible as he was a year ago and to me this guy is a warrior who you expect more from.

Looking ahead?
We have no idea if Sillinger would have been traded at the deadline if healthy. He has another year on his contract and the club has praised his contribution but if the right offer is there that improves the team it has to be considered. Fair question to ask if Josef Vasicek is resigned would he be a better fit as the third line center with his sixteen goals or does Vasicek's possible departure mean the Isles stick with Sillinger?

How long before Frans Nielsen, versatile Richard Park, Jeremy Colliton or even Ben Walter become a viable option over Sillinger? Shawn Bates is also a center signed for another year.

My guess is Sillinger likes being here, was grateful to the Isles for honoring his career and letting him stay in Ottawa for his son's tournament and will be back because.

I also do not want to give the impression any review is personal one way or another about a player which I should have written during Bill Guerin's review. I have always seen Sillinger as a warrior who is just one of those players who makes a team better in a lot of ways. I simply look at the players performance vs what his ability is combined with the team around him.

Final Grade:
Like Bill Guerin his 2007-08 based upon the time he likely was healthy early also has to be a generous D based on his leadership and defensive play.

Were the veterans really better earlier?

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/08/2008 07:41:00 AM | Comment Here
I did my own review of the Islanders offense for the season and kind of drew a line around the Flyers game on 1/19 where Campoli finally could not play anymore with his injury.

I think that's a fair point to say that was the beginning of the end with the injuries starting to wear down the roster, of course the veteran forwards played a few more weeks.

I'm sure Islander fans remember this game well. Isles had a three goal first period, lost 5-3 on some bad bounces. Afterward Ted Nolan felt the players cheated the system and was upset with the effort and reminded everyone the club could not win games that way.

At the time (Martinek and Witt) were out for that game but Mike Sillinger was healthy and the only regular forward out (aside from Sim/Bates) was Chris Simon with Tim Jackman in the lineup. Hilbert, Fedotenko, Sillinger (who's final game was in February) were all still in the lineup.

At that point Isles had played forty five games of their schedule, a bit more than half.

Goals scored: (shootout goals in wins and losses added skew numbers a little)
Isles scored 111 goals while allowing 127 from opening night until 1/19.

Afterward Isles in thirty seven games:
Isles scored 72 goals while allowing 107 the final thirty seven games.

Isles had thirty three goals in February which was better than they scored in the month of November where they scored thirty goals and played two more games.

March Isles scored only twenty two goals and allowed forty six.

All in all it's fair to make a case here even as far back as January 17th these veterans did not do their part offensively. A few of them can talk about the kids not being ready and not to go with a lineup of kids but a fair counterpoint can be made based on numbers the last ten games were no worse than the veterans in November.

Isles had over forty games with two or less goals scored.

Islander News Articles 4/8

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/08/2008 05:43:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here

Newsday: Greg Logan has Rick DiPietro's comments about what's different about his injury this time and how the extra rest will help him even more than last year. Miroslav Satan turned down a two year extension at the trade deadline because he wanted to wait until the off season to negotiate.

Mr Logan wrote several veterans and coach Ted Nolan cautioned against relying too heavily on young players next season and expressed hope that general manager Garth Snow will add a veteran goal-scorer. Mike Sillinger felt last year no one overachieved despite several who had career years and that Garth Snow needs to add a goal-scorer or try to add one.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No blogs and what I consider an article with a lot less information than the CP article released Monday afternoon from the teams primary paper. Kind of sad Greg Logan could not be bothered to do a single blog with more for the fans on a day the players get together for the last time.

Satan was quoted in the CP article, would have been nice to see his actual words on the two year extension.

New York City papers did not bother showing up at all.

USA In their season ending report they had a lot of repeat quotes in Newsday from the players recently (Mike Comrie) but one I did not see in the paper was from Bruno Gervais who seemed to be having post-concussion problems for weeks after his injury and had a lot to say about what he's been going through.

Newsday: Steve Zipay with his usual Ranger-centric theme to hockey at Newsday tells us Islander television ratings were up seventy seven percent but did not bother giving us a actual number.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Zipay has seemed satisfied to take the numbers straight from Msg's PR department all season that have been throwing out ratings. Until an independent source and not the people making up standards to decide the Metro Ice challenge give us the true local hockey ratings they should be taken with a large grain of salt.

Rangers ratings on NBC have been a disaster all season with their final game drawing a 0.7 nationally here with Dick Ebersol and Sam Flood deciding to go with Alexander Ovechkin's Washington Capitals vs Philadelphia at least twice in round one over the Pens who again will face Ottawa or the local series which may not bode well for a winter classic game involving local teams down the road if they decide to retain the rights at all.

Should be noted Comcast has a stake in this with Versus and Flyers chairman Ed Sinder could be flexing his muscle here demanding his club be showcased come playoff time.

Of course the last thing Dick Ebersol or Sam Flood want for ratings are Canadian teams or the Devils.

New York will select fifth in draft

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/07/2008 05:37:00 PM | | | | | | | | | Comment Here

Lottery Results:
2-Los Angeles
4-St Louis
5-New York

Islanders website: Issued a release after the lottery with comments from Garth Snow.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Let the debate begin on who the Isles will select with the fifth pick. Stamkos did not seem to be doing cartwheels.

Josef Vasicek and Trent Hunter and Rick DiPietro did ITV interviews on the season. Vasicek said he wants to return next season when interviewed by Chris King. Isles had over forty games with two goals or less.

Expect more interviews to be added.

Canadian Press: Had a full article today with comments from Bill Guerin, Richard Park, Ted Nolan and Miroslav Satan on the injuries, slumps and disappointment.

Miroslav Satan said he hopes not when asked if Friday was his final Islander game as he talked about his numbers not being up to his standards and that next year is a better season.

Islander/Sound Tiger notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/07/2008 01:37:00 PM | | | | | | 2 Comments
The ping pong balls start jumping tonight at 8pm with some outlet from Versus, NHL tv, or Tsn covering it. Check your local carrier.

Islanders website: Has a full interview with Rick DiPietro on why he elected to have surgery when he did along with comments on Kyle Okposo and Jack Hillen.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I wonder if what seems from here like a rift between Greg Logan and Rick DiPietro (with Mr Logan hammering him pretty good) for a guy who played hurt and lost a relative can be repaired or is the club using the website to get out the goaltenders message because they do not think the teams beat writer will for the franchise goaltender? Sure seems to me Mr Logan went above and beyond to stir something up against Rick DiPietro and his silence in the teams primary paper has been noticable.

From the article the Isles will be gathering for the last time so we should see something in the paper from Newsday.

Islanders website: Has a feature on franchise's Senior VP of Sales, Marketing and Operations, Chris Dey which will appear on Hockey Business News Magazine.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Most of what Mr Dey discussed with Greg Logan in Newsday recently. I cannot find a website for Hockey Business News Magazine but there is such a publication sold that releases six issues a year.

Too bad they cannot find out the real television ratings, what teams really making, true attendance at games and what is really given or taken in terms of revenue sharing.

Colmubus Dispatch: Tom Reed reports Michael Peca wants to be part of a team building toward a championship before he resigns with Columbus.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Peca's sense of entitlement sure has gotten the better of him now for a long time, with eight goals and what the writer describes as uneven play with his injuries the question at this point should be why would any championship level club need him if he cannot produce.

Point Blank: Chris Botta reports in his blog something fair will be worked out between the Isles and Rangers to settle the Metro Ice challenge with ground rules set for anything done in the future and expects an announcement before Msg does it's playoff preview show tonight. He also thanked the fans for their support which was not about the Isles but about the charity involving the kids.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
NYI Fan Central contacted Phil Mushnik of the Post to see if more on this can be brought to the public for the teams charity. Mr Mushnik is an Islander fans and is often outspoken about Msg injustices.

I will not be watching anything Msg does in terms of playoff preview shows because they do virtually nothing for the Isles all season. The Msg paid spin doctors and their hockey opinion is completely worthless. Anyone who dare speak their minds honestly would sooner or later wind up like Marv Albert, Bob Page or Fran Healy who was basically kicked off the Mets telecasts because he was seen as an Msg supporter to such a degree his opinion was of no use to the public.

Isles should do the challenge with the Devils and simply cut out the Rangers in the future. Reports Jeff Tambellini has been named player of the week again for registering six goals and four assists in four games last week.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good enough to be leading the league in scoring when he's in the AHL, good enough to win player of the week twice, not good enough to be named to the league's first or second team star players for the season?

Newsday: Steve Zipay reports Msg Network's Billy Jaffe was named best sports analyst at the 51st annual New York Emmy Awards Sunday night.

Quick blog notable:
The NHL schedule, scoreboard and standings features were put in mothballs for the summer and the Sound Tiger live scoreboard moved up. Idea is for the page to load faster for everyone.

Philadelphia 5, Bridgeport 4

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/06/2008 07:31:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Sorry folks, Bridgeport radio link did not work nor did Phantoms radio link.

Not sure how futuremedia does this game by game but it worked Saturday. Of course the PPV option is available for those who want to see the game. I listed Wednesday's next game at WBS Pens. Reports the Sound Tigers lost 5-4 in regulation against the Phantoms in Philadelphia Sunday.

Bridgeport was down 5-1 midway through the third. Defenseman Jamie Fraser had his tenth and eleventh goals in the game. Jeremy Colliton had his ninth goal, Jeff Tambellini and Blake Comeau both had two assists.

Martin Gernier of the Phantoms was given a match penalty for a delibetate intent to injury mid-way though the third which gave the Sound Tigers one goal. Ben Walter, Drew Fata also assisted.

Mike Morrison started and allowed five goals on thirty eight shots.

Hershey Bears lost a 3-1 lead and dropped the game in overtime to WBS.
(sorry folks, listended to ot briefly and thought Hershey won this game)

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The American Hockey League only plays an eighty game schedule. Bridgeport has four games remaining, Hershey three. Bridgeport trails by six points in the standings and can only acculumlate eight.

Unless my math is off here the magic number for Bridgeport elimination is any combination of three points lost by Bridgeport or gained by Hershey. Sound Tigers trail Hershey by two wins so for the moment they could still win that tie-breaker which is why the number is three and not two. Binghampton also is ahead of Bridgeport for those wondering.

What this all boils down to is for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers barring Hershey collapsing and them running the table they will not be participating in the 2008 Calder Cup playoffs. It begs the question was it worth it now for the prospects to play those late season games with New York?

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps the game with comments.

Sound Tigers website & Michael Fornabaio in his Ct Post blog here will have the recap.

Quick Isles notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/06/2008 05:11:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Boston Globe: Kevin Paul Dupont reports on June 11th in Toronto a nine-member committee, dubbed the Goalie Equipment Working Group will convene for one day and settle what can be done about modifying goaltender equipment, in hopes of leading to more goals and more entertaining hockey.

The GMs include Garth Snow, Jim Rutherford, Doug Risebrough and Brett Hull. The players will be represented by two shooters, Dany Heatley/Mike Cammalleri. Three goaltenders (from a group of volunteers) include Marty Brodeur, J.S. Giguere, Rick DiPietro, Ryan Miller, Martin Gerber, and Olaf Kolzig. confirms Globe story.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I have to admit it's kind of funny seeing Garth Snow on such a committee when his equipment made headlines often and had public spats with Martin Brodeur and Glen Sather. I'm not sure what they hope to accomplish because the league wants to increase scoring and the players association will be split with the shooters wanting a bigger advantage and the goaltenders wanting to keep themselves protected.

My suggestion? Trim the equipment and get rid of the goaltenders box. Have to give something to get something back. You do not limit scoring and you do not limit a goaltenders natural ability which is entertainment too.

NY Post: Larry Brooks puts on his usual pathetic display selling Ranger tradition like he's on the Garden payroll while taking his lazy cheap shots at the Islanders Sunday without a single quote from anyone as he throws out speculation that Ted Nolan may not be back to incite the fans.

Of course when Mr Brooks is not slamming the Isles/Devils or someone, Mark Everson makes sure New Jersey fans know the sky is falling for their team as he works the other side of the Hudson here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Even Greg Logan wrote it's likely Garth Snow and Ted Nolan will be back in his speculation and he interviewed Mr Wang. The owner also said the coaches contract will be done when it's term ends.

Just the usual sad display of negativity designed to incite from the Post that just keeps the New York Hockey market invisible or Mr Brooks feels slighted the Isles did not call his paper which had Mr Brooks upset last summer. You want to play Islander insider Mr Brooks go cover the Islander games and get some quotes or give it a rest.

I feel bad for Devils fans because no matter what they will not get a fair shake at this paper next week as the Ranger reporters will sell the Ranger agenda win or lose. Jay Greenberg will come on board and help create perception against the Devils too if there is any chance to stir the pot.

Lou Lamoriello, Martin Brodeur and the mainstays from that franchise have earned better and so has Brent Sutter.

Sure wish some bloggers or a new generation of hockey writers make the jump to the professional writing level for the print media. The act from a few Ranger
die-hards creating perception is very old, tied and has only served to hurt hockey in New York. It's as if two or three people control the entire perception coming out of a market about a sport.

Granted the perception of New York Hockey is that's it's virtually invisible compared with the major sports.

Hopefully Islander fans can see through Post act at this point and take it with a large grain of salt.

Of course this is the same old and tired message I seem to write whenever the Post talks Islander Hockey anymore.

I sure wish I did not have to bother.

On other fronts....
Point Blank: Mr Botta seems very upset with the Rangers basically stealing money from the Islanders charity by inventing a way to give the Garden's team the charity money instead by their own selective standards on this annoying metro ice challenge that has been spammed on the telecasts all season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's kind of funny but par for the course with Msg, who will invent an Msg +3 or cut out Isles telecasts if they pushed it that far with Cablevision who bully everyone, I wonder if Mr Wang is still happy with Msg after his recent comments?

What's not funny is the kids for the Isles charity lose out which is all that really matters.

I can hear Dick Ebersol, Sam Flood already calling the Garden to use it against the Isles to keep them out of the Winter classic if it is played at Yankee Stadium and the Ranger media spin doctors taking their shots.

We all know Mr Botta has to fight the Ranger media alone, Newsday sure is not going to help. I'm sure Steve Zipay is already out influencing the Newsday opinion and it will not be in favor of the Isles.

Updated 11:30pm
And of course Ranger fan Steve Zipay in Newsday brings up 1979 as he links to Mr Botta's blog entry here.

A few NYI Fan Central Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/06/2008 01:40:00 PM | Comment Here
I have read and responded to most of your e-mails and would like to address a few things here today with everyone.

The e-mail response to this blog has been incredible as has all the folks visiting, as always I would like to thank everyone.

* The amount of first time and returning visitors only keeps growing but it would be great if some of you not only visited and read the blog but took some time and gave your hockey thoughts on the blog itself or message board and let us get to know you beyond the e-mails or polling votes.

I absolutely guarantee not a single person ever will be flamed or insulted here.

All I ask is your discussions are hockey-related and respectful where we all get something out of it and have fun talking Islanders whether we agree or disagree. I have long experience between my own mailing list and moderating the Islander board at HF and can promise if you invest your time talking Islander Hockey here it will be a positive experience without some of the garbage as one person today wrote and told me you see on message boards and forums.

* To answer one person I'm not big on advertising nor do I feel it appropriate to go onto some one's established site or board and talk about this blog or invite folks to join in that manner because I do not consider that respectful at all. I would not want anyone to come here for that singular purpose. To be honest it's not a big deal for me how many page views, mail or responses this blog receives but for all the visitors who keep coming/returning I would like to talk with you beyond your mail.

* Why am I doing an Islander blog?
I do this for my own enjoyment and because I love talking Islander Hockey. That's been the reason since day one back in 1999 when I started Islanders-Sound Tigers at Yahoo. It was why I became a writer at HF and why I agreed to moderate their message board back when it opened. If things become too busy for me or I cannot do the blog to my standard, that is when I will decide to stop.

* My time?
Almost all the of the time I have for hockey I put strictly into posting here and when I'm not doing that everyone can see how many features I keep adding to the blog and yes, it's been a blast finding things to add here and building a blog from scratch. I gotta admit it's amazing I have done this much considering I'm not a computer person and a year ago had no idea what blogger was.

* Message Board?
I have decided to incorporate a better message board to connect with this site which will be released in the near future even though I picked it out last November.

The bravenet forum is ok but not up to my standards but was a nice add-on when I first started the blog. I decided to ride out the season with it because we had a few folks posting there and did not feel it fair to them to make an in-season change. I know from some e-mails the cheesy format at Bravenet was not what you wanted in an Islander message board.

All I could do for my own content was add game threads and major events.

Having written that building a big message board community is not what I'm looking for. I guess I'm trying to do is get all the folks sending e-mails to have a place to talk beyond just what I post on my blog. In other words your own hockey forum to talk about the Islanders and what interests you and just a small die-hard respectful community.

* Content?
I started with quotes from articles or websites updated but do not like printing copyrighted material so I made a change this season. I now give my own summary of an article and credit the writer whenever possible. I have a very high standard for media sources and will not use bloggers without media credentials as sources of information. That's a tough process because at times it's tough to tell the difference. NYI Fan Central commentary is not a media source nor should be reprinted as such.

* The Isles?
Have been fantastic, first class and have never responded to any negative criticism of the club or the media here. I did follow through on asking if they wanted to keep the link to this blog. I felt if they wanted to make room for new blogs and message boards which I think they should do I want to be fair to them or simply if they wanted bloggers who go and physically sit in the box who are interested in a journalism which is not for me.

Mr Botta told me his intention is to keep the link to this blog on the teams website
and thanked me for the work here. If they decide to change their minds I have nothing but respect for their efforts and thank them. I will keep doing my blog exactly the same regardless because it started before there was a blog box and just an extension of Islanders-Sound Tigers or what I did at HF.

Thank You for taking the time the time to read this and hope to talk with more of you here and not just your e-mails and your suggestions.

Latest from Mr Prospects

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/06/2008 01:35:00 PM | Comment Here
Here is the latest from Mr Prospects as he updates the Islander prospects updates for all of us on the message board and does a fantastic job.

April 2nd
OHL Play-offs-Belleville 7,Barrie 2-Tomas Marcinko, 1 goal(3), -1.

USHL-Sioux Falls 4,Lincoln 3-Jason Gregoire,2 goals(34,35), + 1.
Waterloo 2, Green Bay 1-Blake Kessel,1 assist,+2.
April 3
OHL-Belleville 5, Barrie 1-Tomas Marcinko, 1 goal(4),-1. Belleville leads 2-0.
April 4
OHL-Kitchener 3,sarnia 0-Mark Katic, even.Kitchener leads 1-0.

QMJHL-Rouyn-Noranda 4, Rimouski 3(OT)-Maxime Gratchev, no points, even.
Rouyn-Noranda leads 1-0.

USHL-Lincoln 4, Tri-City 2-Jason Gregoire, 1 assist,+1.
Waterloo 7,Green Bay 1-Blake Kessel, 2 assists, + 3.
April 5
QMJHL-Rouyn-Noranda 2,Rimouski 1(2 OT)-Maxime Gratchev,no points, even.
RN leads series 2-0.

OHL-Kitchener 3,Sarnia 2(3 OT)-Make Katic, no points, -1. Kitchener leads 2-0.
Belleville 2, Barrie 1-Tomas Marcinko, 1 assist,even.Belleville leads 3-0.

USHL-Lincoln 3,Sioux City 2-Jason Gregoire,2 goals(36,37),+ 2.
Waterloo 3,Cedar Rapids 2 (OT)-Blake Kessel,1 assist, even.

Islander News Articles 4/6:

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/05/2008 11:22:00 PM | | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's interview with Charles Wang had the owners praise of the teams prospects with his comments that the last few months have proven Ted Nolan wrong and pointed out how many times the coach has been impressed with the prospects recently.

Mr Wang also said philosophically the team will be build through the draft, but he has never said no if they feel there's some unrestricted free agent who could make the big difference. In addition Mr Wang said there is no rift between the gm and coach over how to build the team and that there is not one player here both agreed should be on the team and that the gm and coach are in sync. He also added they certainly weren't always in agreement but their differences make for healthy debate.

As to a contract extension now for Ted Nolan the owner said there's always the last year of any contract otherwise why have a contract? That we will deal with it at the end of the contract like anything else we deal with and spoke as if he expects Snow and Nolan to continue in their roles under contract and did not seem to indicate anyone would be fired.

Mr Wang also talked of the Ryan Smyth trade and said we took a chance, he didn't want to stay, we tried everything we could. We didn't have the right environment or surroundings or whatever it is to keep him and had a few words on the Light House.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
First off Mr Logan did a good job here but of course part of this is to stir things up a little bit too. When you read this you have to separate the beat writer's speculation/opinion from the actual quotes.

Not to read too much into it but maybe the coach is not/was not impressed with too many of these prospects. Last season he felt Comeau was the club's best prospect with the most complete game and so far that judgement seems correct. We all know he's been impressed with Sean Bergenheim.

Jeff Tambellini at this level has not given anyone a reason to be impressed and it is a fair debate at this point how come he has not had more of an impact.

Ted Nolan did not have an agent when approached about his contract, there is nothing from him demanding a contract extension. He has a year left on his term, were not sure how long the gm has, again you cannot give the coach more tenure than the gm.

Of course the gm and coach are not going to agree on everyone but there has to be some trust on the coach to who the gm feels will help and the coach at what NHL players who he feels can help. Ted Nolan is not scouting college players or prospects, that's the gm and the hockey staff while the coach can barely get away from the club for a day and has gone to Bridgeport several times the last two years.

Mostly stock answers on going with prospects and adding a UFA if he will help, most clubs say that for the most part. He gave his honest opinion on the Smyth trade.

Hopefully Islander fans can separate the quotes from the speculation. I think if Ted Nolan or Garth Snow were about to be fired the owner would not give an interview and say these things.

Of course how do both Snow and Nolan feel about not having contract extensions? For
those who recall Mr Wang's history he gave Peter Laviolette a contract extension and it did not matter because he was fired anyway by the general manager.

The silence from the owner about the veterans overall performance spoke volumes.

Peterborough Examiner: Don Barrie profiles local product Zach Bogosian who is eligible for the NHL draft and has a very interesting story on former Islander draft pick Zdeno Chara and what happened to him during the the draft process.

For those curious Peter Laviolette's Carolina Hurricanes were eliminated from playoff contention Saturday with Washington's win. Boston also qualified for the NHL playoffs with the eight seeds set.

The Montreal Gazette feature on Bill Smith Sunday is a reprint from a feature over a month ago here.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps Bridgeport's huge loss with Jack Capuano and Joey MacDonald's

Lebanon Daily News: Dan Sernoffsky recaps Hershey's big win against the Sound Tigers Saturday.

Daily Gazette: Phil Janack has a full interview with Bridgeport winger Peter MacArthur, how he was scouted by the Islanders and other clubs, his experience in college and Bridgeport so far with Jack Capuano's comments.

Newsday Blog Update/Charles Wang Sunday

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/05/2008 10:15:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan blogged on the Islanders page Saturday night on a bunch of items around the team. Ted Nolan, Richard Park, Jack Hillen and Kyle Okposo were quoted.

Sunday's Newspaper edition features Charles Wang on the relationship between himself, coach Ted Nolan and general manager Garth Snow and the direction the franchise plans to take next season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Seems the Newsday sports editor will not even give the Isles enough space in the print section for a second article Sunday so Mr Logan had to use the blog after Mark Herrmann was not around to do an Islander centric feature after their win Friday.

Seems Greg Logan went overboard comparing signing Hillen to making up for giving away last year’s first-round pick in the Ryan Smyth trade because one has nothing to do with the other.

I guess the end of the season wrap up does not merit a second print article so if you do not follow the club on-line you are out of luck.

Of course, half the team went from Msg straight to Hershey after last night's game and who knows when they will be back if at all. Not sure if we are going to get a Rick DiPietro sighting or a Jon Sim, Shawn Bates appearance.

Should be interesting to see what Mr Wang says and how much of it is overblown by the fans in the coming days and weeks.

I expect nothing from the Times, News and Post who again did not even bother covering the Isles. At best we see a Larry Brooks cheapshot or two.

Islanders website: Had more on Monday's lottery with Garth Snow's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
At this point I want to see the general manager talk to his teams fans about the season and give us his thoughts on what went wrong. The owner went on television, the coach has had to talk daily after some tough nights, it's time for a few words from the general manager.

Hershey 6, Bridgeport 3

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/05/2008 09:24:00 PM | | | Comment Here Reports the Sound Tigers lost 6-3 to the Hershey Bears Saturday night in a devastating blow to their playoff hopes. Jeff Tambellini had two goals, Kyle Okposo also scored. Joey MacDonald was in net.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I added the Sound Tigers free audio link to the top of the blog for anyone who wishes to listen to the live game webcasts. Tomorrow Bridgeport plays Philadelphia. The B2 link for PPV games is in the Sound Tigers section of this blog but it's six dollars to watch a game on your computer.

Devastating loss and likely one that clinches Bridgeport's season ending a week from Sunday. They no longer control their destiny as they drop from three points out of contention to five out of contention with Binghampton ahead of them also. Sound Tigers have a game in hand but no more head to head contests with Hershey or Binghampton.

I listended to part of this game, MacDonald gave up what seemed like a soft goal to Jason Morgan to tie the game early in the third for Hershey, the same player scored again and Bridgeport simply could not get a goal and did not seem to generate a lot of pressure. Hershey scored twice with MacDonald pulled who stopped a breakaway in the third.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had several blogs Saturday. Frans Nielsen did not play with his injury, Kip Brennan did not play for unspecified reasons but will join the Sound Tigers when they return to Bridgeport. Trevor Smith was called home for personal reasons.

NYI Fan Central Final Review of Bill Guerin

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/05/2008 07:04:00 PM | Comment Here
NYI Fan Central will be reviewing all players with the gm and coach from top to bottom with one full blog for everyone and a final grade to their performance.

Today we begin that process with the Captain of the 2007-08 New York Islanders.

Bill Guerin:
Bill Guerin during the season said it all comes down to what you do on the ice.

I do not know what he specifically did in the locker room on a day to day basis but have little doubt this was a good group of people behind the scenes but it's veterans played poorly. For all the talk of grit, character and heart as a unit they did not seem to compete as hard as they could when the puck dropped and as captain he has to be held accountable for that.

Many nights the prospects were the best players late in the season while early this was a club that scored two goals fourteen games in a row that should have finished them for the season but did not.

Many nights like against Anaheim, Los Angeles and a lot of other games this team did not show up at all. Isles lost seven in a row but responded with six in a row so he deserves his share of credit also for being part of the turnaround.

Bill Guerin had an awful lot asked of him at this point of his career which may not be fair but comes with the contract, the captaincy and the role he was given and accecpted as a first line player.

Ted Nolan was not happy with his veterans and did single them out pretty much most of the season from his merit system speech down to threatening to skate them every day the final weeks. The captain has to be included in that despite the coach never calling out Guerin and praising him often.

I know Bill Guerin got his twenty goals and showed he still has his hands and a quick step when he needs it. I also know his impact on games most nights was minimal at best as he played on the perimeter for the first few months and also at best was a streaky scorer on a club where it's veteran scoring let them down and had to happen for them to have any chance at all.

In mid-december his play finally picked up, he got to the dirty area's of the ice and he said at the time he was pressing and lacking confidence. I thought the December stretch would finally let him settle in here and relax, but that never seemed to happen.

Outisde of some horrible goaltending by Olaf Kolzig in one early season game and some other goals that looked like bad goals given up he seemed to struggle from beginning to end with few stretches he did produce as he had to. I do feel he did all he could and gave his best effort and it was a big adjustment to go back to the Eastern Conference after years out west much less take the burden of being a captain for the first time in his career with a lot of new faces.

His comments about the powerplay in March also have to be a reflection of his performance on it and no doubt he had input as to his role.

Am I going to tell you he quit? No, he could have been playing hurt and looked worn down and played far more games then you expect for this point in his career but having written that.....

This man dove to get a puck to Vasicek for a goal the other night, he dropped his gloves several times this year at a point in his career where he's the one who players should be looking out for. I felt the young players respected him and you could see him talking with them often if you looked close.

On this team Bill Guerin had to concentrate more on his defense which was the club's system which also likely hindered his offensive performance combined with not having a first line talent.

In the end at this point in his career Bill Guerin is a third line support player who is best served on a team with a lot of speed, skill and proven scoring that can get him the puck where he needs it to be most effective so he can get his thirty goals. That is not likely to happen for him here.

Looking ahead:
Guerin is signed for next season and will likely be back with next fall because they need what he brings in terms of leadership with his scoring. With Trent Hunter, Kyle Okposo on right wing (if he makes the team) and neither first line talents with Satan not a first line right wing (if he resigns) it seems for the moment that is where Guerin will play. Garth Snow and Ted Nolan are going to have to make things easier for him by getting him some help because they need him to produce.

Final Grade:
A very generous D based on a bunch of players who seemed to like one another and the fact he stuck up for his teammates who still showed he has his hands combined with a club that concentrated on defense. I think he did all he could but most night's it was not nearly enough to have an impact.

NYI Fan Central Poll: Who's out on D

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/05/2008 06:50:00 PM | Comment Here
Time for the latest NYI Fan Central poll which revolves around the current group of defenders and who are the players out moving forward based on the depth chart.

For the purposes of this all the players signed and under contract for next season will be listed as one option meaning if you select this option there is someone from that group you feel should be traded and will not be back. Drew Fata, Matt Spiller will be considered AHL and not included.

Just to review Brendan Witt, Radek Martinek, Freddy Meyer, Andy Sutton, Chris Campoli and Jack Hillen are all signed for next season.

Bruno Gervais is restricted.
If Aaron Johnson is qualfied by the club he will be restricted, Columbus did not do this last summer.

Bryan Berard is unrestricted.
Rob Davison is unrestricted.

Fair to say going into this the Islanders desperately need a powerplay quarterback and a top two defender.

What would you do?
Of course if you care to comment here or on the message board it would make for a good discussion.

Your Bridgeport Sound Tigers

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/05/2008 04:08:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
One good thing out of all this is no more of the daily callups to where three or more players were in or out daily. I have never seen an Islander team have a revolving door lineup to that degree. I forgot Matt Keith even played for the Isles Friday.

These are the players who are all eligible to play for Bridgeport against Hershey:
Mike Morrison

Jack Hillen is not eligible to play in the AHL, he season is over.

Jesse Joensuu is eligible to play in the AHL until the playoffs but so far has not dressed for a game, he cannot play for Bridgeport in the playoffs barring injury.

Ted Nolan talked about Nielsen having an injury in the final game.

Just to refresh this was Bridgeport's clear-day roster:
FORWARDS (13) -- Sean Bentivoglio, Kip Brennan, Jeremy Colliton, Blake Comeau, Colton Fretter, Tim Jackman, Matt Keith, Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Steve Regier, Trevor Smith, Jeff Tambellini, Ben Walter

DEFENSEMEN (7) -- Drew Fata, Scott Ford, Jamie Fraser, Dustin Kohn, Andy Sertich, Matthew Spiller, Mark Wotton

GOALTENDERS (2) -- Joey MacDonald, Mike Morrison

It should be noted all eight Islanders returning are on the list. All the players listed must dress in the Calder Cup playoffs if Bridgeport qualifies until the depth runs out at a position.

Bridgeport has six games left on it's schedule starting in Hershey Saturday.

Islander Fans determine the plan

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/05/2008 02:49:00 PM | | Comment Here
I have done no blogs this year about tickets and I made it clear during camp I would not do ticket promotion ads on this blog. The Islanders have to do the business side for themselves and to me have done a solid job with a lot of creative promotions with virtually no media or television support behind it.

I also will tell you hockey tickets are very expensive and I'm not telling anyone who simply cannot afford it to spend money you do not have before you continue reading.

This is not just an Islander issue, we have seen the problems in Boston, Manhattan, Chicago, St Louis where there have been a lot of empty seats for several years, New Jersey has been a model organization and had crowds of eight thousand last year and do not fill the Prudential Center.

Outside of Canada you could pick virtually any US market in it's history and we could talk about empty seats sooner or later. When the Isles were a dynasty Detroit had to give away automobiles to get anyone to attend games in the eighties, everyone
knows the Red Wings could not even fill the building in the semi-finals and play before many empty seats today.

Having written that the Islanders can have a plan and talk about the prospects and taking the pains to develop them but the fans and how we vote with our wallets ultimately determines the direction sooner or later.

This is not a new story for the current management but the only true remaining story from the nineties to talk about.

We all know the history.
Isles needed to get fans coming to the games after Charles Wang's ownership finished 30th his first season after losing seven years in a row because he had to prove his ownership was different from the people before him.

Back in 2001 no one knew what Mr Wang would do in terms of spending or if he would go the extra mile to get a franchise player on a long-term deal.

We all know what happened. Isles gave up prospects/draft picks for players that got the club winning short term and brought a lot of people to the building that sold out more than half the schedule in 2002. No one was complaining on opening night against Detroit, no one complained through the playoffs against Toronto when the building was rocking.

I know it's fashionable for some fans to claim we would still have Luongo, Chara, Bertuzzi, Jokinen, Connolly in a cap league for fifteen years and they would all have won four more cups here for New York at two million but to be honest our fans did not come out and support these players when they were developing so the Isles found players who you would come to games for.

And for the short-term it worked.

Once again we seem to be back at the same crossroads but this time with an owner who has an established record who will try and spend money to improve his club and quietly has spent more on veteran free agents the last two summer than at any point in the clubs history. We know Garth Snow will not have it easy signing prime unrestricted talent as no team does. Front-loaded contracts, corporate ownerships, veterans stars on other teams closer to winning all play into it as apparently does the building the club plays in.

Bottom line the fans once again ultimately determine the direction and how long a club can be patient with it's prospects.

The Isles can be more patient if we are patient and support the prospects by purchasing tickets but sooner or later if you do not support the direction the Isles will again have to find players that will make you attend games because you want a winning team now.

A team cannot survive with the lowest attendance in the league building with prospects because you will not spend your money until they start winning, it simply does not work like that. Prospect built teams fail too, one look at Florida should tell you all you need to know.

Montreal can take a few losing years as they develop prospects, same for
some other markets in this league but that's mostly in Canada. You can bet the Leaf fans are not going to stop going if it means three years of losing to get some young franchise talents, but the management always feels the pressure to win now and in the end we have seen the result.

Bottom line if you cannot be patient and support what management is doing with these kids by purchasing tickets because you want a winner now and will not spend your money until they do start winning, the Isles at some point will look at the bottom line (as all teams do) and make a deal involving quality prospects so they can make a marginal improvement short-term so you start attending games.

I also more than understand the lack of patience after fifteen years without winning a playoff series and your frustration. That I think was Garth Snow's reason for taking what he considered his most expendable prospects and trading for Ryan Smyth, he had a sixth ranked team and wanted a run at a Stanley Cup.

Once again, I am not writing anyone who cannot afford a ticket to spend money you do not have.

What I am is writing what the bottom line is and that for the fans you are once again at the crossroads here and will decide the direction.

Islander News Articles 4/5

Newsday: Greg Logan recaps the Islanders shootout win with comments from Richard Park and Kyle Okposo and praised Jack Hillen for solid play and remarkable confidence.

Newsday: Steve Zipay's Ranger-centric article had Ted Nolan's comments on how Trent Hunter played giving up his body shorthanded.

Steve Zipay two post-game Ranger blogs, one pre game blog.
Greg Logan only reprinted the Islander Insider today.

NY Times: Lynn Zinser's Ranger-centric article includes comments from Ted Nolan who felt there is always something to play for.

Windsor Star: Bob Duff does a pretty unfair rip job on the Islanders farm system and giving away prospects claiming no team in the league needs Sarnia Sting centre Steven Stamkos more but will get a good player if they do not deal the pick regardless.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Only thing with this article here is Mr Duff cannot selectively include some prospects but not others. Nielsen, Tambellini, Colliton also have be mentioned in that mix along with prospects in college and those having success on Junior teams.

Adam Baruch on the Islanders website here talk about Jason Gregoire and defenseman Blake Kessel in a group of three finalists for the USHL Forward of the Year and Defenseman of the Year awards respectively. Beyond that you also have to mention Figren, Joensuu, Marcinko and a host of others all who look like excellent prospects.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps the Sound Tigers big win with Jeff Tambellini's comments on his third career hat-trick and Jack Capuano's comments. Blake Comeau and as many as seven players could be returned to Bridgeport.

Bridgeport 80 points with six games left.
Hershey 83 points with five games.
Senators 81 points four games to play.

Bridgeport plays at Hershey Saturday.

Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News: Combined Phamtoms coverage.

More Saturday...

New York 4, Rangers 3 shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/04/2008 09:40:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 4-3 overtime win against the Rangers. Kyle Okposo had his second career NHL goal, Richard Park scored a goal for the Islanders shorthanded five against three.

Okposo, Comeau & Park scored in the shoot out with Park scoring the deciding goal. Wade Dubielewicz made forty eight saves. Isles lost a third period lead and gave up a fluke goal before that.

Islanders are the fifth seed entering Monday night's lottery.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Unreal but fitting a club that gave up all those shorthanded goals gets a big one down five against three.

These kids simply were the best players on the ice again for this team, Richard Park, Hunter did a very good job and was diving to block shots shorthanded.

Neither team seems to feel comfortable in their own building against the opposition in this series, almost like the home team tries to do too much which leads to mistakes. John/Jack Hillen his first career NHL point and hardly looked like a kid who was in college a week ago, very impressed.

Dubie was fantastic. I have a feeling some organization will give him a chance to be a number one goalie. Islander fan in me wants him to resign, fan in me who's been impressed with him since Denver wants to see this man get a chance as a number one goaltender. I have no problem with him playing here full time if DiPietro cannot go.

Full recap tomorrow of game. Reports the Sound Tigers won 6-5 against Philadelphia Friday at Harbor Yard in overtime.

Jeff Tambellini had the hat-trick, the game winning overtime goal off a Dustin Kohn assist and a five point night. Ben Walter, Jamie Fraser, Colton Fretter also scored. Joey MacDonald was in goal. Jeff Dwyer returned from Utah. Tim Jackman, Matt Spiller and Steve Regier also dressed for the Sound Tigers. Philadelphia tied the game in the final two minutes.

4/4: New York at Rangers 7pm Msg+2

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/04/2008 04:00:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the preview for the final game of the 2007-08 season against the Rangers in Manhattan.

Not much to play for on the ice aside from pride. Only thing in doubt is will the Isles enter the lottery as the five seed or four seed with Mike Bossy representing the club in Toronto Monday night. St Louis needs to go 2-0 for the Isles to drop into the four spot.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Let me start by thanking everyone for the incredible support for this blog since it started last July and your kind words and e-mails. Even with the Isles having nothing to play for down the stretch folks keep visiting in huge numbers, it's just been a fantastic experience from day one. It's also been great to see so many old friends from Islanders-Sound Tigers and Hockey's Future as part of this blog.

Also a very special thanks to Mr Prospects for all the time he has invested putting his prospect updates on our message board and his dedication because he did something I simply could not do and his work as always was fantastic.

My thanks to the New York Islanders media relations Chris Botta/Cory Witt and the entire management for including NYI Fan Central in the blog box and for their kind words and generosity all season. First class people who make me proud to be a fan of this franchise which is something never measured by any game.

My congratulations to the other blog box members on an outstanding job for everyone and my sincere hope those who wish to become members of the print media work toward a career so our fans to receive more coverage, it's been my pleasure to talk hockey with most of you here or on your blogs which are excellent.

I also want to thank Alex and Steve from Hockey Night on LI & Steve, Pete, & Tony from Islander Nation for their outstanding Internet radio shows and for their generosity in having me on as a repeat guest through the season. When I started this blog I had no clue there was even such a thing as Internet radio and both have created an excellent resource and I hope both understand this is something the Islanders need for their fans moving forward.

Of course having written all this NYI Fan Central will be business as usual from Saturday morning through the summer right into training camp so the games may end but New York Islander Hockey on this blog never does.

NYI Fan Central Picks for NHL Awards

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/04/2008 02:42:00 PM | Comment Here
Globe and Mail:Eric Dhhatschek reports on the NHL award voting works and that the writers have received their ballots early.

The writers vote for the Hart, Norris, Selke, Lady Byng and Calder. The broadcasters vote for the Jack Adams and NHL GMs get to vote for the Vezina, which goes annually to the goalkeeper "adjudged to be the best at his position."

I'm going to keep it Easter Conference centric and also exclude awards like the President's Trophy or something decided by leader in a stat like the Maurice Richard Trophy. I'm also excluding Lester Patrick, King Clancy because that's just as much for off-ice things that is just impossible to know.

Calder Trophy/Rookie of the Year:
Jonathan Towes will win this one but for Eastern Conference purposes Nicklas Backstrom is my pick.

Frank J. Selke Trophy/Top Defensive Forward in the NHL:
No idea unless somehow a high scoring player like Heatley or Crosby get nominated, shut down forwards are hard to notice unless it's on your team and usually it's not about numbers. Even Viktor Kozlov has a great plus minus but is not a great defensive player. Writing names like Rod Brindamour or John Madden for this year would simply be a guess on my part and not a good one.

Hart/NHL Most Valuable Player:
Talking Eastern Conference to me it's Malkin over Ovechkin because he carried his team without Crosby to first place while Washington is in a scramble for the eighth seed. I do not expect the voting to favor Malkin because these things do come down to a popularity contest and Malkin is not a big time interview.

Jack Adams Award/Coach of the Year:
He's not going to win but playoffs or not how Claude Jullien took a team predicted fifteenth with those injuries to the final days merits him being selected and is my pick for the Jack Adams. My guess is Guy Carboneau wins because Montreal was another club predicted to be terrible in many circles and it is a popularity contest. How does Mike Terrien not get consideration for all the injuries his club had and still winning it's division? How can you not also write down Brent Sutter's name or Bruce Boudreau in Washington?

James Norris Memorial Trophy/Top Defenseman in the NHL.
Lindstrom will win as usual but for me this one goes to Zdeno Chara for being a rock on the backline in Boston, not about big numbers for me this time.

Vezina Trophy/Top Goalie in the NHL:
To me it's Martin Brodeur's award to lose out of the Eastern Conference with Nabakov in San Jose and yes Chris Osgood for an outstanding year in Detroit. To me Rick DiPietro deserves mild consideration because he kept the league's lowest scoring club in contention and played well right through his final game against Montreal as does Ty Conklin and Tim Thomas for playing great hockey for months and holding their teams in contention. Or course DiPietro will never be a media favorite among the New York media as Brodeur will never win a popularity contest despite both going out of their way for the press.

That loud noise from the Western Conference was Roberto Luongo's Vancouver Canucks not making the playoffs, my guess is that will cost him with the other general managers.

Funny thing with these votes is no one tells us how many each teams writers or broadcasters receive? Do the Islanders get a NY Post vote or a Peter Botte vote from the Daily News or does Larry Brooks and John Dellapina take three votes for all three local teams and make it all centric for his own team? Does the Times get an Islander vote without a beatwriter?

If a club has more beatwriters/announcers like in Toronto do they have a built-in advantage here? Does Butch Goring, Chris King and Steve Mears get votes? Do people with a business interest for themselves like ESPN's Scott Burnside get a vote here as they pick markets with an ESPN-zone to help promote their work? Do the TSN personalities get a vote like Mike Milbury?

No one breaks down who is officially entitled to a vote here at all, it seems were kept in the dark on purpose.

Friday Islander Insider

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/04/2008 02:08:00 PM | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has the Friday Islander Insider on Mike Comrie playing injured, Bruno Gervais and the problems he has had with his concussion. The club's overall lack of scoring and injury problems with Richard Park and Trent Hunter the only players who will participate in all eighty two games. Wade Dubielewicz on his contract status. Sean Bergenheim was placed on a temporary roster for Finland but that could change before the World Championships, Miroslav Satan with his knee problems will not be participating.

More also on the lack of scoring with the Isles being the only NHL club without a fifty point player and the loss of Alexei Yashin being a move the locker room approved of, despite his production. Ted Nolan talked about the upside of his young players but felt there is a long way to go. Greg Logan used unnamed player comments about Jeff Tambellini, with one player feeling he tried to impress in the corners while another felt he simply did not do enough and had a fair look with veterans.

Newsday: Greg Logan also links to the article in his blog.

Islander News Articles 4/4

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/04/2008 12:02:00 AM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan had Ted Nolan's comments on what clinching a potential lottery pick that could land a top prospect could mean and on Jack Hillen who Bill Guerin praised for how he handled himself while, Hillen comments on how he tried to get the puck to players on the Isles powerplay.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann in his Ranger centric article on Jagr had Kyle Okposo's comments that he hurt the Isles on the powerplay. Bill Guerin lamented the loss and said his club must learn from it.

NY Times: Lynn Zinser's Ranger centric coverage had Bill Guerin praising his teammates as a good group of people here and it's not an easy time but they are showing up and playing hard.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Of course the Post, News did not have one single article or quote from an Islander player as the bad news twins at the Post (Larry Brooks/John Dellapina) had on their Ranger pom poms. Even with the Devils playing Philadelphia tonight Mark Everson made sure to make the Rangers the topic for the Devil players. Peter Botte was not allowed to cover the game with one minimal Ranger article from John Dellapina burried among a mountain of baseball, Knick and NCAA coverage.

London Free Press: Ryan Pyette has Islander prospect Mark Katic's comments about Sarnia team mate Steve Stamkos who is expected to be the top selection in this years draft.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's tough not be critical of the veterans here because they cannot score but there are teams out of it in this league mailing in games with Toronto losing 8-2, other clubs losing 7-1. Isles have been in every game, if they finished some chances it would have been a different story.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio talks about all the players finally returning to Bridgeport after Friday's Islander game. Jack Capuano is not sure what lines he will have. Jeff Tambellini who was the leading scorer was not named to the AHL first or second team because of all his callups.

Bridgeport has seven games left and trails fourth-place Hershey by four points, with a game in hand.

Phantoms at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
WHEN — Tonight, 7:30
WHERE — Arena at Harbor Yard
ON THE AIR — No radio; Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

Rangers 3, New York 0

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/03/2008 11:33:00 PM | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Jason Lockhart has the recap of tonight's 3-0 loss to the Rangers. Ted Nolan talked about the difference between the experience of both clubs and felt the Isles competed hard and gave his comments on Jack Hiller. Kyle Okposo gave his comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I wrote a good thing would happen tonight, Isles clinched a lottery pick that could bring them the top pick in a great draft as of Monday.

Toronto got bombed 8-2 tonight in a rivalry game. Kids as usual put up a better fight than the vets.

Tough night on the ice for the Isles against a desperate team that had not qualified for the playoffs that would have been in trouble if they did not win here. Okposo's shot goes in early it becomes a different game. Kids got some chances and took some hits but when the opposition gets seven powerplays and scores on two on a team with that trap and such a limited offense, it's not going to happen. The recent offensive numbers for the Isles do not lie.

Not going to put the goals on Dubie, even though all three were outside shots, Martinek's clear on the second goal did not clear the zone and he could not get over on the shot. Straka and Jagr both has the puck in good shooting position. He made a great save on Drury and caught a break at the end of the second.

Too bad Bergenheim did not finish one either, he seems to be the hot shooter against the Rangers and did everything but finish. Hillen did not look bad, going from college to this situtation is asking for an awful lot.

Cannot play under these circumstances and give up two powerplay goals or allow the opposition seven powerplays.

One more tomorrow, hopefully these veterans give these kids something. Always seems the road team has less pressure.

Brennan and Davison get another shot at Avery tomorrow.

Listened to Mr Wang's interview with Howie Rose when I got back. You do not have to like everything he does but the man at least comes on television and tells the fans what he's trying to do and no doubt he is not happy about the club's record.

I know maybe for some of the younger readers you may not understand this but our team had owners before him that were AWOL for years that had zero respect for the fans, complain if you want but give the man his due for at least standing in front of the camera after a losing season.

We used to have owners here who made no effort at all to connect with the fans.

4/3: Rangers at New York 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/03/2008 04:30:00 PM | | Comment Here
Islanders website/AP: Has the preview for Thursday night's final home game against the Rangers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
To me it's all good at this point and a bonus with a solid prospect making his debut.

Something positive for Islander fans will happen on Thursday night, that's how our fans should take tomorrow as we root for our team and then see where things stand on Saturday.

So what's good you may ask?
1. Isles will improve their odds of getting a franchise player in Monday's lottery if they lose the game and having a very realistic shot at Stamkos who can set this franchise up for a decade between him and Okposo. You going to be upset Monday if a loss here gives them a first overall pick in a great draft?

2. Isles win they put the Rangers in a very tough spot for another day in terms of them making the playoffs which puts a ton of pressure on them Friday in the rematch, Washington's schedule says they can run the table and Carolina then enters the race for the final spot with Boston and Philadelphia.

Wade Flaherty stole a few meaningless games for the Isles one year that kept them from a franchise changing prospect, will that be what the next two days brings with a few wins no one will remember next season?

I expect Isles to play a good game and keep things close because frankly that's what they are doing against New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and what they did when they beat the Rangers in March. The idea they are not playing competitive hockey just does not add up as they have been in every single game. The Rangers are hardly an offensive powerhouse.

I have no doubt Dubie will give them every chance to stay in the game. Can the Isles generate something from their offense?

Will Renney drop his trap and attack knowing the Isles cannot score, will that create chances for the Isles?

That could play into Ted Nolan's hands here. Can that powerplay give them anything but grief for one night?

Ted Nolan's been talking about Gervais making his return the final games, it's now or never in that department.

One other good thing, half the current Islander roster will be playing Saturday for Bridgeport.

Today's changes:
Michael Fornabaio reported in his blog Joey MacDonald is back with Bridgeport, Mike Morrison got the call up to the Islanders along with Matt Keith and Drew Fata.

Jeff Dwyer/Ryan Cruthers are up from Utah as is Mike Mole.

Ryan Cruthers signed with Bridgeport

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/03/2008 01:21:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
It should be noted Ryan Cruthers reported to the Utah Grizzlies on 3/26 and some sites have this as an ECHL signing here.

Cruthers made his ECHL debut a week ago here with his comments after his first game with Utah.

Robert Morris Unversity here reports in a release on 4/2 this is an AHL signing with Bridgeport as several other players also were signed from this program.

Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Staff and wire reports confirm Cruthers as an AHL signing as of 4/3.

Quick background:
Ryan Cruthers finished four years at Robert Morris University as the team's leading scorer with 17 goals and 20 assists in 34 games is a Farmingdale LI product.

Daily News: List Ryan Cruthers as the third leading scorer in division I NCAA hockey. LW Pete MacArthur who is currently playing for Bridgeport out of Boston University was eighteenth.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Utah has qualified for the ECHL playoffs.

Islander News Articles 4/3

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/02/2008 08:29:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: John Jeansonne interviews new Islander Jack Hillen, with Ted Nolan's comments. Hillen had impressed Islander scouts Rob Cowie and Toby O'Brien repeatedly this year.

Islander blogs in Newsday on 4/2: Steve Zipay 5, Greg Logan/John Jeansonne 0.

St Catherins Bill Potrecz reports the Islanders were one of several clubs with scouts at the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League playoff between the Thorold Blackhawks and the St. Catharines Falcons. Reports the Sound Tigers lost to the Manchester Monarchs Wednesday 5-1 Jeff Tambellini scored, Mike Morrison started in goal.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps Bridgeport's 5-1 loss with Jack Capuano's comments his club did not have the intensity needed, backed off and did not deserve to win. Steve Regier talked about having to cash in on the early chances but if not they have to be resilient.

Manchester Union Leader: Covers the Monarchs.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the Sound Tigers weekly which includes the playoff race upcoming games, the rules explaining why Jack Hillen cannot play for Bridgeport at all after Friday with Peter MacArthur's comments about his future contract status.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged on the lineup changes, the loss to Manchester which puts Hershey's magic number for eliminating Bridgeport at eleven. Scott Ford missed the third after blocking a shot.

Rapid City Journal: Jim Holland has an interview with former Sound Tigers assistant coach, Joe Ferras of the new Rapid City Rush in the inagural season in the Central Hockey league.

Islander/Sound Tiger Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/02/2008 03:39:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Isles TV has interviews after Jack Hillen's first NHL practice with the website likely to follow.

Ted Nolan intends to pair him with Radek Martinek. Preview's tonight's only Sound Tiger visit to Manchester during the regular season. as of 4pm does not have any changes listed for Bridgeport or New York.

Michael Fornabaio does not have a blog update yet so we'll see if anyone goes to Manchester from New York.

Practice combinations:

Brennan-Aaron Johnson as a quasi fourth line.
MacDonald-Dubielewicz in goal.

Gervais skated, Jack Hillen wore # 38 on his helmet.
Absent from practice and likely going to Bridgeport from Chris King/Steve Mears:
Jeremy Colliton, Matt Keith, Matthew Spiller and Drew Fata.

NHL lottery on television Monday at 8pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/02/2008 01:41:00 PM | | Comment Here Jordan Samery reports the NHL lottery will be held this coming Monday, April 7th at 8pm live in studio with NHL deputy-commissioner Bill Daly revealing the results live on-air. This is the first time the draft lottery has been aired live on television since the 'Crosby Draft' of 2005 and for only the second time in 13 years.

TSN will be dedicating a half-hour to the draft lottery at 8 p.m. The lottery will also be simulcast live on the, NHL Network, and Versus in the U.S.

The bottom 14 (non-playoff) teams in the NHL will be eligible for the lottery, where odds are weighted by least amount of regular season points.

The winning lottery team can move up no more than four spots in the draft and no team can move back more than one.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm glad the NHL is doing this on live television for the fans. I hope it remains the policy for good because it's an event and has a little drama from just issuing a quick release. I'm also thrilled were not being forced to watch a game to view a lottery.

Will be a lot of fun if the Isles finish in the bottom five which seems likely with St Louis and Columbus having head to head games before the season ends and someone having to win.

Islanders website: Released a full update on who will be covering the event for each network with more details.

Blaming Isles on Parise getting old

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/02/2008 10:56:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Drafted By Player
1 Pittsburgh Marc-Andre Fleury
2 Carolina Eric Staal
3 Florida Nathan Horton
4 Columbus Nikolai Zherdev
5 Buffalo Thomas Vanek
6 San Jose Milan Michalek
7 Nashville Ryan Suter
8 Atlanta Braydon Coburn
9 Calgary Dion Phaneuf
10 Mtl. Canadiens Andrei Kostitsyn
11 Philadelphia Jeff Carter
12 NY Rangers Hugh Jessiman
13 Los Angeles Dustin Brown
14 Chicago Brent Seabrook
15 NY Islanders Robert Nilsson
16 San Jose Steve Bernier
17 New Jersey Zach Parise

Great draft class. Zherdev almost held out but outside of one apparent bust all of these players have helped their clubs. Bernier was just traded for Campbell.

Granted Parise is an excellent player who has had two thirty goal seasons in a row and had a knack for scoring big goals who is only getting better, but having written that how is this only an Islander mistake when seventeen other teams passed on him before Edmonton did not want Parise and gave up it's pick to New Jersey?

I remember that draft, at the time I would have been happy with Parise, Nilsson or Bernier. If many recall Parise dropped like a stone on draft day because of his size. For the Isles Robeet Nilsson's play making ability stood out and he had good family lineage from his father, Kent Nilsson.

Does it really come down to Pierre McGuire's rant on draft day that year where he plays arm-chair prospect expert for a few hours and simply blamed the Isles because he was not a Mike Milbury fan back then?

How come McGuire did not go off at Chicago for Brent Seabrook or the Rangers for taking the only player who has yet to sniff the NHL in that outstanding group?

It's not like the Isles went off the board here and took a player projected for the second round, or did what Phoenix did with Blake Wheeler. It's not like Nilsson was Mike Rupp, who now plays for New Jersey also.

Do you draft based on family lineage or ability to help your team win?

Eric Nystrom was available the year before (in a far weaker draft) where teams after the top ten selections were unloading first rounders to stock up on picks, Isles kept their pick, did not move up and Sean Bergenheim looks like a solid player. At the time Bobby Nystrom felt the pressure of his son being an Islander would have been a problem, today he has yet to break through with Calgary.

Los Angeles drafted Jeff Tambellini who has Islander lineage with his father and here we are two years later and we are still waiting for him to break through after he was traded for Mark Parrish.

Bottom line, you credit New Jersey for making a great trade to move up and for Parise for proving the experts wrong. You give the Isles credit for making a great run at a top player when trading for Smythe and you credit Robert Nilsson for his obvious progress in Edmonton.

This idea the Isles are the only team who made a terrible decision here just makes no sense.

I do think Parise is going to haunt the Isles for a long time on the ice just like all the other teams that passed on him.

Islander News Articles 4/2

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/01/2008 11:55:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's postgame is on the Isles not being an easy out despite the injuries and gave the Devils all they could. Ted Nolan has praise for MacDonald with the goaltenders comments and credit to New Jersey.

Newark Star Ledger: Rich Chere or former Daily News Islander beatwriter Colin Stephenson on the Devils beat.

Bergen Record: Devils coverage.

AP/CP: Had the most complete Islander coverage with Freddy Meyer, Joey MacDonald and Martin Brodeuer, who praised the Islander goaltenders efforts in the loss.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Post/News: Total joke all a.p coverage or Mark Everson's Devil-centric article. These are the people who want to purchase Newsday?

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article is on Steve Regier, Matt Spiller, Tim Jackman and all the hockey they have played with Jack Capuano's comments on how he handles his bench under these circumstances.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Manchester Monarchs
WHEN — Tonight, 7:05
WHERE — Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, N.H.
ON THE AIR — Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

New Jersey 2, New York 1 ot

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/01/2008 09:44:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Islanders website/Adam Scharff and Chris Musto: Has the recap of tonight's 2-1 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not much to write about this one.

MacDonald was outstanding and very sharp on his skates as he came out to challenge and played the angles well and did a great job controlling his rebounds. Isles generated very few quality chances but kept New Jersey to the angles. Guerin's dive to get the puck to Vasicek for his goal was just a fantastic play. Brodeur barely saw a quality shot with the Isles usually one play short when they did set up a good cycle in the offensive zone which either came from Park, Okposo, Comeau or Guerin, Vasicek.

Madden almost ate Berard alive on a rare Isles powerplay which was the worst moment of the game.

Devils did everything but score in the first on the powrerplay, Meyer look like he robbed a Devil on an open net. Elias finally got a puck through for a goal on an Okposo penalty.

Devils simply could not finish one, neither could the Isles. Overtime came and went quickly with a tip and Parise doing what he does best, making the play to decide the game.

No one looked terrible among the callups, many did a solid job defensively which is half the battle with no glaring mistakes, scoring is the other half.

Isles have given up a hundred shots the last two games and have two overtime points, if only this happened more earlier?

Full marks to MacDonald, if he was not outstanding it could have easily been a 6-1 game.

Atlanta lost in regulation.
St. Louis gave up a 3-0 lead to Nashville and lost in overtime 4-3 so Isles stay even with them for lottery position.

Quick Isles/Tigers notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/01/2008 06:20:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has more from Ted Nolan on Kip Brennan, Drew Fata, Matt Keith what their roles will be, the Sound Tigers setting on a lineup, the Isles signing Jack Hillen and what's happening in terms of securing a lottery pick that could net New York a number one draft pick.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports Hillen practicing/playing for the Isles will make him ineligible to play for the Sound Tigers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I will repost the clear day list in the next day or two. If Bridgeport qualifies for the postseason that will be the list of players who must play before anyone can be added.

In other words, Joensuu or anyone else cannot play unless there are a lot of injuries. That's why clear day is a very big deal in the AHL.

Aaron Johnson out, Matt Spiller in. John Buccigross feels the NHL should include the Isles in the outdoor game and credits Mr Wang for Isles TV.

Ken McKenna's sloppy reporting for HF

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/01/2008 05:47:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reported forward Peter MacArthur recently signed a straight ATO contract with Bridgeport, that is the only media source that has issued any release as to his contract status.

As of Tuesday afternoon Mr Fornabaio responded in his blog he confirmed this morning from MacArthur he does not have a deal beyond the ATO. No inside info on my part, I asked in his blog, he responded and said he spoke to the player today.

Managing Editor Ken McKenna of Hockey's Future as usual jumped the gun and make an incorrect claim in the sporting news a few days ago that the Boston University product was in fact signed by the Isles, despite no other professional media outlet in North America confirming this here much less the Islanders themselves the last few days.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Seems little has changed in two years at HF in terms of poor coverage and why it's prospect information is something our fans should take with little more than a grain of salt if not outright avoid. I stumbled upon the article a few days ago in the Sporting News and suspected Ken McKenna got it wrong so I did not post it here without confirmation from a credible media source.

Sad that the sporting news provides Mr McKenna with any access but we all know the sporting news stopped covering hockey with professional writers long ago outside of rare Kara Yorio updates.

Alan Hahn used to have a weekly report for the Isles at the site.

This is not about the HF volunteers writers who when I was there always worked hard for the fans but the decisions at the top that only hurt the writers efforts during my time. When Holly Gunning was made staff editor things fell completely apart and our prospect page on the Isles site paid a heavy price.

Most of the quality writers stopped writing when she was named staff editor or she removed them for asking what he credentials were to be an editor? I just wanted no part of writing for her almost immediately and stopped writing.

When I started we had folks like Mark Fishel and the people running the site did a fantastic job. I had a great time and our page was updated the day someone was signed with full backgrounds. The folks at other sites like with
Eugene Belashchenko were great and provided updates as did most of the college teams who would always respond with e-mails from the AD office or the hockey staff.

The damage done between Mr McKenna with Holly Gunning as staff editor really hurt that site the final years I was there for prospect information with sporadic updates and rankings that were thrown together along with a prospect rating system that read like playing a game of battleship B4, C6 that made no sense. Who was I to tell people what Per Braxenholm's NHL potential was based on reading an article or looking at a stat line and maybe two quotes a year from the Isles?

Ken McKenna never figured out this is very real to some people. Frans Nielsen's relatives used to send me updates and were very nice about it.

This is why you have to get it right and do more than throw something together.

After I stopped writing the person who took my spot could not get a password to update the page for a full year.

Having written all that it could turn out that way in the end with MacArthur signing with New York after the season but to report someone is signed in the sporting news when clearly it is not correct is just poor research/journalism but the usual sloppy standard by Ken McKenna.

Islanders sign Jack Hillen

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/01/2008 03:07:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Announced the signing of defenseman Jack Hillen who just completed four years at Colorado College by being named defenseman of the Year in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in 2007-08. Garth Snow and Jack Hillen both comment on the signing. In 41 games this season with Colorado College, the 5-11 200-pound native of Minnesota had six goals and 31 assists for a Division I-leading 37 points among defensemen.

He will join the Islanders for practice on Wednesday and could make his NHL debut later this week.

Inside College Hockey: Jess Myers has a full interview from March 19th with Hillen. Notes Hillen was eligible to be drafted in 2004 when he played for Holy Angels. (USHSW)

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Any signing that can help the defensive prospect depth is a good one for this organization and obviously this is a player who many teams were interested in signing. Dustin Kohn is a second rounder in his first AHL season, Blake Kessel has had a good year, Mark Katic is a promising pick. Andy McDonald, Shane Simms, Tyrell Mason, Simon Lacroix, Emile Axelsson and Alexei Stonkus round out the defensive depth chart.

Isles go into this summer with Witt, Martinek, Campoli, Sutton and Freddy Meyer signed and Bruno Gervais a restricted free agent along with Aaron Johnson who played with Hillen. Columbus did not qualify Johnson but if Isles do so he will be restricted.