NHL Notables, Bergenheim, Wilson fired, Yashin

Updated 8:30pm:
Sean Bergenheim did not play in Finland's 6-3 loss vs Canada Monday.

Globe & Mail: Eric Duhatscheck reports neither Chris Osgood or Mike Riberio will be suspended by Colin Campbell after Osgood provoked Riberio into a baseball-style love tap at the end of game two which received a match penalty.

Mr Duhatschek also asks isn't everyone getting tired of talking about the 1975 Islanders or Leafs if Dallas cannot win game three?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm not going to tell anyone this was a Chris Simon like hit to some one's head but my point is Riberio did go after a players chest with his stick and if the so-called precedent is to suspend for such action once again Colin Campbell only applies his personal standard of what the rules are. It sure does seem like there are different rules for different players at different times. Osgood looked like he butt-ended Riberio in the head.

The show goes on. The Stars will have their leading scorer in the lineup and the Red Wings will have their starting goalie - which is the way Colin Campbell and both teams want it.

If his name was Chris Simon he would have been made an example of again with another thirty games. If his name were Chris Pronger he would have gotten a slap on the wrist or a game and only because the media would have brought up his number of suspensions which would have influenced Campbell.

This is why it's impossible to respect Mr Campbell who seems over his head in his job. There were teams that had their seasons decided on penalties in deciding games in overtime (Washington) with the rule to call everything at all times but when the person in charge of player discipline is under that pressure with plenty of time to get it right from his office (unlike officials who have to make split-second decisions) he constantly makes up his own rules as he goes.

As for Mr Duhatschek and the 42 Leafs/75 Islanders sidebar getting tired perhaps he should give the Ranger media fans a call for the spam show selling us the thirty three year angle (42 Leafs/75 Isles) that this was the Rangers time as JP Parise and Clark Gillies were contacted at a point the series was 3-0.

Speaking of spam shows Cablevision announced it has acquired Newsday Monday here with details of the announcement. Mr Wang had a few words of praise for Charles Dolan a few days ago here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A newspaper featuring the Cablevision agenda?

If it's run like Msg network people will be laughing at the content if Garden events receive space on the backpage over the major sports stories. Considering the Garden's sport properties lost a combined 19m in the first quarter of 2008 don't they have enough problems with what they already do own?

Not like the Isles coverage can get much worse at Newsday then what they are getting already. It will be fun reading the horror stories as long-time employees get the Marv Albert treatment for their content and shown the door. This is a media company that has restricted or turned off Islander coverage completely over a decade doing a ton of damage to local hockey ratings by restricting content.

Going to get interesting when we start seeing tons of advertising for Cablevision owned teams all over Newsday. Will the Isles even be allowed to advertise in the local paper anymore?

Ottawa Sun: Bruce Garrioch has Alexei Yashin's agents comment that he's not going to be available to sign by July 1 because he'll already be committed to going back to Russia but would like to return to the NHL if the right offer happens now.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A Bruce Garrioch article with actual quotes from someone involved to confirm his update for once may be the bigger story? Yashin through his agent is talking himself out of the NHL forever with statements like this from his agent. Cannot have your agent tell teams sign me now or I'm not waiting.

Tsn.ca: Reports the Nashville Predators resigned RFA Martin Erat to a contract worth $31.5 million contract over seven years.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Somewhere Trent Hunter and his agent must be wondering what's going on here because even though Erat's production has improved a seven year deal for that kind of salary seems very high or Nashville is sending it's message they are not going to lose any more players like last year.

Updated 8:30pm:
Tsn.ca/several sources: Report San Jose Sharks General manager Doug Wilson (brother of Ron) today fired long-time head coach Ron Wilson.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Shows how out of touch I am with the Western Conference when I do not know the general manager is the head coaches brother or how hard it is to follow the other conference with such limited coverage? Second round of playoffs obviously not enough for Bob Wilson. I sure loved the peace and quiet of Jeremy Roenick in San Jose last season and he did a great job for them.

Time to update the fired coaches list:
Quenneville, Hartley, Hanlon, Maurice, Wilson, Paddock.

Am I missing anyone on the list? Nonis was Vancouver's general manager. Waddell is still in limbo with reports he may be back or was asked to step down.

For that matter why does Mike Keenan still have a job after what he did to his franchise goaltender in the deciding game?

Isles made right call not to overpay Smyth

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/12/2008 07:14:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Rocky Mountain News: Rick Sadowski wraps up Colorado's season with former Islander Ryan Smyth's comments on a fourteen goal season in fifty five games with two goals and three assists in eight playoff games for the first season of his five-year, $31.25 million contract last summer as a free agent.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Going back to last summer I was glad the Isles did not do whatever it took financially to sign him, he's not a seven million dollar player and to give him a Yashin-like contract would have only hurt the franchise. Ryan Smyth at his best is a good player, a lot like Peca with good offensive skills but this is not a franchise offensive star with great offensive speed or skilks. He brings good intangibles and character but if you are looking for an offensive talent to carry your offense Smyth is not that player with a great shot or great speed/passing skills.

Kevin Lowe got a lot of abuse for not resigning him but he's still a smart enough gm to know when a players best is behind him. He saw it before everyone with Janne Niinimaa and a few others, that surface in Edmonton also helps players games so when they change teams it's a factor.

You can bet on this roster as the first line left wing even if Comrie and Guerin were signed to play next to him those numbers would likely have been even lower.

Maybe next season he returns and does a great job and proves me wrong, but if he cannot stay healthy and produce big numbers with a Sakic and the great offensive talent on the roster (not to include Forsberg as a rental) why would anything think things will get better unless the support talent can find the time and space to get him the puck.

Sure we can debate whether he would have signed here for significantly more money than another club offered and by his agents comments the Isles were in it until the end but what's done is done.

Hard to see the 2007-08 Islanders doing any better on the ice with Ryan Smyth given his performance in Colorado.

Bergenheim not in lineup for Finland at WC

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/11/2008 05:30:00 PM | | 3 Comments
Sean Bergenheim after barely playing in Finland's last game was not in the lineup for Sunday's 3-2 comeback win against the United States. Major brawl erupted at the end of this game.

Adam Barush had a game miscounduct for butt-ending late in this game. Olli Jokinen was given a match penalty in the first period for Finland. Dustin Brown got a ten minute penalty at the end of the game for a check to the neck/head. Matt Greene got twenty four miuntues for leaving the penalty area. David Backes and Anssi Salmela each received twenty five minutes in penalties.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sure glad Colin Campbell is not handing out discipline.

IIHF: Reported Finland added a forward to it's roster Sunday.

Finland plays Monday against Canada, big win coming back down 2-0 after the second period against the US.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
From what I understand Bergenheim is a healthy scratch but that could be incorrect.. I'll check again on Monday to see if he is in the lineup against Canada. Fair to say a few more players may need to be added for Finland after Sunday's events so if he is healthy he will be in the lineup.

IIHF.com: John Sanful's game summary report does not discuss Bergenheim but Jokinen, Salmela, match penalties draw an automatic one game suspension. Both will miss Monday's game.

Islander News Articles 5/11

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/11/2008 07:21:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Edmonton Sun: Jason Hills has Robin Figren's first comments since signing with the Islanders and why he is going to play in Europe next season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The Islanders issued a release on the signing, Newsday did virtually nothing beyond putting that release in the Isles blog and had it in the briefs part of the print edition (without the general managers comments) meanwhile the Edmonton Sun which covered him with the Oil Kings is the only publication so far that has printed his comments for the fans?

Shoddy work top to bottom. I expect it from Newsday but the Isles should have had some comments from Figren for the fans.

WCF Courier: Jim Nelson has Islander prospect Blake Kessel's comments after Omaha defeated Waterloo to earn the Clark Cup on Saturday.

Ft Wayne Journal Gazette: Justin A. Kohn has Islander prospect Luciano Aquino's comments after the Komets forced a deciding game after Saturday's 4-3 win. The Komets will play host to Game 7 of the Turner Cup Finals on Monday at Memorial Coliseum.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Aquino is a restricted free agent this summer for those wondering, he has not been included in any of the prospect reports from the club after being dropped from Bridegeport. Back in October an update was done on this in the Journal Gazette here.

Newsday/several writers: Report Rupert Murdoch has dropped his bid for Newsday and Cablevision could complete a purchase as early as Monday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Hopefully if this happens Charles Dolan will run things but either way it will be used to showcase Cablevision properties and that is not New York Islander Hockey aside from limiting them on television.

Get ready for Newsday plus coverage for our team but it cannot get much worse at Newsday regardless because the current coverage and space provided is terrible. All three potential buyers were poor options who have not given the club adaquate coverage.

NY Times: Richard Perez-Pena had an article on the possible Newsday purchase as well.

Mr Botta, Newsday's Islander beat?

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/10/2008 08:55:00 PM | Comment Here
What else do you want me to write folks on the departure of Mr Botta, a very good man who did an excellent job will be missed.

Greg Logan got it right on the impact losing this man will have in the media industry for this franchise.

I could post articles on Pat Calabria or even former pr director for eight seasons Greg Bouris or Jill Knee who was with the club for fifteen years if you would like some past history on this subject. We all know Mr Botta was one of the writers of the Islanders 25th anniversary book entitled " Pride and Passion " among several publications he has been credited with over the years.

If Pat Calabria can go from Newsday to the Islanders VP of communication spot I cannot think of anyone better to become the club's new full time beatwriter for this team at Newsday then Mr Botta. I'm sure Mr Logan would like to cover a team he has some passion for and obviously that's not the New York Islanders.

Regarding Mr Botta's departure I could speculate for pages but that would not be fair on my part or to my readers because I do not know a thing nor is it any of my business. This is a hockey blog, not a gossip blog.

It's one thing for me to praise/criticize an organization in terms of player decisions, how they work out and conduct themselves on the ice during games. The standings/stats tell a good part of that story for itself. Same thing with the comments and articles. The quotes and writer speculation are first hand comments so it's fair to talk about it here.

How things work inside an office is something completely different.

It's like someone writing about how a player conducts themselves in a lockeroom who is not part of the club. I am not there so I do not know.

Michael Peca said long ago when he was captain unless you are in the room everyday or a player tells you something you just do not know anything about what goes on internally.

Mr Botta was honored earlier this year by the club, he wrote about it and the Islanders did not issue a release then and no one would have known if he did not blog about it at that time nor did Mr Logan do an article/blog on it. I have no idea if this is how Mr Botta wanted things now or if the Isles decided to handle in this way and frankly it's not my business.

All I know is a good man who seemed to love this franchise and did a great job is no longer in the organization and this fan will miss him. I never met him but his passion for his job always came across in the quality of his work.

Wherever he goes that organization will be richer for it. The NHL would also be an excellent destination for Mr Botta as Frank Brown was hired from the Daily News by the league office.

Jason Blake Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/10/2008 09:35:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Toronto Star: Kevin McGran reports today that Jason Blake will not be bought out by the Leafs but would not put up a fuss if he were traded if that was the decision made by the organization with his comments and that of interim general manager Cliff Fletcher as well as updates of his health being good.

Tsn.ca: Also picked up on Toronto Star report regarding the Masterson finalist here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The great news is Jason Blake is doing well health wise.

The sad part is someone writes a headline titled Blake would welcome trade out of Toronto but if you read the article there is no comment from Blake where he said he would welcome a trade. Seems like the star headline writer had to stir the pot.

As for interim gm Cliff Fletcher saying he will not be bought out that may not be the next gm's take if/when a full time gm is hired and it could be posturing by the Leafs who may just buy him out if they cannot create a trade market for him before late June.

I do not see a trade for Jason Blake anywhere given his huge contract and poor season combined with his future health. Also after one season you would think they would not buy him out and see what he does in year two but stranger things have happened.

Should the Isles be interested?

Not with that cap hit for his contract for that many years. A year ago they were not interested before his health problems coming off a forty goal season. There is no trade that makes sense for the Isles in that regard unless Toronto wants to start including top draft picks and their own top prospects with Blake and takes Bates/Hilbert contracts off Garth Snow's hands.

Even that is not enough to give back in contracts for this to make sense for the Isles and Toronto is not giving up their first round pick when they can do a buyout.

If Blake were bought out by Toronto then it could make some sense for the Isles in the short term to sign him. Both sides obviously missed the other last season as Blake can carry the puck which was/is lacking among the current Islander forward group where on other teams they have several players who can do that. What is disturbing is Blake's shot total did not decline and still he did not produce.

NYI Fan Central Notables/WC update

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/09/2008 04:50:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Sorry folks, looks like the blogger monster shut things down for a day or so with some problems.

From what I understand one of the new blogger feeder widgets was the problem for a lot of folks but being that I had a feeder for all those websites anyway I deleted it.

Along those lines the page may load slowly but for now it appears to be back which is what matters.

The comments in Joel Rechlicz topic got caught up in what happened and were lost as I attempted to approve them on Thursday so the wrecker apparently lived up to his nickname.

I deleted/reposted the thread but the comments I could not recover. If the same folks want to again repost what they had to say of course I will approve it.

I did push back some blogs I had scheduled for the next few days so they would be released at a point everyone can read them when hopefully things are back to a hundred percent.

Just wanted to update everyone on why you have not been able to access the page and of course thank everyone.

As for the important hockey-related items:

IIHF.com: John Sanful reports Finland needed a sixty one shot effort to win again at the WC Friday in their 2-1 win against Latvia.

Note-Sean Bergenheim had no stats, only played three minutes and did not see the ice in the third period after seeing a little more than a minute in the first two periods. He was not the only forward benched but he has not been seeing many minutes at the WC so far.

Finland's next game is Sunday against team USA.

It goes without saying Mr Botta's blog will continue here as long as he decides to write updates which seems to be 7/7 according to his update. I hope folks contact his blog and ask he keep it going permanently because obviously he loves hockey and what he has to say is always worth reading.

The Edmonton Sun had some comments from the Oil Kings on Robin Figren.

Katie Strang in Newsday's blog is promising a feature.

Mr Fornabaio in the Ct Post has been updating his blog on the AHL playoffs and some other things.

I did update the draft center with the latest update today from the Islanders website.

Of course by now everyone knows Toronto fired Paul Maurice.

Espn.com: Scott Burnside reports the Thrashers are about to ask gm Don Wadell to step down.

Denver Post: Adrian Dater reports Joel Quenneville will not be returning as coach of the Colorado Avalanche with comments from the former coach and and general manager Francois Giguere.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Can anyone imagine if Charles Wang or Garth Snow decided to do this. Quenneville was not hired by this general manager, he was hired by former gm Pierre Lacroix.

For those scoring at home: Dave Nonis, Bob Hartley, Joel Quenneville, Glen Hanlon and Paul Maurice are among the name coaches currently looking for work.

Islanders sign Joel Rechlicz

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/08/2008 02:00:00 PM | Comment Here
Islanders website: Announced the signing of right wing Joel Rechlicz to a three year entry level contract with Garth Snow's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Given the general managers comments it could be an NHL or an AHL signing depending on how he plays but three years for a non-scoring winger seems excessive. My guess is it effects Kip Brennan or Tim Jackman's status more than anyone. I would have liked to have seen Ted Nolan's comments on this.

What the Islanders need

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/08/2008 10:09:00 AM | Comment Here
You look at this organization and you see the prospects being able to help here and there as they develop, you see a lot of players you hope can become top six forards or top two defenders but what they do not have are franchise talents (perhaps outside Okposo/DiPietro) which makes it very tough on Garth Snow and Ted Nolan because what the Isles need in that regard is very hard to acquire in free agency.

And what do the Isles need?
They need a top level powerplay quarterback, one who can contribute a good ten plus goals, play solid defense and settle down a team. Something close to a combination of what Kenny Jonnsson gave them on defense and what Roman Hamrlik or Adrian Aucoin did for them at their best.

Aucoin was capable of ripping off ten goals in a month and Hamrlik a decade ago came here and was great offensively early on a terrible team.

We can hope Campoli, Gervais or another defender grows into that kind of spot but to expect that much from lower round picks is not likely. A Wade Redden fits that role and a few others from free agency but even by themselves that is asking a great deal on this roster. Even a Wade Redden did not have a dominating season for Ottawa and to do what's being asked will require a lot of front line talent to get him the time and space to do what he does best. A player many mention like Bryan McCabe is not a first line talent, in fact the offensive names around him to me seemed to make his game better when he was not gift-wrapping goals on defense.

Lets also call it for what it is, Isles not only need a true first line defender but they need a first line offensive talent with the speed and skill to open the ice for other players.

This player will be asked to get the puck to a Mike Comrie with time and space with his speed and have the offensive instincts to carry the puck the way Jason Blake did here and force the opposing defense to pay attention.

Right now the only open spot give the roster having four signed left wingers and at least two signed right wings and centers comes at center or right wing depending on Okposo playing here.

I can write the name Hossa but anyone who watched him in Atlanta, Pittsburgh or even Ottawa knows he's more a support player and as the primary player coming here alone to do this will likely not work. I can also throw a Martin Havlat into the high risk/reward category and hope he has a Kovalev kind of year here but that's also an extreme long-shot that falls into the Samsanov category in Carolina.

This does not even touch on the Isles mantra of character players because we all know some of these players do not show up for all eighty two games.

Bottom line, no easy answers on defense or up front. What the Isles seem to need will be very tough to develop or acquire.

Question on bloggers vs media

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/08/2008 07:54:00 AM | Comment Here
Good question today on bloggers vs actual media sources asking why I'm critical of hockey media but not bloggers?

Fair enough but let's start out by noting I also praise the media when they I think they do a good job. Unfortunately the level of praise vs criticism has a big disparity because to me the work is just not very good on several levels in my estimation.

Truth be told I also spend so much time on the questionable articles there is not much time left to praise the quality work, hopefully that can even out a little more but I'm skeptical that will be the case.

To answer your question I do not use this blog to link or comment on what individual fans write in their blogs unless they are accredited professional writers. I will mention if someone appears on one of the internet radio shows covering the Isles in passing or for a special circumstance but that's about it.

It's very tough to tell the difference at times and often I check sources to see if the person is a writer for a publication when in doubt before I add something written. Kevin Greenstein who's work appears in the NY Sun would be a good example of this.

Many times I tell my readers here do not use this blog as a professional media source or take my comments as if I am member of the media because that is simply not true. I'm one person with a blog writing what I think, nothing more.

Please take my comments for what they are but never consider my blog postings insider information or some kind of media resouce/professional writer or pass it along as such.

I hope that answers your question.

Islander News Articles 5/8

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/08/2008 07:19:00 AM | | | | | | Comment Here

NewBurnswick Urban Voice : Chris Fox has a full feature on Rob Hennigar with his comments and coach Gardiner MacDougall about what's ahead for the player the Islanders beat out a reported eight other teams for to acquire the services of UNB's all-time scoring leader and what he will be doing to try and make the Islander roster this fall.

Times & Transcript: Reports the City of Summerside announced yesterday it will host a National Hockey League pre-season game between the New York Islanders and Florida Panthers on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. at Credit Union Place.

The Islanders played their inter-squad Blue and White game to a sold out crowd at Credit Union Place last September. This will be the first time a NHL exhibition game has been played on Prince Edward Island.

Figren signed, Mr Botta, Bergenheim, Sillinger

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/07/2008 02:01:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Garth Snow announced the signing of prospect Robin Figren Wednesday on ITV to a three year contract.

Sound Tigers.com: Has Garth Snow's comments on the signing that he will spend the 2008-09 season with Djurgardens of the Swedish Elite League before returning to North American to complete the last two years of the contract. Assistant General Manager and Director of Amateur Scouting Ryan Jankowski also comment.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Only Kim Johansson and Stefan Ridderwall left to be signed by June 1st.

That's a huge signing for this club and a skill player to go with Joensuu & Marcinko who are now in the mix with Hennigar and Hillen. It's disappointing he's going back to the Elite league for a year as opposed to the AHL.

Islanders website: Has a release with Mike Sillinger appearing on TV55 tonight around 11:20pm for an interview with C.J Papa.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Bergenheim's WC game with Finland Wednesday will be updated in this thread later today or early tomorrow. Check WC links on sidebar here for reports on the game.

Finland moves to 3-0 at the WC with a 3-2 against Slovakia Wednesday. Sean Bergenheim played a little over six minutes with a minus one rating and no shots on goal.

Newsday: Greg Logan blogged again and wrote about Mr Botta's value to the Islanders, what a great job he did and how much he will be missed by the paper and the organization after he again basically put the blame all on Chris Dey but had no details other than his own opinion/speculation.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Yesterday Mr Logan makes his point to remind everyone Chris Dey is Mr Wang's son in law, today he's telling us his relationship to Mr Wang is irrelevant? When he makes up his mind could he keep it to himself now that he has done all he can to stir up everyone against Mr Dey to where he will never be given a fair chance. He just did a wonderful job turning Chris Dey into David Seldin.

I was preparing a blog on all this which I was going to release in a few days but where was Greg Logan when this team honored Mr Botta back in December, how come during the all-star break he did not blog while Mr Botta was in Atlanta doing interviews for our fans, including one with him as his blog sat empty while a New York Islander started the all-star game?

On one hand Mr Logan writes it's a classic case of philosophical differences and on the other tells us he cannot tell us what they were because he's not privy to details of the Monday morning meeting between Mr Dey/Mr Botta so why don't he give it a rest, stop stirring things up with gossip and respect Mr Botta's decision?

Mr Logan even tells his readers Mr Botta was charmed by Mike Milbury at a time he was not the beatwriter here. All I know in that regard is he stood up for Mike Milbury when Alan Hahn was unfair in his coverage and not only ripped Mr Hahn but Newsday's coverage of our team that season and he was correct in my estimation.

There have been a lot of fair reasons to question Newsday and Mr Logan for a lot of things this season in their coverage and content.

It's also nice of Mr Logan to remind us the newspaper market has changed in the past decade and that NHL coverage has suffered terribly but when he's outblogged in the only paper that covers this club five to one and half the time he cannot stop talking about the bad times how is that helping? He makes no effort to hype up Martinek or anyone who does a good job here or the club when it plays well, more often than not he's talking about the club's viability because he cannot be bothered hyping them like other newspapers do for their teams.

Don't kid yourselves folks, Steve Zipay, Arthur Staple and Mark Herrmann at times were doing cartwheels to hype the Rangers and protect them the last week. The Isles played Buffalo as evenly as the Rangers played Pittsburgh a year ago, lost in five and Mr Logan did no such cartwheels to hype our team at that time as they were in five close games also that were one goal contest or decided by reviews aside from game one.

Mr Logan goes on vacation and Katie Strang does more blogs in the off season than he does during the season?

No folks, I'm tired of reading the defense he writes longer blogs. He cannot even be honest enough with his readers in his profile to tell Islander fans he's a long-time Ranger beatwriter. Time to drop the pretense.

As for Mr Logan's assertion the blog box has definitely generated increased attention for the Islanders how could he know this? Is he checking our blogs to see the hit counts or how many responses we all receive or my e-mail box? Or is he talking about Jim Baumbach coming at the trade deadline one time to watch bloggers reactions as opposed to having a second writer give this team more coverage that it desperately needs.

Mr Logan does not even build up the Isles page at Newsday to include media blogs or major hockey websites as Mr Zipay did for his readers. Even Alan Hahn did an occasional mailbag in the paper and went on television for pregames and talked Islanders.

Meanwhile what good is having a beatwriter with so much comp time he's gone for close to two months of a six month hockey season and the most passionate things he wrote was to rip Chris Simon and complain about his trip from Colorado to Edmonton until he started in on DiPietro/Nolan's contract and all these so-called rifts?

I can appreciate Mr Logan's loyalty to Mr Botta, I feel likewise and no doubt many fans will feel the impact of his leaving because he was that good in his work and his dedication to the Islanders. But most of Mr Logan's content just comes off as a man who wants to stir things up first and foremost and that's not right or fair.

I'll release my blog with more of this in a few days. I wanted to let things settle down out of respect to Mr Botta who would be the last one to want any of this.

Chris Botta will be missed, he does not need to leave with the beatwriter turning it into a circus but obviously it already has and that's also unfortunate.

THN.com: Adam Proteau also had a few words of well-deserved praise for Mr Botta.

THN.com: Ryan Kennedy has Kyle Okposo as his number one hit list graduates in a quick sentence.

NYI Fan Central Final Review of Richard Park

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/07/2008 08:51:00 AM | | Comment Here
Today NYI Fan Central does it's final review of the 2008 Nystrom award winner, Richard Park.

Entering 2007-08 Richard Park had already won over management with his hard work and effort which earned him a two year contract after trying out with the club the previous season.

Going into camp it seemed he would be on the fourth line but would be spotted on other lines based on how he played, between his excellent work shorthanded and hustle/hard work in all three zones the Islanders felt they had a player who will help them moving forward and signed him to a two-year contract extension as he did carry his weight for a while on offense, scoring some big goals against Dallas and Washington.

Richard Park was everything that was right and wrong about the 2007-08 Islander forwards in that he gave all he had and more, but lived up to his career reputation of not being able to produce enough to justify top six minutes. When the injuries piled up later on he was moved to center and finished up the season with Kyle Okposo and the other young prospects.

Despite all his hard work and effort he went close to thirty games in the second half without a goal. He did everything asked of him and even played the point on the powerplay but to expect offense from Richard Park or that he could make the same leap Jason Blake did as an Islander is asking for too much on a club loaded with forwards who are all asked to produce more offensively than their career resumes indicated.

In the end it seemed to come down to who was working the hardest, so Richard Park was the player given the minutes. Hard work and finishing skills are two different things. He generated chances, helped set up goals, but this is not a player who's going to score twenty goals or produce many goals when you have to have one.

Still, he was this club's hardest working forward on a nightly basis and set a good example for the other players with his work ethic.

Moving forward:
Richard Park is signed for the next two season and will continue to set an example of the kind of player the organization wants in terms of hard work. I do not see him getting the same minutes or a top six role because he cannot produce enough points to justify it on a club that needs reliable scoring. His shorthanded play stands out and is a big asset.

Final Grade:
Impossible to fault Richard Park for not being a goal-scorer or his career offensive resume. In this case you have to look at the example he set for others with his approach and work on a game by game basis which is why he gets a well-deserved grade of A for his season.

Islanders Find Killer Instinct

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/06/2008 10:40:00 PM | Comment Here
New York Post
May 6, 1981

Islanders Find Killer Instinct
By Mark Everson

There are no skeletons left in the Islanders' closet. In the process
of cleaning up on the rangers, the Islanders also found something
that every team searches for . . . the killer instinct.

"These were among the four best games we've ever put together," John
Tonelli said of the supersweep of the rangers that was topped by
Tuesday's 5-2 victory at the Garden. "Look back at last year. We were
up three games on Buffalo and couldn't kill them. They won two games.
The same thing with Boston, we couldn't finish them off either.
That's what we were mainly thinking about. We had to establish that
finishing touch." That touch was more like a knockout punch. Tonelli
put the Islanders ahead only 1:02 into the game, Mike Bossy followed
with two power-lay goals, Butch Goring made it 4-0 on a shorthanded
score and it was time to bring on Minnesota.

"This is the best series we've played since I've been with the team,"
Bossy said. "But if we falter now, we'll hate ourselves all summer.
We'll feel as if we let ourselves down. There's a lot of work ahead
of us yet."

"They deserve all the credit they're getting now," GM Bill Torrey
said. "Collectively as a team, they've worked their butts off since
March, or the trading deadline. Some of them have felt slighted that
they haven't gotten the recognition they felt they deserved, but
that's been a motivation as well.

The Isles were given the day off yesterday by coach Al Arbour, but are
itching to get back on the ice and finish what they've started. "I
love having the day off, but I just want to get on with it now," Bob
Bourne said. "We're so close now, let's start playing."

During the season the North Stars weren't too troublesome for the
Islanders. The Isles were 2-0-2 against them, winning 2-1 in
Bloomington Nov. 17 (one of the most exciting games of the season),
and 4-1 Feb. 23. Both games, though, at the Coliseum were
disheartening ties -- 6-6, Nov. 11, when the Isles blew a 5-1 lead,
and 5-5 Feb. 7, when they lost a 5-0 lead.

"This is going to be a lot different than the final last year against
Philly," Bourne said. "I know Minnesota's a really good skating team,
probably the best skating team in the league."

The Islanders expect this final to be a little different than last
year's in other ways, too. "I think this one is going to be more
enjoyable if we win," Bourne said. "Last year, every game was like
the fear of the unknown. We were so bloody relieved when it was over.
It was like a tension release. I'm enjoying it a hell of a lot more
this year."

Perhaps that's because the Isles are not only establishing themselves
as the champs, but as the giants of the league.

Isles' Symphony Of Supremacy

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/06/2008 10:30:00 PM | Comment Here
New York Post
May 6, 1981

Isles' Symphony Of Supremacy
By Larry Brooks

They were Eight Days of Excellence. A symphony of hockey supremacy. A
study in methodical destruction. And when it was over, when the
carnage had finally be stopped by the fourth, final buzzer, the
Islanders could hardly believe it themselves.

The Battle for New York ended in the minimum 240 minutes, the rout so
total that barely a moment of drama or competitiveness can now be
recalled as the Islanders destroyed the rangers, their imagined sense
of superiority, and their imagined psychological upper hand over the
Stanley Cup champions. Never again will the Islanders be forced to
bow their heads at the mention of Madison Square Garden.

But still, despite some restrained admission that this series did
carry with it some extra satisfaction because of the six-game
semifinal defeat to the rangers two seasons ago, and the reputation
to which that upset loss gave birth, the Islanders were far more
impressed with the measure of their achievement -- four straight, one-
sided victories -- than with the face of the opponent they had so
badly humbled.

"We were great. We were great. We were great at everything," Bryan
Trottier, wonder in his voice, a helpless grin spreading across his
face, said well after the 5-2 final had been etched in the book. "It
was almost as if we couldn't help ourselves. It was incredible."

Trottier's voice grew more excited as he spoke. "I mean, you'd think
one of our players would have one bad game," he continued. "but no.
Smitty . . . our defense . . .the forwards. Damn! And that's what
makes it so great, that everybody was so great."

The Islanders won this series by an aggregate 22-8 margin. They
grabbed command in the second period of the first game, faltered a
bit in the first period of the next night, and never faced
competition after that. The rangers led for 31:15, were even for
41:59, and trailed for two hours, 46 minutes and 46 seconds. Or, as
Bob Bourne, one of nine Islanders who lived through that failure two
seasons ago, said: "It wasn't only a sweep; it wasn't even really a
contest. It was the best series this team has ever played."

It was the series of a lifetime. A relentless physical attack that
left most of the rangers battered and beaten specimens. Denis Potvin
had the best Stanley Cup series of his career, playing stricter
defense -- clearing the crease, taking care of business at home --
than he had ever before. And his team was relentless, never pausing
for a moment in their pursuit of the puck . . . or the ranger body in
the way of the puck.

There was Mike Bossy throwing a thunderous check on Barry Beck in the
second game, and then, last night, inserting himself into a third
period fray between Trottier and Dean Talafous. Bossy scored twice
last night, giving him give goals in the four-game series, 13 in 13
games in the playoffs, 23 in his last 29 Cup games, 81 goals for the
season overall, a record. This is the guy who couldn't score in the
big games.

"Now that it's over, it's especially nice to have scored so many goals
against the rangers," said Bossy, who scored once in the semis two
seasons ago. "Then (in 1979), I was young, I took everything the
wrong way. I'm two years older now. I did score and we did win. But
it wasn't beating the rangers that makes this so special. It's
beating a team that was playing well not only in four straight, but
four straight convincing games. I don't think we could play better

For the rangers, there was absolute disappointment. And a failure to
match the Islanders' grand success. Yes, they were beaten by the best
team in hockey, but their failure to win a game, their failure to play
competitively in their own building was a stunning shock to every
member of the team. Their two-goal, second-period rally after falling
behind 4-0 in the same period, provided their fans with crumbs. Beck
was on ice for nine Islander even-strength goals, and none for his
own team. Ulf Nilsson, who came into the series with eight goals and
seven assists, left with eight goals and eight assists. Ron Duguay,
who came into the series with eight goals and seven assists, left
with eight goals and nine assists. If not one Islander played badly,
not one ranger played well. They tried. That is the most that can be
said of them. The Islanders would not allow them any more than that.

The victory may well be the Islanders' most famous, even greater than
the Cup victory it accomplished last season. It gives them the
championship of New York. But in the wake of this triumph, they even
wondered just what that was worth. "If we own New York, that doesn't
mean that much to me," said Bourne, who did, nevertheless admit
feeling a special kinship with the Islanders who had lost two years
ago. "What means something to us, is excellence, and the fact we
achieved it."

Potvin Sums It Up: Wonderful Series

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/06/2008 06:37:00 PM | | Comment Here
NY Daily News
May 6, 1981

Potvin Sums It Up: Wonderful Series
By Frank Brown

When it ended in 1979, when the rangers had recorded the 2-1 triumph
that ended the Battle of New York in six games, Denis Potvin was on
his knees at the sideboards in front of the Islanders' bench. There
was a dazed look on his face as that final buzzer droned in his ears,
and the defenseman simply stared ahead for a long, long moment. There
was nothing more to do except leave and try to wash the sorrow away.

Tuesday night, as the final moment approached, Potvin had a different
story to tell and so did his teammates. He skated onto the ice for
his final shift of the semifinals with 1:56 left in a game the
Islanders would win, 5-2. With 55 seconds left, during a stoppage of
play, he tapped Clark Gillies on the butt with his stick, then he
tapped goalie Bill Smith, and defenseman Ken Morrow, and center Wayne
Merrick and right wing Bob Nystrom. Then he leaned over and whispered
in Nystrom's ear.

He said "Wonderful series, Bobby," and he meant that not only for the
veteran right wing but for the rest of the team as well. With 40
seconds to
go, he tapped Duane Sutter -- who was playing junior hockey in 1979
but was
the scorer of the coffin-closing fifth goal Tuesday night -- and then
Denis Potvin left the ice. He went to the bench and got a "high five"
from left wing Bob Bourne.

They stood on the bench as the final seconds ticked off, and Bourne
said to Potvin, "Denis, do you remember where you were two years ago?
You were just on the other side of the boards here. The same place,
but on the other side." And Potvin remembered. "I couldn't help but
remember two years ago."

He doesn't have to remember any more. None of the Islanders has to
remember. The demon of Madison Square Garden has ben exorcized, as
has the spirit of the rangers' triumph. This Battle of New York was
no more than a skirmish. The Islanders made sure of that with an
authorative sweep. Mike Bossy, who had just one goal and 10 shots on
net in 1979, had five goals on 11 shots in this semifinal. He set a
league-record for most goals in a season, 81, by scoring twice on
power plays in the three-goal first period just three days short of
two years after disaster had struck.

Mike Bossy remembers being on the ice - somewhere - when that final
buzzer sounded two years ago. "It was 2-1, and we had pulled our
goalie," he recalled. "And when it ended, I guess I just felt
disappointed. I was young then. I took everything the wrong way."

He did not like the criticism he received for "letting the team
down." He did not like being singled out as a cause of failure. The
feeling was so different Tuesday night as the final seconds ticked
off. "We were just mentioning on the bench how much better the
feeling was tonight than two years ago, and the fact that we beat the
rangers in their building made it even better."

It was better because the Islanders' team is better.

"It didn't matter whether I scored five goals in this series or two
goals in this series," Bossy said. "I don't think my goals are as
important to this team as they used to be." They aren't because, as
center Wayne Merrick pointed out, "You can't win with eight guys
going. You've got to win with 25, and we didn't have that in 1979. We
had a great team, but we were missing that depth. We were stronger
than the rangers then, but we didn't have all our guys going."

"Not to put the rangers down, but GOD we played well," Trottier said.
"They're a good team, and we were scared of them going into this
series because of the type of hockey we had heard they were playing
and the goaltending they were getting. So we just said, 'Well, we'll
take it one shift at a time, one period at a time and one game at a

And it worked this time because the Islanders are a powerhouse now.
And because they have learned summer of anguish two years ago as
well as the spring of anguish last year.

Thank You Mr Botta

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/06/2008 05:08:00 AM | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan reports in Newsday, Islanders VP of media relations has resigned for personal reasons with his comments that the parting was amicable and respectful.

Newsday: Neil Best also had a few words on his resignation, how hard he worked for the franchise and how tough it is being in media relations.

Newsday: Steve Zipay also received an e-mail from Jiggs McDonald praising Mr Botta for his great years of service to the Islanders.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I have never met Mr Botta but have followed his work for this franchise back to the eighties and how he gave everything he had and more. It's a very sad day for me and a huge loss to the NHL, the local hockey media and of course the New York Islander family. Back in the late 90's we spoke by telephone for about a half hour about some things. He never attempted to sell me a ticket, was a gracious man, a class act and I came away with a lot of respect for him.

Mr Botta was one of the biggest reasons I offered my blog to the team for the blog box. I knew how hard he worked for the fans and fought for media coverage, I wanted to do something that perhaps could help?

As a member of the Islanders new blog box which Mr Botta created he was always fantastic with his praise for my efforts here, it's been a first class experience and I cannot thank him enough for his generosity.

I remember several years ago he brought a disabled woman to a game and has always gone above and beyond even in the worst of times as the latest owners would say one thing, do another and he would be stuck with the fallout as they went AWOL. He always would tell us what's happening and keep reaching out to the fans. My guess is few in the NHL in his position had to do what he did to get the teams message out.

Mr Botta's did a great job for the New York Islanders, this fan will miss him a lot and wishes him nothing but the best.

Bergenheim at the WC, Finland moves to 2-0

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/05/2008 08:13:00 PM | | | Comment Here
IIHF.com: John Sanful has the recap of Finland's 3-2 overtime win on Monday against Norway.

Sean Bergenheim played a little over seven minutes with two third period shots on goal, an even rating and a penalty.

Finland's next game is on Wednesday.

European Hockey.net: Reports former Islander Mariusz Czerkawski has retired on it's transfer list.

Souvenez-vous les 75 New York Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/04/2008 08:15:00 PM | Comment Here

Being that Newsday has time and newspaper space to contact Clark Gillies and JP Parise on comebacks why not release the backpages and the articles from the 1975 comebacks against Pittsburgh and Philadelphia as a tribute to them?

Post them in the Newsday blog as articles, should not be tougher than going to the archives.

For that matter it would not hurt to see the Islanders website feature them as well with every game highlight they can find for ITV. Sometimes you have to talk up the teams history and past accomplishments on the website.

Here are some articles from 2004 when Boston came back and the 75 Islanders got a lot of attention.
'75 Islanders: Been there, done that
Isles club is just one of just two teams to overcome an 0-3 deficit
by approaching it 'one battle at a time'


October 20, 2004
Souvenez-vous les Maple Leafs!

In 1975, those words (translated to "Remember the Maple Leafs") urged
the Islanders to do the improbable. They thought the improbable had
already been accomplished only a week before, in an upset of the
Rangers in the first round of their first-ever playoff series.
Rangers forward Derek Sanderson was so unimpressed that afterward he
cracked, "They'll never win another game in the playoffs." He was
almost right.

In the next series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Islanders
lost three straight. They gave up 14 goals. They were ready to give
up on themselves.

It was early spring, April 1975. The 3-year-old franchise hadn't
before played so deep into the calendar. It was months before Carlton
Fisk waved his home run into the leftfield foul pole. It was years
before the Red Sox ever faced the same oh-three hole to the Yankees.

But it was a similar feeling.

Coach Al Arbour watched five minutes of practice before Game 4 of
that Stanley Cup quarterfinals and blew his whistle.

"C'mere boys," he said, summoning them to a spot along the boards.

The lumbering taskmaster behind the thick glasses spoke from the
heart about a back injury that had him in and out of the hospital
during the series. He apologized for not giving them enough attention
as a coach.

Then he got their attention.

"Does anyone here not believe we can't come back?" he asked
them. "Because if you do, I want you to take your equipment off and
get the hell off the ice. I don't want to see you."

The Islanders that year became only the second team in sports
history - after the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs - to rebound from an 0-3
deficit to win a seven-game series.

"We almost did it twice," said Ed Westfall, the captain of that team
who scored the game-winning and series-clinching goal in the 1-0 Game
7 victory. After knocking off the Penguins, the Islanders again fell
behind 0-3 to the Philadelphia Flyers, only to storm back to force a
Game 7, which they lost, 4-1.

Even that has some historical significance in sports. Consider that
the Red Sox this year are the 26th team in Major League Baseball
history to trail a best-of- seven series 0-3 and 20 previous teams
went on to be swept, three others lost in five and two others, going
into last night's Game 6, lost in six.

Never has a team forced a seventh game, let alone come back to win
the series.

"I know it's not an easy accomplishment," said Jean Potvin, a
defenseman on that '75 Islanders team, "but it can be done."

Arbour believed so. He challenged each player, no matter what their
position or prominence, to be better than their opponent. Don't focus
on the entire game. Just win that one battle.

Then the next one, and the next one.

"We started looking at it that way," Potvin said, "and it suddenly
wasn't so insurmountable."

Lorne Henning, another member of that team, said the formula should
be the same no matter what the sport. "We used to do it one period at
a time," he said, "so [the Red Sox] are probably looking at it one
inning at a time."

You can also get help from your opponent, as the Islanders did when
Pittsburgh unraveled in Game 5 and went back to an energized Nassau

"You could see," Westfall said of the Pens, "they were starting to
second-guess themselves."

Before last night's game, Potvin said the Yankees had to be feeling
it, too. "I don't care who they are," he said. "What they thought was
a lock in Game 4 ... I'm telling you, they're starting to get that
ill feeling in their stomach."

Not that he was rooting for the Red Sox to win.

"I'm a Yankees fan," he said. But he considered the historical

"The Yankees, to lose to the Red Sox in any year, would be very bad,"
Potvin said. "But to win the first three and lose the next four and
allow the Red Sox to be the first team ever to do this in baseball?
Wow! Talk about removing the curse."

From 0-3 to history

How the Islanders rebounded from an 0-3 deficit to beat the
Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1975 Stanley Cup quarterfinals.

APRIL 13 - Penguins 5, Islanders 4

Star defenseman Denis Potvin, the team's leading scorer, suffered a
pulled muscle in his left thigh to set a worrisome tone early in the

APRIL 15 - Penguins 3, Islanders 1

Potvin was noticeably slow and the Islanders' offensive effort weak
in their second straight loss.

APRIL 17 - Penguins 6, Islanders 4

The offense came alive with a franchise-record 47 shots on goal, but
Penguins power reigned again as they scored six times on shell-
shocked goalie Bill Smith, who had yielded 14 goals in three games.

APRIL 20 - Islanders 3, Penguins 1

A banner "Souvenez-vous les Maple Leafs!" (Remember the Maple Leafs)
among the Nassau Coliseum crowd encouraged the Islanders and Chico
Resch, who replaced Smith in net.

APRIL 22 - Islanders 4, Penguins 2

General manager Bill Torrey, looking for any edge, changed airlines
for the team's trip back to Pittsburgh for Game 5. Jude Drouin scored
into an empty net from the opposite end boards to cap the second win.

APRIL 24 - Islanders 4, Penguins 1

Garry Howatt scored twice and Resch kissed his goalpost after a Ron
Schock shot clanged off it as the Islanders luck was changing for the

APRIL 26 - Islanders 1, Penguins 0

A magnificent defensive battle carried into the third period, when Ed
Westfall scored the winner at 14:42. Resch danced on the ice as the
final buzzer sounded. Later, he called it "the Chico cha-cha."
NY Times: Jason Diamos has a feature from 2004 on the 1975 Islanders.
Florida Sun-Sentinel had a article from 10/22/2004

Potvin knows his history and rallying from 3-0 deficit

By Michael Russo
Staff Writer
Posted October 22 2004

Few people know firsthand the fortitude it took for the Boston Red
Sox to rally against the Yankees from a 3-0 American League
Championship Series deficit to advance to the World Series.

It never happened before in baseball. It's never happened in the NBA.
It's only happened twice in the NHL since the league went to a best-
of-7 format in 1918.

But Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin, the Panthers' television
color analyst, knows what it's like. As a 21-year-old in 1975, Potvin
and his New York Islanders pulled off the seemingly impossible by
rallying from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the
Stanley Cup quarterfinals.

"No question, it's all about momentum," Potvin said Wednesday night
as he watched the Red Sox blow out the Yankees in Game 7. "After we
lost the third game, we had practice at Racquet N Rink in
Farmingdale, and [Islanders coach] Al Arbour said to us, `If anybody
doesn't think we can win this series, take your equipment off and go
home.' And that shocked us.

"We got ourselves together after that and decided we'd play for fun
again. We won Game 4, and the cocky, confident look in the eyes of
the Pittsburgh Penguins disappeared, and we felt we were starting to
gain on them. It was just a question of building and not taking the
foot off the pedal. And that's what I've seen in the Yankees series."

Potvin said a big individual effort is needed to catapult a team in
that situation. For the Islanders, captain Ed Westfall scored big
goals, including the winner with just over five minutes left in a 1-0
Game 7 victory.

For the Red Sox, Potvin was amazed at David Ortiz, who put Boston
into the ALCS with a home run, won Game 4 with a home run, had the
winning hit in Game 5 and got the Red Sox going with a two-run homer
in Game 7.

"No doubt he's their MVP," Potvin said. "There's got to be one guy or
two guys that come up with heroic efforts, and Ortiz turned the whole
thing around. Somebody had to make a big play, and you saw that over
and over again with Ortiz."

Three days after they rallied from a 3-0 deficit, the Islanders went
to Philadelphia. A week later, the Islanders found themselves down 3-
0 to the Flyers and rallied to even the series 3-3 before losing 4-1
in Game 7.

"So what the Red Sox did is very hard to do," Potvin said.

As Potvin spoke, he overheard Fox commentator Kenny Albert talking
about the '75 Islanders being the last pro sports team to rally from
a 3-0 postseason deficit and win.

That team, three years from expansion, sparked the Islanders' dynasty
that eventually won four consecutive Stanley Cups (1980-83).

"Boy, this is really special," Potvin said, his voice cracking. "We
were a special team in '75, which put us on a path to becoming a very
special organization."
Potvin knows rallies
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Star-Ledger Staff

Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin understands what the Boston Red
Sox are feeling right now.

Like the Red Sox, who can become the first major league baseball team
ever to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a postseason series, Potvin's
New York Islanders pulled off a seemingly-impossible comeback in the
1975 Stanley Cup playoffs.

"You need extraordinary plays by individuals," Potvin said yesterday
via telephone from his home in Florida. "David Ortiz getting those
hits makes everybody else believe they can get it done. You have to
have a series of good things happen to pull it off and then you hope
that the confidence disappears from the other team's eyes."

Only two teams in NHL history have lost the first three games in a
seven-game playoff series and then come back to win. The Toronto
Maple Leafs did it in the 1942 Stanley Cup Finals against the Detroit
Red Wings and came back to win it all behind Syl Apps and goalie Turk

The Islanders became the only other team to do it during their
quarterfinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the '75

"In a team game, a lot of people are genuinely afraid," Potvin
explained. "In our case against Pittsburgh it was early in the
playoffs (second round). We thought we had something going. We had
just beaten the Rangers and that was our Stanley Cup.

"What happened in '75 that was really key was (coach) Al Arbour
brought us all together when we were down, 3-0. We had just lost the
last game at home. Al brought us to the middle of the ice and
said: 'If anybody here doesn't believe we can win, take you equipment
home.' It was a shocker.

"Al was suffering from sciatic nerve problems. He had been in
traction. He basically said, 'We can all work harder. I can work
harder, too.' That made an impression."

The Islanders won Game 4 at Nassau Coliseum, 3-1, and then pulled one
game behind by winning, 4-2, in Pittsburgh. A 4-1 triumph on Long
Island tied the series and set up the seventh-game showdown for

Ed Westfall scored the only goal of Game 7 with just over five
minutes remaining in regulation and goalie Glenn Resch made 30 saves
in a 1-0 victory. It would be another five years before the Isles
became a great team that started a run of four straight Stanley Cups,
but they arrived in '75.

"When a team can put you away with a win, you're not under a
tremendous amount of pressure," Potvin said. "You start to play for
fun again. Then you win a game or two and think, 'This feels good
again. We want to keep it going.'

"I think in '75 it took that first win for us, to get that feeling.
You need heroes. You never know how you will do. We all feel we'll be
heroes and jump into the water and save that drowning kid."

New York is Islander Country

I was not able to catch Hockey Night on LI live Saturday with Alex & Steve who did their usual excellent job which featured blog box member Ken Rosenblatt from Islander Outsider who as always did an excellent job as a guest as well as Gary Harding who is the former long-time President of the Islanders booster club and currently the sites webmaster who always does a great job for the fans.

Saturday's program is available on this blog sidebar for those wishing to listen as I did.

They hit on a topic Saturday that is of course part of what NYI Fan Central puts the spotlight on often and that is the marketing of the club around the area as the subject of New York came up.

Let me write straight up I am not suggesting the Islanders do not market to their fans in Nassau or Suffolk or not do events in these areas and I understand the urgency to build the fan base locally. I like the outreach to the fans, appreciate the efforts and have credited them often. I think Mr Dey's approach is a respectful one and it's a good message.

Having written that they need to adjust the strategy because they are limiting themselves which is also hurting their message and options.

As I die hard fan of this team their marketing these days makes me feel like I'm rooting for the wrong team unless I move to Nassau or Suffolk. If I were a fan looking for a hockey team today I would not pick the Islanders because they do not make me feel like a part of this unless I live in Nassau or Suffolk.

Between my mailing list, message board past experiences New York Islander fans are all over the New York market in big numbers and my honest guess is season ticket holders from outside Long Island in the past have made up a big part of the attendance. The transplanted New York Islander fans are in most markets and many are from the glory days.

I do not need to remind everyone how many Islander fans were at CAA for the final game a year ago and what Howie Rose said when Richard Park scored the opening goal.

That was on a day's notice on a holiday folks. Do you really think all those people came from Nassau and Suffolk?

I do not need a bus going into the city if I listened to the program correctly, a caravan or even some of those ads that used to appear on the railroads (This is Islander Country) or even the Islanders featured in a Manhattan electronics store as they were last season. I do not even need the outstanding marketing campaign in the summer of 2001 (We're back) where the club was even advertised during NFL preseason games but I did like that one a lot.

What I need to see is this franchise once again talk itself up again as a New York market franchise and drop the Long Island mantra that comes out of every statement from a member of it's p.r department, every player who says anything and almost everything that is posted on it's website.

It's not working and hurting the marketability of this franchise.

The long-term media damage they are doing to themselves is enormous to a point even the fans have picked up on it and no longer even act like this is a New York market franchise when they discuss it. The papers will not even let the professional writers blog on the team to supplement lack of coverage in the city papers.

When I watched them play on channel nine in the seventies and eighties they seemed as much New York as any other club and they received strong coverage in the city papers and a big part of the fan base came from inside the city limits.

I never watched a game and felt like I do now that I'm rooting for a team in another market. Msg employee Howie Rose makes sure to remind us the team is all Long Island these days more than ever.

My opinion is the city media along the way picked up on it too and did not need much of a reason to cut the coverage down to nothing with limited sports budgets, we already know hockey coverage in the market is already at a record low as baseball owns the backpage.

Anyone think Giants and Jets fans, the media or the television advertisers market the two football teams as New Jersey today? You would be hard pressed to find anyone who even mentions they play in New Jersey anymore that the Nets and Devils have play/played in for over twenty years. When they both relocated you could see the Giants and Jets tread carefully as they changed uniforms or wrote Giants/Jets on the helmets. Today they act is if they play in New York avoid the New Jersey label at all costs.

Does anyone notice or care? The New York media needs football.

The Giants even after not getting the Canyon of Hero's for past superbowl wins finally got their parade in lower Manhattan and a quick ceremony in New Jersey, they write New York on everything and even the telecast calls them New York as if they still play at Yankee Stadium.

I read Mr Botta credit the growing fan support at Msg and CAA/Newark (in his blog this season) and even the city media at times in the past has credited the strong Islander fan support in New York/New Jersey but the organization does not push that in it's releases as it seems like it's an unwritten rule now everything has to read Long Island.

This practice has to end from inside the upper management making marketing decisions.

Where did things change to this degree? Was it hiring a Montauk based firm called Blumenfeld and Fleming here which Newsday's A.J Carter wrote about in July of 2006 with Mr Botta's comments? I know the firm won a MarCom award for an ad campaign regarding the Islanders here but how does it help if you limit your base on fans in practically every press release?

Is it Lighthouse related? I read some of the comments, signed endorsements and many come from outside Long Island. If I read correctly at the recent hearings one person showed up and supported the project from Rockaway. The Islanders are asking for Islander fans support and it does not seem limited to Town of Hempstead residents.

Rob Davison played his first Islander game at Msg in March and was quoted in Newsday as saying when we scored it seemed half the Garden was rooting for the Islanders.

Anyone who thinks this is about the Islanders losing this year I have to give a little reality check to because this goes beyond the ice and speaks to the damage done.

In 1999 the day after Butch Goring was fired, the Islanders played at Msg with nothing to play for, on their way to a 30th place finish and a seventh straight year out of contention. Fair to say it was the low point in the club's history and we know how bad fan support was in those days.

The 3/6/2001 NY Post game article from Larry Brooks who goes out of his way now to run down the Isles as a team as he claims no one in New York follows read as follows:

No, in this 75th anniversary season the Rangers had to go even a step
farther and turn the Garden into Nassau Coliseum Mainland, as the
substantial number of Islander fans, who invaded Manhattan last night,
filled the arena with chants of "Let's Go Islanders!" as their team
whipped the heroic home boys by 5-2.

I was hoping we would have seen more of that at Msg this March and April for those two games the Islanders won. We saw it a lot in 2006-07 and for many years going back to Pierre Turgeon's 50th goal in 1993 where it became painfully obvious the Islanders had a strong New York market presence.

The damage has been done, they are not helping themselves with the Long Island mantra.

Not that hard to change strategy.

We're all New York Islanders.
We need the New York Islanders to win for New York.
New York, New York, every single release.

Who cares if someone in the media is critical, that's more attention for the New York Islanders and a chance to tell their fans everywhere they are put of this.

That's how you gain support and media coverage.

Bergenheim at WC, Fraser interview

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/03/2008 07:06:00 PM | | Comment Here

IIHF.com: John Sanful has Sean Bergenheim's comments after Finland's 5-1 win against Germany Saturday at the World Championships.

Bergenheim played over eight minutes with a shot on goal and an even rating.

Finland next faces Norway on Monday afternoon.

Sarnia Observer: Greg Maker has a full interview with Jamie Fraser on his season in Bridgeport with Jack Capunano's comments and what's ahead for Islander training camp.

Isles need to extend Snow & Nolan

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/03/2008 07:41:00 AM | | 2 Comments
Bottom line here folks is that if the Islanders are committed to developing their prospects and taking pains to do so the general manager brining in these players and the coach have to have some security to make decisions that may mean short-term losing.

Otherwise both of these men will feel the pressure to win now and go with a player who will give them the best chance to win now which is usually a veteran.

It seems from my viewpoint Mr Wang is not sure whether this gm or coach are the right ones to develop prospects.

No doubt New York also brings pressure to win now so the fans will support the product which is going to put developing prospects to the test.

This is where all the talk of the Islanders plan will face it's toughest test and whether the general manager and coach will stick with that plan with no long-term security.

Ted Nolan speaks out

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/02/2008 07:05:00 PM | | | | 2 Comments
The Sault Star: Peter Ruicci has Ted Nolan's comments Thursday, prior to serving as a guest speaker at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships awards banquet that it's tough situtation not having a contract beyond next season and will not approach the Islanders about an extension but he wants to fulfill his obligation, do really well next season and hopefully they'll want to re-sign him but will be coaching somewhere in the future as he credited the fans.

He also said he feels he learned this year is that he can coach again and that he has more confidence in himself now than ever before.

He also felt the team didn't have people who had real good years and not making the playoffs was hard and that the playoffs should be automatic, that winning championships that should be the hard part. The vast majority of the time his players worked hard. But working hard and getting things done are two different things.

Nolan also denied any problems with Garth Snow and Rick DiPietro, despite what was written in the New York papers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Hopefully the Islanders and Ted Nolan sat down and worked out how they want him to discuss his contract in the paper when asked but by this article that does not seem likely. Clearly we now know he's not going to Charles Wang and force the issue but for this coach it is a tough situtation according to his own words.

It's not going to get any easier forcing more prospects onto the roster unless they can produce.

The Barrie Examiner: Ian shantz has a few words on the Colts and speculates recently signed Tomas Marcinko will not be back with Barrie.

IIHF.com: Finland plays it's first game of the tournament on Saturday against Germany.

A quick look at the UFA/RFA lists...

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/02/2008 08:40:00 AM | | Comment Here
Some of these players are group IV, V which basically means they are unrestricted but here is the full list.

Anyone have a player or two they feel can help here?

New York:
ufa: bryan berard, kip brennan, rob davison, wade dubielewicz, ruslan fedotenko, michael morrison, miroslav satan, josef vasicek

rfa: luciano aquino, sean bergenheim, jeremy colliton, drew fata, bruno gervais, tim jackman, aaron johnson, matt keith, masi marjamaki, michael mole, frans nielsen, steve regier, matthew spiller, jeff tambellini, ben walter.

ufa: jean-sebastien aubin, joe callahan, joe dipenta, mike hoffman, jay leach, mark mowers, geoff peters, teemu selanne, bruno st. jacques, doug weight

rfa: darryl bootland, ryan carter, gerald coleman, stephen dixon, andrew ebbett, jonas hiller, shane hynes, jason king, andrew miller, corey perry, geoff platt, brian sutherby

ufa: milan bartovic, eric boulton, kevin doell, darren haydar, johan hedberg, bobby holik, jason krog, joel kwiatkowski, steve mccarthy, karel pilar, mark popovic, mark recchi, steve rucchin, jesse schultz

rfa: joseph crabb, guillaume desbiens, kari lehtonen, nathan oystrick, brett sterling

ufa: bobby allen, alex auld, sean curry, jeff hoggan, glen metropolit, jordan sigalet, brett skinner, aaron ward

rfa: mike brown, stanislav chistov, chris collins, chuck kobasew, petteri nokelainen, pascal pelletier, nathan saunders, mark stuart, nate thompson, t.j. trevelyan, dennis wideman

ufa: dmitri kalinin, teppo numminen, nolan pratt, michael ryan, jocelyn thibault

rfa: steve bernier, paul gaustad, clarke macarthur, mark mancari, daniel paille

ufa: craig conroy, eric godard, david hale, kristian huselius, curtis joseph, brent krahn, daymond langkow, curtis mcelhinney, owen nolan, eric nystrom, mark smith, jim vandermeer stephane yelle

rfa: derek couture, cam cunning, ryan donally, tomi maki, adam pardy, brandon prust, grant stevenson, andrei taratukhin, david van der gulik

ufa: keith aucoin, ryan bayda, wade brookbank, tim conboy, trevor gillies, john grahame, bret hedican, michael leighton, trevor letowski, joey mormina, sergei samsonov, glen wesley

rfa: pat dwyer, patrick eaves, mark flood, tim gleason, joe jensen, chad larose, daniel manzato, kevin nastiuk, brandon nolan, tuomo ruutu, dennis seidenberg

ufa: kevyn adams, mike brodeur, jim fahey, wade flaherty, david koci, patrick lalime, yanic perreault, prestin ryan, jason williams, andrei zyuzin

rfa: rene bourque, adam burish, dustin byfuglien, corey crawford, colin fraser, jordan hendry, andrew ladd, steve marr, danny richmond, martin st. pierre, james wisniewski

ufa: andrew brunette, jeff finger, adam foote, peter forsberg, eric healey, jaroslav hlinka, jeff jillson, john-michael liles, scott parker, dale purinton, joe sakic, kurt sauer, wyatt smith, jose theodore

rfa: jason bacashihua, johnny boychuk, darcy campbell, daniel dasilva, philippe dupuis, mitchell love, cody mccormick, cody mcleod, brad richardson, marek svatos, michael wall, tyler weiman, wojtek wolski

ufa: nate dicasmirro, ron hainsey, jan hejda, zenon konopka, derek mackenzie, michael peca, mark rycroft, dan smith, dick tarnstrom, david vyborny

rfa: dan fritsche, pascal leclaire, joakim lindstrom, mikko maenpaa, marc methot, alexandre picard, tomas popperle, aaron rome, clay wilson

ufa: stu barnes, nolan baumgartner, trevor byrne, niklas hagman, johan holmqvist, dan jancevski, bryce lampman, antti miettinen, mattias norstrom, toby peterson, brad winchester

rfa: brandon crombeen, trevor daley, loui eriksson, nicklas grossman, marius holtet, vadim khomitski, steve ott, vojtech polak, konstantin pushkarev, marty sertich, jussi timonen, janos vas, francis wathier

ufa: adam berkhoel, chris chelios, carl corazzini, mark cullen, aaron downey, dallas drake, brad ference, mark hartigan, dominik hasek, andreas lilja, darren mccarty, garrett stafford, brad stuart

rfa: jonathan ericsson, valtteri filppula, igor grigorenko, james howard, logan koopmans, francis lemieux, ryan oulahen, kyle quincey

ufa: curtis glencross, marty reasoner, allan rourke, geoff sanderson

rfa: jonas almtorp, troy bodie, jeff drouin-deslauriers, glenn fisher, denis grebeshkov, jean-francois jacques, frederik johansson, t.j. kemp, joni pitkanen, marc-antoine pouliot, tim sestito, jarret stoll, zach stortini, danny syvret

ufa: wade belak, jassen cullimore, rob globke, magnus johansson, branislav mezei, steve montador

rfa: jay bouwmeester, gregory campbell, kamil kreps, drew larman, martin lojek, stefan meyer, garth murray, rostislav olesz, anthony stewart, adam taylor, martin tuma

Los angeles
ufa: rob blake, brendan buckley, kevin dallman, jeff giuliano, jon klemm, ladislav nagy, richard petiot, scott thornton, brian willsie

rfa: erik ersberg, gabe gauthier, peter harrold, petr kanko, matt moulson, patrick o'sullivan, joe piskula, dany roussin

ufa: keith carney, pavol demitra, todd fedoruk, sean hill, steve kelly, andre lakos, petteri nummelin, serge payer, branko radivojevic, erik reitz, brian rolston, chris simon, aaron voros, wes walz, joel ward

rfa: shawn belle, pierre-marc bouchard, kurtis foster, matt foy, danny irmen, miroslav kopriva, peter olvecky, john scott, clayton stoner, stephane veilleux

ufa: andrew archer, mathieu biron, patrice brisebois, jean-philippe cote, yann danis, brett engelhardt, jonathan ferland, duncan milroy, michael ryder, bryan smolinski, mark streit

rfa: jimmy bonneau, marvin degon, josh gorges, mikhail grabovski, jaroslav halak, andrei kastsitsyn, janne lahti, maxim lapierre, corey locke, ryan o'byrne, cory urquhart

ufa: dan ellis, martin gelinas, alex henry, jan hlavac, darcy hordichuk, josh langfeld, shane willis, nolan yonkman

rfa: brandon bochenski, matt ellison, martin erat, dov grumet-morris, kevin klein, ville koistinen, janne niskala, rich peverley, oliver setzinger, ryan suter, john vigilante, shea weber

New jersey
ufa: arron asham, sheldon brookbank, noah clarke, frank doyle, jean-luc grand-pierre, grant marshall, richard matvichuk, ian moran, mike mottau, jay pandolfo, karel rachunek, erik rasmussen, jason ryznar, bryce salvador, barry tallackson, jari viuhkola

rfa: david clarkson, ivan khomutov, olli malmivaara, jordan parise, rodney pelley, petr vrana

ufa: sean avery, mitchell fritz, andrew hutchinson, darius kasparaitis, marek malik, paul mara, michal rozsival, brendan shanahan, martin straka, jason strudwick, stephen valiquette

rfa: ivan baranka, nigel dawes, bruce graham, josh gratton, chris holt, hugh jessiman, rick kozak, david liffiton, david leneveu, greg moore, pierre parenteau, fredrik sjostrom, matt zaba

ufa: matt carkner, mike commodore, niko dimitrakos, shean donovan, chris kelly, matt kinch, martin lapointe, justin mapletoft, wade redden, luke richardson, randy robitaille, cory stilmman

rfa: jeff glass, josh hennessy, arttu luttinen, brian mcgrattan, andrej meszaros, antoine vermette, jesse winchester

ufa: jesse boulerice, riley cote, jim dowd, rory fitzpatrick, martin grenier, jaroslv modry, vaclav prospal, darren reid, jason smith

rfa: rejean beauchemin, jeff carter, triston grant, nathan guenin, martin houle, randy jones, lars jonsson, scott munroe, ryan potulny, stefan ruzicka, patrick thoresen, r.j. umberger

ufa: david aebischer, ryan caldwell, jon disalvatore, bryan helmer, niko kapanen, matt murley, travis roche, joey tenute, mathias tjarnqvist, pete vandermeer, radim vrbata, craig weller, michael york

rfa: brendan bell, daniel carcillo, marcel hossa, matt jones, alexei kaigorodov, al montoya, joel perrault, tyler redenbach, bill thomes

ufa: kris beech, ty conklin, pascal dupuis, mark eaton, david gove, adam hall, marian hossa, connor james, ryan lannon, georges laraque, ryan malone, alain nasreddine, brooks orpik, gary roberts, jarkko ruutu, nathan smith, jeff taffe

rfa: mark ardelan, paul bissonnette, tim brent, patrick ehelechner, daniel fernholm, jonathan filewich, marc-andre fleury, ryan stone

San jose
ufa: brian boucher, curtis brown, brian campbell, tom cavanagh, brennan evans, j.d. forrest, mike iggulden, graham mink, brad norton, sandis ozolinsh, dmitri patzold, tomas plihal, patrick rissmiller, jeremy roenick, alexei semenov, jody shelley, craig valette

rfa: riley armstrong, ryane clowe, christian ehrhoff, marcel goc, lukas kaspar, mike morris, joe pavelski, dan spang, brad staubitz, jonathan tremblay

St. louis
ufa: alex brooks, petr cajanek, micki dupont, mike glumac, mike johnson, ryan johnson, juuso riksman, martin rucinsky, yan stastny, jean-guy trudel, matt walker

rfa: david backes, chris beckford-tseu, francois-pierre guenette, martin kariya, jay mcclement, hannu toivonen, jeff woywitka

Tampa bay
ufa: mathieu darche, chris gratton, doug janik, andreas karlsson, junior lessard, craig macdonald, norm milley, andre roy, david schneider, tim taylor, kyle wanvig

rfa: jonathan boutin, ryan craig, mike egener, justin fletcher, zbynek hrdel, marek kvapil, ryan munce, alexandre picard, jay rosehill, mario scalzo jr., karl stewart

ufa: scott clemmensen, jay harrison, david ling, dominic moore, john pohl, mats sundin, andrew wozniewski

rfa: reid cashman, alex foster, chris harrington, john mitchell, ben ondrus, jaime sifers, matt stajan, kyle wellwood

ufa: greg classen, brad isbister, trevor linden, drew macintyre, aaron miller, brad moran, brendan morrison, markus naslund, byron ritchie, curtis sanford, mike weaver

rfa: jozef balej, marc-andre bernier, mike brown, zach fitzgerald, colby genoway, nathan mciver, rick rypien, ryan shannon, james sharrow

ufa: dean arsene, josef boumedienne, matt bradley, frederic cassivi, matt cooke, sergei fedorov, cristobal huet, olaf kolzig, jason morgan

rfa: steve eminger, eric fehr, boyd gordon, mike green, jameson hunt, brooks laich, shaone morrisonn, stephen werner

Final Poll Results

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/01/2008 06:57:00 PM | Comment Here
Usual impressive job by the readers in this weeks poll which was what you would do with the Islanders first round draft pick and another great turnout.

I voted for Alex Pietrangelo and that the club should take best player available.

Zach Bogosian was the consensus along with someone out of Stamkos, Fliatov or Doughty will drop to the fifth pick.

No one felt the team would go off the board and take someone rated lower on the prospect list or that the Isles would trade down, but a few felt the team would trade up.

Final results were as follows:

Zach Bogosian D 12 (26%)
Alex Pietrangelo D 7 (15%)
Luke Schenn D 7 (15%)
Mikkel Bdker RW 1 (2%)
Colin Wilson C 3 (6%)
Kirill Petrov RW 0 (0%)
Cody Hodgson C 5 (10%)
Filatov, Stamkos or Doughty will drop to Isles 15 (32%)
Kyle Beach 1 (2%)
Isles trade down 0 (0%)
Isles trade up 2 (4%)
Isles go for offense regardless 2 (4%)
Isles take best player available 18 (39%)
Isles go off the board for another prospect 0 (0%)
Isles trade pick despite gm's comments 0 (0%