Islander News Articles 4/16

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/15/2008 09:38:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Katie Strang had comments from senior vice president of sales, marketing and operations for the Islanders, Chris Dey about tomorrow's event.

Newsday: Katie Strang did a blog on tomorrow's meet and greet with the fans with her questions for the coach & general manager.

Vancouver Sun: Elliott Pap has a few words about the next possible general manager in Vancover and says in listing Neil Smith fifth that you need one strong voice to call the shots, not a committee like the Isles. Former Islander Steve Tambellini was listed fourth as the writer feels he deserves some blame for the current state of the Canucks.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I did not even know the Cauncks were going to change general managers?

You may need a strong voice to call the shots, having written that how come the writer did not include the same words about the Dallas Stars who also have a committee?

Edmonton Journal: Jim Mathewson reports on Alexander Ovechkin's response to Mike Milbury saying he was playing like a dog in an NBC game last weekend and that he did not even know he was the Islanders general manager.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Milbury better watch himself here. Dick Ebersol and Sam Flood want some controversy to sell these telecasts but if this comes down to a pecking order Mike Milbury rates far below one of the two franchise stars (Crosby-Ovechkin) they are marketing. He can get away with that on Jagr even with the Ranger media fan boys are annoyed but Crosby or Ovechkin can land him off NBC if he's not careful.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had a blog late on Tuesday with some Sound Tiger related items.

NYI Fan Central Final Review of Shawn Bates

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/15/2008 02:26:00 PM | | Comment Here
In honor of tax deadline day a mini review of Shawn Bates.

Not much to write here, he worked his back from the previous season's injury, scored a goal at Bridgeport in a conditioning assignment before another injury struck which again forced surgery, ending his season. It was notable Ted Nolan did not commit to a full time spot for him when he was recovering but injuries/Chris Simon suspension created a spot for him.

Looking ahead:
Bates enters the last year of his three year contract. No updated reports on whether he can continue to play. If he can return my guess is with Richard Park and Andy Hilbert signed combined with many young forwards needing an opportunity it's fair to speculate Shawn Bates Islander career could be coming to an end regardless. As a left wing/center Isles seemed well stocked in that department with the same kind of player and Jon Sim with two more years on his contract and better scoring ability.

Of course I wrote this last summer so we'll see. We all know Bates is not going to help this club with his offense beyond a few games but can help a team with his hard work, skating and penalty killing. His class and character is always something you want on your team.

Bridgeport, Utah, Prospect sections

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/15/2008 11:01:00 AM | | | Comment Here

Thanks to the usual solid work from Mr Fornabaio who makes sure we have an updated player contract status for practically everyone in Bridgeport and the ECHL here at the end of each season I decided to add a Bridgeport/Utah section in terms of players in the Islanders system where every player is profiled.

The Sound Tigers website does not do profiles, the Islanders site only list some players who are usually prospects but not all of them so it was a combination of the Islanders website/ so everyone has a profile of sorts.

In addition some changes were made to the prospect section depending on where someone played. No point listing Kyle Okposo or Blake Comeau in the prospect section anymore with a new group of drafted players coming in June. Players like Dustin Kohn may be a prospect but he plays in Bridgeport and belongs in that section. Tim Jackman you could flip a coin on as to which section he belongs between the Isles and Tigers. Mark Wotton may have played in the NHL but he's in the Sound Tigers section and signed for next season.

If you see nothing written next to a player they are signed for next year.

Finally contract status for everyone was updated as best as possible, from the prospects who need to be signed by June 1st to Russian Prospects.

I just completed a full blog on this a few days ago for all prospects
here where I expanded a little more on each prospect.

For those checking the sidebar:
*-Denotes a prospect who needs to be signed by 6/1/08
**-Denotes a Russian Prospect who's status is up in the air with the transfer agreement.

Isles have a lot of college prospects who do not need to be signed.

****-Denotes Emile Axelsson who is not from Russia or signed by the Isles but is still listed as a prospect even though he was drafted in 2004.

In other words, I don't have a clue why he's listed and my favorite prospect's name Per Braxneholm is not?

Mr Wang needs to look the fans in the eyes also

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/15/2008 07:55:00 AM | Comment Here

I responded in Mr Botta's blog about pod-casting and raised an issue.

I'm not sure if it went along the lines of what Mr Botta's good intentions are in terms of pod casting but I thought I would tell you what I did write here.

I have to be honest with my readers. I wish Charles Wang was on hand to take the fans questions and talk to everyone as Mr Cohen did in Florida and feel if it's at all possible he should make himself available to take the fans questions and perhaps do a blog as Ted Leonsis did during a lot of tough years in Washington.

Mr Wang is the face of this organization and does all the press conferences announcing major events. Mr Dey can talk of the business direction and what they are trying to do as can Garth Snow and Ted Nolan about the hockey product.

I absolutely think Mr Dey has the right idea when he wants the fans to know the plan and look the people in the eyes and tell them when they are trying to do and be up front with them.

Having written that no one needs to be there more than Charles Wang to do exactly that.

More than anyone, Charles Wang has been the face of this franchise since the day he purchased it. He's done a lot of very good things and brought a franchise back to the playoffs that missed seven years in a row under ownerships that hid from the fans and did nothing but create a disconnect with it's fans.

Mr Wang's done all he can to reconnect with the alumni to make up for what other owners failed to do and most importantly he has does far more than anyone to put his resources behind this team despite it being impossible not to lose revenue in a facility this old with an impossible lease for any owner to make a profit even if every ticket were sold. His efforts got a team in Bridgeport for our prospects and saved it a few years ago.

Mr Wang's made some mistakes as an owner with regard to the hockey decisions but that example must begin with him looking the fans in the eye and telling the fans his vision whether they agree or not.

That's how you connect with your fans, that how you get them to believe in a
long-term plan and what you are trying to do.

More than any coach or general manager Mr Wang should be one looking eye to eye in the faces of the people who attend the games and face the though questions tomorrow.

That's how you get them to buy into what you are trying to do.

I hope more than anyone he can make himself available tomorrow and would be willing to do this. It's the best possible way the Islanders can make this connection with it's fan base.

Islander News Articles 4/15

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/15/2008 05:41:00 AM | | | | | | | Comment Here
One thing sure is great about playoff time, the amount of articles reminding everyone of the Islanders dynasty and how they are the last hockey team to overcome a 3-0 playoff deficit. It's everywhere along with any mention of playoff beards and the 1980 team creating the tradition.

Times & Transcript: Neil Hodge had a full updated interview with Ted Nolan, including his denial he will not be returning to Moncton to replace his former Islander assistant Dany Flynn as he talked about the Islanders season right up to tomorrow nights meeting with the fans and that he plans to return for the final season of his contract.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Great interview. I learned more here from the coach than I did in any of the Newsday exit interviews. Sad that we have to wait for a report from a Moncton paper to learn things about what our coach thinks but just another example of how poorly Newsday (and the city media) covers our team.

Total guess on my part but I have a feeling Greg Logan may not be back for a third season. From his reporting it seems only like a job and a paycheck anyway where he does what's professional and required but little more. He's entitled to all the vacation time he earns like anyone with long-tenure at a job but it does not help the coverage when the only full time beatwriter has this many vacations. I do not accept the explanation he does longer blogs so he does less. He knows the media situation around the club and should understand the urgency to provide as many blogs as possible for a team that does not have them in the other five papers as they should.

Newsday: Katie Strang reports from the ESPN announced attendance links that the Islanders finished last but more than eighty three percent of the building was filled on average which was better than some other clubs. Chris Dey reports on what the club will be doing to bring more fans in while former Ranger Daily News beatwriter Frank Brown, who today is a long-time NHL spokesman gave his comments as to what impact the Lighthouse project will have.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
First Anthony Rieber, now Katie Strang? It's coverage by committee once again for the New York Islanders. Should be interesting if they follow up on it with coverage of Wednesday's events.

Newsday linked to an independent youtube video today to supplement it's hockey coverage so perhaps Islander fans should youtube the event tomorrow.

Palm Beach Post: Brian Biggane reported Panthers owner Alan Cohen in his meet and greet with the fans was not happy with Jacques Martin. In the article itself Mr Biggane in throwing out many coaches under contract included the Isles.

Edmonton Sun: Derek Van Diest reports the Oilers signed former Islander defenseman to a one year contract with terms undisclosed but believed to be for 1.5m a year.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Kevin Lowe is really hurting the NHL salary structure with some of these contracts.

What does this mean for Bruno Gervais and how does Chris Campoli feel about his
long-term contract now? One gm overpays and it sets a precedent and as solid as Grebeshkov was at times 1.5 million seems like an overpayment.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps the Sound Tigers season with comments from general manger Garth Snow, Jack Capuano, Jeremy Colliton who talked about the teams strong second half and Kyle Okposo while Mr Fornabaio examined the roster and it's needs moving forward as the roster was reviewed in terms of player contacts.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in his blog had a lot of items on the Sound Tigers as they head into the summer. As always this time of year he gives out the list of the status of the players on the roster in terms of contract.

Islander/Sound Tiger notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/14/2008 05:04:00 PM | | 2 Comments
Newsday: Anthony Rieber reprints Michael Fornabaio's game article today from the Ct Post with the focus on prospect Jesse Joensuu in a Newsday blog.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Shocking. I have never seen Mr Fornabaio's excellent work picked up by Newsday with the Islanders almost never giving him credit for outstanding coverage for years but today a little known prospect who barely got a word written about him by Greg Logan gets a write-up from Anthony Rieber who I cannot recall covering one game all season?

It begs the question why can't Newsday do more Sound Tiger updates or at least put the link to Mr Fornabaio's page on the teams site for updates all the time?

I asked Mr Fornabaio last week in his blog how come Newsday cannot do anything for the Sound Tigers given the Wolfpack have had coverage in Newsday with a link. He replied and told me what I knew already that Newsday and the Hartford Courant share the same parent company. If anyone has looked at the Courant format it's the same as Newsday.

Islanders website: Report Rick DiPietro will be in the Versus studio's the next four nights to provide commentary with the goaltenders comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I knew this earlier but doing an update I threw it in here anyway.

Nothing new for DiPietro who went into Manhattan for SNY to do playoff updates for them two years ago. Too bad SNY did not provide better Islander coverage in return all season. I kind of liked the person who said the Islanders were playing the Devils in the playoffs a few days ago.

USA Hockey: Had a release on the upcoming World Championships today and a partial roster as did team Canada on April 8th here.

The World Championships exhibition games begin on April 26th and the tournament is being held in Halifax and Quebec City from May 2 to 18.

For a little background and some updates check the IIHF website here along with the hockey Canada
here for the latest.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Like the World Junior Championships NYI Fan Central will have full coverage.

Next question is does Kyle Okposo get an invite, will Bergenheim get an invite for Finland or Tambellini/Comeau for Canada. Will any veterans be appearing like Richard Park?

My guess is Okposo has a spot if he wants it just as DiPietro did early in his career. Fair question if players like Thomas Marcinko, Robin Figren and a few others get a call.

During the lockout this tournament was huge and it's never been a small event, one look at the people running the US and Canadian teams make it clear this will be another great one.

Should be fun to see if Kenny Jonsson or Zigmund Palffy return to North American to participate. For that matter will Alexei Yashin be making the trip for the Russian team as a little showcase for his services come July.

Yahoo sports: Issued an Islander team report with a lot of old, repeat comments among their own speculation that could have been from the AP but seemed like a little more. No one's name was credited with the article.

NYI Fan Central Final Review of Bryan Berard

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/14/2008 04:41:00 PM | Comment Here
Today's NYI Fan Central Final Review puts the spotlight on defender Bryan Berard.

Bryan Berard:
The 2007-08 season for Berard was one where he had fallen so far in NHL circles he had to join a team on a tryout, prove he could stay healthy and produce at a high level. The years prior to this he had barely played and could not stay healthy.

Were a generation away from his trade to the Islanders as a young prospect, but his return was a notable one.

Berard did a credible job in camp, still showed he has good offensive intincts and even though he had to wait for an opening was signed by the club after the season began.

Offensively it was a respectable year for Berard on a low-scoring club. He had a few nice individual efforts that led to goals, including a five on three powerplay goal against the Rangers early. He also got hurt early which put him out for a few weeks, when he returned found himself benched often for poor defensive play with extra defenders waiting for an opportunity. Occasionally Berard also displayed a physical edge but did have a breakdowns in front of his goaltenders and is not a player who is going to clear the crease.

What was interesting to me is he still showed the speed to avoid penalties in the defensive zone.

Berard has to share in the blame for the Islanders powerplay problems, especially the turnovers that led to shorthanded goals against with one play in Ottawa that hurt the club.

Funny thing happened along the way, when this teams depth caught up with it, Berard looked solid and did not hurt the club on defense and proved remarkably durable for all his health problems. His play on the point did not improve the offense but it's not fair to put that on any one player.

Looking ahead:
Given the depth on the roster already and the need for a defender who can quarterback a powerplay, it's tough to see him back just based on his defensive play. I do think he extended his career with his performance which will earn a contract with another team and will not have to try out again.

If Isles did not have Campoli, Gervais, Hillen and especially Meyer signed for the next two years I could see a spot for him here.

Final Grade:
It's easy to fault him for his defense at times, but given where he came from going into this year and how steady he played down the stretch combined with some flashes of offensive skill on a flawed club, Berard gets a grade of C and a welcome back to the NHL for the long-term because he earned it with his play this season.

We've only just begun

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/14/2008 07:04:00 AM | Comment Here

Nine pre-season Islander games.
Three Islander prospect scrimmage games.
Four Sound Tiger pre-seaon games.
Eighty two Islander games.
Eighty Sound Tigers games.

From Moncton to the final game in Bridgeport NYI Fan Central had updates for a hundred and seventy five total hockey games with pregame/postgame/daily articles and a boatload of commentary for the 2007-08 season while Mr Prospects did a great job updating the keeping us all up to date on the Islander prospects.

A great ride for the first season here and my pleasure, wish our teams had won more games but it's been amazing.

The games are over but New York Islander Fan Central is a year-round Islander blog so the hockey never ends around here.

In fact, we've only just begun......
Thanks again.

Islander News Articles 4/14

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/14/2008 03:52:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: John Jeansonne makes his point the Islanders and Devils will never be as popular as the Rangers with Chico Resch's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What was the point of this with such limited space for hockey coverage?

With all the lack of attention on hockey was this really necessary or was Mr Jeansonne annoyed his favorite team lost and just had to take a shot or two at the other teams in the area, the ones who help make the rivalries which generate what limited buzz there is?

I don't know where John Jeansonne was when the Islanders were winning Stanley Cups but they were very popular all over New York. They sure got the full back pages in all the city papers which is something Ranger playoff hockey does not get today at all and should know better than quote announced attendance reports which never tell the true story. Msg for hockey is not Montreal or Toronto, opposing fans have easy access and many seats are empty for games.

Always has been.

What is it with the Ranger fans in the media who always resented the Islanders and Devils success and will not write about them other than to make sure their favorite team is the topic?

Ron Duguay and three Rangers got a Sasson Commercial, Denis Potvin did not. That's the full extent of Madison Avenue's exposure to hockey in the thirty plus years I have been a fan. Madison Avenue is not interested in Canada's game and never will be.

Where was Mr Jeansonne when Msg sounded like home ice for the Devils in the final game in 2006 when they swept or some of the Islander games at Msg the last few years with the media reporting on the strong Islander fan turnout at the Garden for several seasons? Perhaps he would like to listen to Howie Rose on Easter Sunday when the Isles tri-state area fan base was at the Meadowlands on a day's notice in huge numbers despite not winning a playoff series since 1993?

What's next the baseball writers will cover Red-Sox/Yankees and report hockey does not matter in New York and take shots at the sport?

Mr Jeansonne, one look at your own paper is proof hockey is a niche sport in New York, have a good look at the backpage of your own paper and the lack of coverage.

Too bad you did not do an article on how great Martin Brodeur is.
Forgot. That may make some kid a Devils fan and you do not want that.

This is just bush league from Mr Jeansonne, it would be like an Islander fan in the media doing an article like this in 2002 when the Isles were playing Toronto as the Coliseum was rocking while the Garden sat quiet again.

Do some hockey stories on the players, Mr Jeansonne or don't bother at all.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps Bridgeport's final game of the season with comments from Jesse Joensuu, Jack Capuano, & Trevor Smith.

Jeff Tambellini lost out to former Islander, Jason Krog for the AHL scoring title but had thirty eight goals in fewer games played.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I think Mr Fornabaio's words say it best, a very long summer for the entire Islander organization.

No one connected with the organization should be happy with the end result of both the Islanders and Sound Tigers this season.

You look at Bridgport from a distance and wonder why they had so many problems holding leads and getting games to overtime which like the Isles was a big problem for them because you need those extra points. I know they got a lot of good individual contributions but collectively never seemed to mesh but I guess with so many constant changes and the Isles injury problems, that's asking a lot. I'm not sure about Joey MacDonald but he has a one-way contract and looked great in his second game against Philadelphia.

I watch Tambellini in the AHL and he looks like a superstar. In the NHL I would be satisfied just to see him create chances like he gets in Bridgeport because that did not happen here at all, just like it did not happen two years ago. Tim Jackman the last two years looks like a star player in the AHL near a point a game pace, here on a limited role he rarely created a quality chance when he was on the ice.

We all know Jason Krog never turned into an NHL scorer and there are tons of AHL stars who simply cannot play in the NHL.

Should be very interesting to see what Garth Snow, Howard Saffin decide with regard to Jack Capuano. Dan Marshall was out after a year, Jack Capuano is a holdover from Steve Stirling's staff. Is he the answer to developing prospects for the Isles while keeping Bridgeport competitive?

Hartford Courant: David Heuschkel recaps Hartford's win at Harbor Yard Sunday.

Hartford 3, Bridgeport 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/14/2008 03:35:00 AM | | | | Comment Here

 Reports Bridgeport lost it's final game of the season 3-2 against Hartford Sunday. Jeff Tambellini and Trevor Smith scored, Mike Morrison had thirty one saves. Kyle Okposo, Blake Comeau, Ben Walter & Matt Keith had assists.

Jesse Joensuu made his professional debut with two shots.

Sound Tigers website: Recapped Sunday's game.

Ct Post: Micheal Fornabaio had several blogs, including a very interesting one about Jeff Tambellini.

NYI Fan Central Final Review of Andy Hilbert

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/13/2008 02:28:00 PM | Comment Here
Sunday's final review of the Islanders puts the spotlight on forward Andy Hilbert.

Overview: Hilbert was signed at the beginning of UFA last July for two years.

Season: Andy Hilbert seemed to pick up right where he left off from a year ago after being injured down the stretch but was praised by Ryan Smyth for hanging in to help the club.

His defense game, his work in the corners, his work on the penalty kill and his speed are noticeable. Having written that he also simply cannot score as he did two years ago with Pittsburgh and that's what the Isles needed most from him.

He started this year back where he was before the Isles traded for Smyth with Mike Sillinger and Trent Hunter (after Jon Sim's injury) but unlike the year before that line did not produce or help win many games with it's offense as it did in the second half. He saw time on the second line before Bergenheim took the spot and has the stronger impact. Eventually he found himself on a fourth line as a center where he has a descent scoring stretch and finally found himself on the first line for an extended period where he played well defensively. He got his chances but again simply could not finish in a position that demands production.

Looking ahead:
Andy Hilbert is signed for 2008-09, the coach has praised his for his work on several occasions. Having written that how many players can this team carry who simply cannot score and show no signs of developing into scorers who cannot make an impact on the score sheet? How do you justify holding back a prospect who needs a real opportunity on left wing or center, do you cheat your defense which Hilbert brings for more skill and scoring and perhaps rookie mistakes from a player who is not as strong defensively?

I like Andy Hilbert, on another team with scoring he would be a good checking forward. I just do not see him as the answer on this club and I think someone who could do more deserves his spot, even if that means he is placed on waivers.

Final Grade:
I cannot give a poor grade to a player who worked hard who simply does not have scoring skills. For me it was an average year where he skated and did a solid job at what he does best. To hold it against him for not being what he is not would not be fair. Andy Hilbert receives a C.

New Poll: Who's out at forward?

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/13/2008 04:33:00 AM | Comment Here
This week's poll follows the theme from the defense and asks who is out at forward with the following options:

Someone under contract for next season
A restricted free agent: Bergenheim, Nielsen ect
Josef Vasicek
Miroslav Satan
Ruslan Fedotenko
ALL UFA will be resigned

I put in all UFA will be resigned at forward because I have read reports during the season the Isles were looking the get something down with Fedotenko, Vasicek and Miroslav Satan who reportedly was offered a two year contract recently.

No rule here the Isles cannot trade from it's signed group of players and resign their UFA.

Islander News Articles 4/13

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/13/2008 02:56:00 AM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Reported defenseman Jack Hillen was named a first-team
all-American with Garth Snow's comments.

AP: Reports Boston College defeated Notre Dame 4-1 on Saturday night for the NCAA championship.

Calgary Sun: Randy Sportek profiles Robert Nystrom of the Calgary Flames, who played twelve minutes for the Flames in a recent playoff game.

Note-Robert Nilsson was signed to a three year contract by the Edmonton Oilers that will see him make almost five million dollars.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I saw this a few days ago when it was reported and did not see it as Islander news. Robert Nystrom has the ties to his father which makes it Islander-centric. Glad Robert Nilsson has security and a good contract annd congratulations to Robert Nystrom and hope he gives the Flames what his father did for the Isles.

College Hockey News: Adam Wodon reports Bridgeport will be one of the hosts for the NCAA tournament with games played at Harbor Yard next year.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps Bridgeport's loss and has a full features on Sound Tigers captain Mark Wotton with his comments here.

Hartford Courant: Has the Wolfpack Coverage.

Hartford 5, Bridgeport 2:

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/13/2008 02:26:00 AM | | | Comment Here Reports Bridgeport was eliminated from the playoffs Saturday with a
5-2 loss to the Hartford Wolfpack after giving up three goals in the final period.

Hershey won it's game which would have eliminated Bridgeport regardless. Has a full recap of the game.

Tim Jackman scored both Bridgeport goals, Joey MacDonald made 22 saves.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Bridgeport fell behind 2-0 before tying it, second goal against was horrible communication on defense. MacDonald made a ton of great saves, Sound Tigers got some good chances but did not finish.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had pre and post game blogs.

Bridgeport's season concludes Sunday at 4pm when they play Hartford in Bridgeport.

Islander Prospect signing update

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/12/2008 01:58:00 PM | Comment Here
Garth Snow has some work ahead of him in the signing department when it comes to prospects.

The deadline to sign some of these players is June 1st 2008 or they can re-enter the draft.

Let me give everyone a little background so we all have some ground work as to how this works under the new cba.

Background rules:
A player not signed by his NHL team within two years of being drafted can re-enter the draft, as long as he is 20 years old or younger at the time of the subsequent draft. Players over 20 become unrestricted free agents.

NCAA players are an exception: NHL teams retain the rights to a college player until 30 days after the player has left college.

A team that does not sign a first-round draft pick is awarded a compensatory pick in a future draft upon losing the rights to that player. A player who has been drafted a second time cannot re-enter.

Recent Changes:
European Players - Prior to 2005, NHL teams retained the rights to a European player until that player turned 31. Drafted Europeans must now be signed within two years, the same as North Americans, or the team loses the rights to the player.

Note-This does not apply to Russian Prospects because there is no transfer agreement, some reports list Russian Prospects have three years to be signed but that seems incorrect.

NCAA Players - As of 2004, 18-year-old players from NCAA Division I schools can be drafted and retain their college eligibility as long as they don't play for a pro team or hire an agent.

In previous years, an 18-year-old who opted into the draft lost his NCAA eligibility.

Islander prospect who need to be signed by June 1st:
RW: Robin Figren-3/70/2006-Needs to be signed before June 1st. (Oil Kings)
LW: Kim Johansson-5/141/2006-Swedish league prospect (Malmo), June 1st deadline.
C: Tomas Marcinko-4/115/2006-Needs to be signed before June 1st. (Barrie)
G: Stefan Ridderwall-6/173/12006-Swedish prospect, four teams and WJC in 07-08.
Must be signed by June 1st.

Expiring contracts/cannot re-enter draft/Restricted free agent.
C: Luciano Aquino-7/210/2005-signed a three year entry level contract 9/25/05-RFA
LW: Masi Marjamaki-5/144/2005-Signed three year contract with Isles 8/18/05-RFA
C: Frans Nielsen-3/87/2002-Signed two year contract 5/15/06-RFA
C: Ben Walter-5/160/2004-Signed a three-year contract. August 31, 2005-RFA

Russian Prospects/players listed by Isles as prospects to date:
C:Evgeny Tunik-2/53/2003-Russian prospect/exempt or UFA, signed Bridgeport 10/7/05.
RW:Igor Volkov-8/246/2003-Russian prospect/exempt or UFA.
D:Alexei Stonkus-6/189/2002-Russian prospect, exempt or UFA.

Note-Sergei Ogorodnikov as of August 2007 was signed but decided not to report to camp with team deciding between a buyout or holding onto his rights.

Dimitri Chernykh could still be prospect depending on transfer agreement but not listed by club as such.

Dimitri Upper-Listed as UFA last summer by to say with transfer agreement but he's thirty years old and well off the radar.

D: Emile Axelsson-7/210/2004-Not signed, UFA but listed on Isles prospect page, played for Västerås IK in 07-08.

College players who do not have to be signed by June 1st:
RW: Brian Day-6/171/2006-College prospect, Boston College.
RW:Shea Guthrie-3/76/2005-College prospect, Clarkson University.
RW:Rhett Rakhshani-4/100/2006-College prospect Denver.
C: Doug Rodgers-4/119/2006-College prospect-Harvard.
D:Tyrell Mason-6/180/2005-College prospect, Clarkson University.
D:Shane Simms-5/126/2006-College prospect, 2007-08 Ohio State University NCAA.
G:Jase Weslosky-4/108/2006-College prospect-St Cloud State.

" Shave to Save Campaign "

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/12/2008 12:19:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here Michael Schuerlein who does an excellent job as a member of the Isles blog box tells us a friend's brother-in-law has an incurable blood cancer called Multiplemyeloma.

It's best you visit Mr Schuerlein's blog for the full details if you can help these folks out in any way.

“Shave to Save” campaign and is asking for donations that will go towards research for a cure for this disease here as is the network for here.

Newsday: Jim Baumbach also linked to the story on the Isles blog at Newsday which was very classy of him and the site administrator.

Bridgeport 6, Lowell 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/11/2008 11:28:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here Reports Bridgeport defeated Lowell 6-1 on Friday with Trevor Smith getting the hat-trick, Tim Jackman scoring two goals, Jeff Tambellini capped the scoring for Bridgeport. Mike Morrison made twenty seven saves for the win but lost his shutout late in the third. Blake Comeau had three assists, Ben Walter two.

Ct Post: Michaal Fornabaio's game coverage on Bridgeport's win has comments from Trevor Smith & Jack Capuano but also has a lot of Hershey's win and the big picture.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had several in-game/post game blogs.

The bad news is Hershey won at Philadelphia Friday after trailing 2-0 so the number for elimination drops to one, they play again Saturday.

Only math that works from here is Bridgeport goes 2-0 and Hershey losses two games in regulation, otherwise the Sound Tigers will not be in the Calder Cup playoffs.

NYI Fan Central Final Review: Radek Martinek

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/11/2008 12:50:00 PM | Comment Here
Today we continue with another member of the Islanders defense in Radek Martinek.

The other day I looked at shots against down almost two hundred, the penalty kill better from a year ago. One thing I did not bring up was all the one goal games the Isles did win. Of course some of that was about not being able to score to open a lead but some of it was also about good defense.

Radek Martink to me had a very strong year and did an excellent job coming back from a serious injury. He reminds me very much of Kenny Jonsson at his best when he is able to move the puck out of dangerous areas and start a rush.

His year did not start great, he had some early turnovers playing with Brendan Witt and a few forced mistakes but overall just did an excellent job moving up to what was in effect a top-two role. His late season battles where he went head to head with Ovechkin and Malkin were some of the more memorable on ice moments of the season when he put both of them down and stayed with them using his speed and skill to hold his position.

Again Martinek had to put up with an injury that did not look good and again he came back and did a very solid job. Down the stretch he gave all he had and looked good with Matt Spiller and anyone Ted Nolan put with him.

Looking ahead : It's fair to write at this point Martinek is not going to win games with his offense, he stepped into some plays and took a few good shots but does not seem confident often in that situation on a team desperate for a steady powerplay presence.

On defense and in transition he's one of the top defenders in the league at getting the puck out of his own zone and that is an asset not easy to find in this league.

Between his cap friendly contract and what has been constant praise from the organization it's clear Martinek only makes your team better on defense. What he did against Ovechkin and Malkin I have no doubt he will continue to do.

Final grade:
Radek Martinek receives an A for his overall play in 2007-08, even with the injury and lack of scoring. He gave all he had and more and the Isles made an excellent signing to lock him up for a few more years.

NYI Fan Central Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/11/2008 10:14:00 AM | Comment Here

For those reading this blog on a regular basis you may have noticed a few subtle changes. We sure do seem a million years removed from the days of X-Ice which some may recall was the first New York Islanders official website version launched over a decade ago.

* Many items now have pictures linked to the sites. I'm not going to go overboard in that department.

* The new draft in blogger feature allows me to schedule updates as to when I want blogs released and seems to work well. A few things written have been spread out so folks have new content each day even when I am not available.

* The new NHL Network player has been added to the NHL section in the media section at the bottom of the blog, just click on the picture to launch it. Excellent free feature by the league I think everyone will enjoy.

* The Sound Tigers live radio link and live game scoreboard have been moved to the side bar. I cannot guarantee if B2 networks will provide an auto feed to each game but it's the same link on the Sound Tigers website to listen live.

* Sound Tiger game highlights will be placed on the sidebar when available.

* Islander TV features will still be posted on the sidebar.

* I created a new widget for Islanders, Sound Tigers, Newsday, feeds along with blogs carried. Islander/Sound Tiger TV is also included so you can get the latest in one place with the last ten updates.

* Islander widget for the blog box was updated and enhanced a little, for those who copied the first version, just cut and paste the new HTML. Seems this one blog called New York Islander Fan Central changed feeds.

* Isles schedule, standings, fantasy news, NHL scoreboard has been put in mothballs for the summer but will return unless I can find an upgrade to them. I took them down so the page would load faster for those with older computers and just to streamline things a little.

* The widget for the Isles I did not like, some may remember it was here for a while but the website feeder is quicker and better.

* The Islanders all-time roster link was added to the page for anyone wishing to check on someone who was an Islander at some point in the teams history.

* No set date on a new message board release but I'm considering June 1st before the draft when it's still a little quiet and at a point after the World Championships.

* I'm looking at some fun new things for the blog moving forward, always a work in progress.

* Too many feeders or search engines had updates with Welcome to New York Islander Fan Central on it, so I edited down the welcome part to the correct name intended for the blog wherever I could.

Thanks as always and of course welcome.

Update on latest poll:

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/11/2008 05:42:00 AM | Comment Here
The latest poll asks the question who's out among the current group of Islander defenders?

As this poll hits the homestretch here is the latest:
One of the signed defenders 3
Bruno Gervais-Restricted FA 0
Aaron Johnson-Restricted if qualified 7
Bryan Berard-UFA 21
Rob Davison-UFA 17

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good job as usual from the folks voting. Fair to write with so many players signed and players like Hillen, Kohn only getting closer it's tough to see Berard or Davison returning unless one of the signed players is traded.

Considering the high regard the staff talks about Gervais unless his concussion problems are even worse than reported I expect him resigned. No one is expecting a trade nor am I.

Among the other signed defenders there is a market but the voters (and myself) do not see a trade among that group but it's possible.

Berard for most of the second half shocked me with his durability in circumstances he had to play and did a solid job in his own end of the ice.

Davison for someone sitting in the stands for months also looked like more than a servicable defender, cannot remember too many mistakes, just steady play.

Johnson looked good and the staff constantly praised his work ethic and attitude, at his age I want to see a little more but it could come down to competition. I'm not sure he receives a qualifying offer.

Islander News Articles 4/11

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/10/2008 11:06:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan updated the Newsday Islander blog Thursday with a wide range of subjects discussed. From Dubie not being in shape at camp, to how well he played, his UFA status, Joey MacDonald and a set goaltending rotation. The veterans were discussed in detail as the gm praised Guerin and Comrie, in Guerin's case for his leadership beyond the numbers and apparently gutting out injury as well.

Jack Hillen playing those two games used up one year of his two year contract according to Mr Logan and would be restricted next summer but was praised by the gm for how he performed. Hillen wanted this arrangement in his contract to sign for two years and lose a year by playing for an NHL team going into signing with any club.

Garth Snow also talked about the direction in building with prospects means they have to improve or it will not work, that expectations are to win next season while they could add UFA also. The draft and who the gm is looking at was also discussed in detail.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This was a very good update, without Mr Logan stirring something up. I guess he saved that for the print edition most of the fans read already. I'm somewhat confused why Kyle Okposo can play nine games in the NHL and not lose a year off his contract while Jack Hillen does?

If there was competition to sign Hillen and this had to be in the deal, Isles decided to accept it.

Reading from the general managers comments it's simply hard to guess at what direction he wants to go in. On one hand he talks about veterans underachieving, on the other we have read Satan was offered a contract extension. I have seen offers to Fedotenko and Vasicek along the way also. And of course the gm talks about the prospects playing and it being a younger team.

I have no problem with the guessing, I think a gm should always keep any opportunity open to improve his club and not tell the media what he's absolutely going to do.

If Dubie came into camp not in the best shape, I cannot answer to it. What I can write is he played four poor periods against Toronto/Atlanta and in all of them the team in front of him was terrible. I do not remember much of the 8-3 loss against Carolina. Aside from that I saw a goaltender who gave his team a good chance to win every time he played who in my estimation stole some games.

College Hockey: Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA Championship game Saturday with a 5-4 overtime win against Michigan.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Congratulations to former Islander assistant coach Jeff Jackson.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's preview for Friday night's game at Harbor Yard vs Lowell Devils has Blake Comeau's comments on playing in the NHL with Jack Capuano's comments as to how much he has improved. Mr Fornabaio also reports it appears unlikely Tomas Marcinko, or Rob Hennigar, will join Bridgeport at the end of the year.

Lowell Devils 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

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blog reported Frans Nielsen skated on Thursday among several items.

Lowell Sun: Covers the Devils affiliate which is out of playoff contention is coming off a 3-0 loss to close out it's home schedule.

The Patriot News: Tim Leone has Hershey coach Bob Woods comments about the Sound Tigers and his own team entering the final weekend.

Islander News Articles 4/10

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/09/2008 11:39:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has a full interview with Garth Snow where he says he does not see any reason why the coach will not be returning next season and described their relationship as good/great. The gm blamed the Islanders failure to make the playoffs on a handful of players who didn't play to their capabilities and the man-games lost to injuries.

The gm also said the team will be younger next season and developing players at the NHL level, he also said he had healthy conversations that any manager has with their coaches in describing Ted Nolan that all organizations do with the gm talking about Jeff Tambellini as a player Mr Logan felt Ted Nolan and Garth Snow disagree about.

The gm also touches briefly on the draft and that nothing is etched in stone in terms of the unrestricted free agent veterans not returning for the young players to play now in the NHL.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Tnis all seems like Mr Logan's pet project back to March 23rd when he decided to create an issue here.

You read through this stuff and it all comes from the beatwriter's personal speculation. Ted Nolan did not bring up his contract to Greg Logan earlier when this first began on March 23rd. Mr Logan went to the coach and asked him about his contract, he made no demands for an extension.

His exact quotes words were there has been no discussion and nothing has been offered and that he intended to be back but did not know what the plans are.

Mr Logan was the one who went to Mr Wang about it for his comments based upon that and then did his speculating for the owner.

Also if Ted Nolan and Garth Snow did disagree on prospects vs veterans that's fine but they lost so many man game to injuries was there ever a situtation where a prospect did play when a veteran was healthy? I cannot think of any veterans benched by the coach. Did the general manager want a veteran benched because he had many to choose from?

With all the callups here late that does not seem likely as prospects were shuttled in just to fill out a roster.

All this seems to me like Greg Logan stirring something up. Ted Nolan did not go to Newsday to talk about his contract, he did not go to Newsday to talk about his bosses or if he would be back.

If Ted Nolan came out and talked of his job security and felt he needed a contract extension that would make this necessary. That's not what happened here at all.

For that matter the gm has not talked of his contract status, how come Mr Logan did not ask Garth Snow or Charles Wang about this also?

Islander prospects honored: Jason Gregoire of the Lincoln Stars was named B2 Networks Player of the Year & CCM Forward of the Year with coach Jimmy McGroarty's comments. Blake Kessel of the Waterloo Blackhawks was named ProGuard Defenseman of the Year with praise from coach P.K. O'Handley. Kessel is committed to play for New Hampshire next season.

Updated 1pm:
Islanders website: Assistant GM & Director of Amateur Scouting Ryan Jankowski praises both prospects who will be at prospect camp in July.

Updated 1:30pm:
Islanders website: Had an update and pictures of receiving their share of the Hummer challenge which was a check for $ 25,000. Mr Botta updated his blog on it as well.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Isles actually had a ceremony for this and brought in Chris Campoli?

How nice of Msg media to award the team that won half of what it deserved after what seemed like a huge fight to even get that? NHL rules say tie-breakers are wins/head to head, Isles won both. If the Rangers won the head to head or the wins they deserve the full check if the overall points in the competition were tied. Kids in Isles charity did not get a fair deal here, it's that simple.

Ct Post : Michael Fornabaio recaps Bridgeport's overtime win with Trevor Smith's comments about returning after a loss in his family. Jack Capuano praised his players for their hard work as he felt they sent opposing players flying and dove to block shots.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's Sound Tigers weekly previews the upcoming games, has a bunch of league-wide items and reports former Islander-Sound Tiger again cleared waivers to play in the AHL after the Hurricanes season ended.

Citizens Voice
: Has the WBS coverage of their loss to Bridgeport Wednesday.

Islanders announce fan fest/draft party

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/09/2008 11:04:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Announced a fan fest on April 16th with lockeroom tours, a Q & A with Garth Snow and Ted Nolan online. Chris Dey comments about why the club is doing this.

The team also announced there will be a draft part this June at the Coliseum.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good idea and a chance for the fans to fire away at the coach/gm in person and on-line. Media is not going to tell the Isles story so the fans might as well get it directly from them and I like Mr Dey's concept about looking people in the eyes and telling them what you are planning to do. You can believe them or not, but at least they are trying to connect with the fans and tell their story as best they can.

I guess that means no one is being fired until April 16th. Hard to see the organization doing something like this if they were dissatisfied with the people making the decisions.

Bridgeport 4, WBS 3, overtime

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/09/2008 10:49:00 PM | | Comment Here

Sound Tigers website: Reports on Bridgeport's 4-3 overtime win Wednesday at WBS Pens on Blake Comeau's overtime goal. WBS rallied with three, third period goals to take the game to overtime. Joey MacDonald was in goal, Trevor Smith returned to the lineup with a goal here Kyle Okposo had an assist. Kip Brennan did not play nor did Jesse Joensuu.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in his pregame blog wrote Frans Nielsen is out for the season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Big road win but losing a lead like that does not give me the impression this is a club ready to win three games in a row which is likely what they have to do and there is a great chance that will not be enough.

We'll see what happens Friday.

New York signs C Rob Hennigar

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/09/2008 10:30:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Adam Baruch reports the Islanders signed 2007-08 Canadian College Hockey Player of the Year Rob Hennigar to a two year contract. The all-time points leader at the University of New Brunswick and the 2007-08 Canadian College Hockey Player of the Year.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders website has a lot of links to the players background. Twenty five year old prospect but coming off a big year, we'll see where he fits but it's obvious Garth Snow does like to go back to the college route for talent between Trevor Smith, Sean Bentivoglio last year and now Jack Hillen with Peter MacArthur playing for Bridgeport and Ryan Cruthers in Utah as Bridgeport signings.

Note-Cruthers is listed on Utah's Kelly Cup roster but says he was released from his ATO contract.

Updated 4/10 2pm:Daily Gleaner: Bill Hunt has a full interview with the Isles new prospect, Rob Hennigar as to how he got signed and what the process was like as he signed a two-year, two-way deal with a signing bonus.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Excellent article and interview where we learn about about the process to sign a player and what someone has to go through when a team does want to do a contract, including the medical.

Welcome to professional hockey.

The Cold, Hard Numbers

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/09/2008 08:02:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Here is a quick review of the numbers:

Bottom Line:
07-08 goals scored 189, goals allowed 240.
06-07 goals scored 240, goals allowed 235.

Isles shots against were down 2437 to 2248 this year.
Isles shots taken were down 2459 vs 2435 this year but still good for tenth overall.

Isles powerplay-penalty disparity:
Dropped from minus eighty five a year ago (348 vs 444) to minus forty five this season. (330 vs 375)

Isles did get eighteen less powerplays and were shorthanded sixty nine less times.

Isles scored fifteen less powerplay goals from a year ago (63-48) and allowed six more goals with their powerplay. (15-9)

Special teams:
2006-07: 348-pp 433sh 63 ppg 79 ppg 9shga
2007-08: 330-pp 375sh 48 ppg 68 ppg 15shga

New York Islanders Injuries/Transactions through the 4/2 game.
Player Injury Dates Out Games Missed
Shawn Bates groin/sports hernia 10/5 - 11/26 22
Shawn Bates hip surgery 12/3 - present 57
Bryan Berard groin 10/21- 11/12 6
Sean Bergenheim shoulder 11/3 - 11/10 3
Chris Campoli shoulder 1/19 - present 35
Mike Comrie hip 3/24 - present 5
Rick DiPietro knee sprain 12/28 - 12/31 3
Rick DiPietro hip surgery 3/18 - present 8
Ruslan Fedotenko shoulder 12/8 - 12/12 2
Ruslan Fedotenko flu-like symptoms 1/29 - 1/31 2
Ruslan Fedotenko knee sprain 3/12 - present 11
Bruno Gervais strained oblique 2/12 - 2/21 6
Bruno Gervais concussion and thigh contusion 3/4 - present 14
Bill Guerin eye bruise 11/12 1
Andy Hilbert ankle 3/11 - present 10
Aaron Johnson knee 11/5 - 1/15 35
Aaron Johnson rib 4/1 - present 2
Radek Martinek right leg bruise 12/26 - 1/19 13
Frans Nielsen shoulder 3/1 - 3/27 13
Miroslav Satan knee sprain 1/11 1
Miroslav Satan knee 2/7 1
Mike Sillinger hip flexor strain 12/31 1
Mike Sillinger hip 2/5 - present 28
Jon Sim knee sprain 10/8 - present 79
Andy Sutton flu-like symptoms 1/29 - 1/31 2
Andy Sutton partial hamstring tear 2/20 - present 21
Josef Vasicek flu-like symptoms 3/11 1
Brendan Witt ankle sprain 1/13 - 1/19 4
Brendan Witt sprained MCL 2/14 - 2/28 8
Brendan Witt strained MCL 3/12 - present 10

Total: 402
This number does not include Chris Simon's suspension or other items like players who were healthy scratches.

New York Islanders Notes
The Islanders have had 402 man games lost due to injury this season.


Scoring 1st 25-6-6 Opponent Did Not Score on the PP 15-8-4
Opponent Scores 1st 9-29-3 Scored 3-or-More PP Goals 4-0-0
Leading After 1st Period 15-5-4 Opponent Scored 3 or More PP Goals 0-3-0
Trailing After 1st Period 5-19-2 Scored a SH Goal 3-2-1
Tied After 1st Period 14-13-3 Opponent Scored a SH Goal 4-9-1
Leading After 2nd Period 21-1-2 1st Half of Back-to-Back Games 6-10-1
Trailing After 2nd Period 4-31-3 2nd Half of Back-to-Back Games 10-5-1
Tied After 2nd Period 9-5-4 On Sundays 1-2-0
Decided in Overtime 9-9 On Mondays 4-4-2
Scoring 1st in Shootout 2-0-0 On Tuesdays 4-6-2
Extra Shooter(s) in Shootout 1-0-0 On Wednesdays 5-3-1
At Home 18-18-5 On Thursdays 6-11-1
On the Road 16-19-4 On Fridays 5-2-0
Out-Shot Opponent 13-20-3 On Saturdays 9-11-3
Out-Shot by Opponent 21-17-6 Game at Night 33-31-8
Equal Shots with Opponent 1-0-0 Game in the Afternoon 1-6-1
Scored on the PP 18-13-3 Outcome 2 Goals or Less 27-20-9
Did Not Score on the PP 15-23-6 Outcome 3 Goals or More 7-16-0

NYI Fan Central Final Review of Brendan Witt

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/09/2008 02:00:00 PM | 2 Comments
No set order for my final reviews for this club. I'm going to jump from player to player and write about who I'm most motivated to do a review about, at least for now.

Which bring me to the final player designated a letter in assistant captain, Brendan Witt.

A lot of good things to say about Brendan Witt's overall season on a team that was not very good. One can make a very fair argument he was this teams most valuable player and someone who deserved to be an all-star. Total warrior in every sense of the word who had an intimidating presence and did a great job blocking shots/keeping players to angles.

His goal against Carolina in the third period was one of the rare times he stepped into an odd-man rush but he delivered to help put a game away.

For the most part Witt played hurt in the second half after a collision in a game against the Flyers and a lot of blocked shots and hits had him worn down, still he returned and hung in with a knee injury at a point when Ted Nolan felt he should not even be playing.

Brendan Witt gave all he had for this team and did it at a point in his career he should not be used in a top two pairing. He played very well with Radek Martinek and Witt's physical play was a nice counter-balance to Martinek's ability to move the puck and stay in position.

Of course, Witt got beat a few times in the speed department and a few bounced in off of him. That's going to happen. Other clubs targeted him to get him off the ice in fights and again he showed good composure and a player who in effect re-invented his game after the lockout.

Looking ahead:
Brendan Witt is a player who is only going to get older and Islander fans this season saw the player who has had a lot of past injuries and missed games. He is not getting younger but this is who teams will be asking the general manager for in trade and he has one year left on his contract.

It's a tough call but with at least five other defenders under contract it could be something considered but Isles also could look to extend him because he brings elements to this club that are lacking that would only get worse without him.

Final Grade:
Brendan Witt was not paid to score or create offense, he was paid to block shots, protect the goaltender, provide a physical edge and be a leader. I felt he did an outstanding job and receives an A in every area.

The return to move him in any trade has to be outstanding or no deal. Would be thrilled to see him stay and resign because he makes your team and organization better in so many ways.

Dumb and Dumber: Rieber vs Baumbach

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/09/2008 12:51:00 PM | Comment Here
Newsday: Anthony Rieber and Jim Baumbach take over the Islanders blog today and debate the merits of the Islanders firing or giving Ted Nolan a contract extension.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is kind of pathetic. Are both of them sitting in Newark looking for some way to annoy Islander fans? Where were they on Monday when the team was there waiting to be interviewed but instead got an article so bad that even the A.P did a better job with more quality information.

Where's Greg Logan? Bad enough he does not do any blogs for the end of the season, now we get Mr Rieber who had not written anything or covered a single game this season and Mr Baumbach who's claim to fame is making Al Arbour's win a debate where even Mr Botta had some choice words earlier this season?

This is just pathetic stuff from both of them and nothing but their own speculation or some silly need to stir something up.

Our fans deserve better, so does Mr Wang, Garth Snow and Ted Nolan. You both want to stir something up at least go cover the team on a regular basis before you throw out this junk.

This is just dumb and completely worthless.

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.