5/19/08

Poll on media coverage/blog notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/19/2008 04:50:00 PM
I finally found decided to do the big poll on the media coverage of the New York Islanders. Call this NYI Fan Central's version of super tuesday with several polls as every publication gets the spotlight.

Comments of course are welcome beyond e-mails.

Newsday
Daily News
Post
NY Times
Islanders website
Ct Post


I made a few changes to the blog:

I do this because I know a lot of folks visit and may want to know what I changed/added or deleted.

Faceoff.com & Tsn.ca have been added to the NHL news section. They do not have feeders so I put the picture link in so everyone can visit.

The NHL network picture weblink was removed from the sidebar, the other one is still in the NHL section of the blog for anyone who wants game highlights or video/audio features.

Google's search engine was removed. Too many sites linking to fan blogs that are not credible sources of information because they are not professional writers. This time of year not many professional writers doing Islander updates.

I took out the WC section with the games concluded and moved up the draft center.

Kyle Woodlief's prospect feeder was installed. The updates are infrequent but still worth reading for the entire season which is why the old dates are posted for reference.

Some of the subscription feeders which was a new thing blogger added caused the page to load with an error which worked but made it open slower, that feature was removed so the blog should open quickly for everyone now.

The scrolling welcome message was getting old and forced the page to open slower also so I removed that and put up a picture greeting.

Enough games with the scoreboard, it now stays where it is until the finals are concluded. I kept taking it out so the blog would load quicker but that made no difference.






NYI Fan Central Final Review Mike Comrie

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/19/2008 04:00:00 PM
Today we pick up the season ending reviews with the focus on center Mike Comrie.

Going in 07-08 Comrie was an unrestricted free agent coming off a finals appearance with Ottawa where he had a strong playoff and was talked into signing here based on Ryan Smyth and Bill Guerin. He looked very good in preseason despite an injury and had a dominating opening weekend against Buffalo where he appeared to be on his way to establishing himself as a fan favorite.

Unfortunately in Comrie's case like many of the forwards on the roster he was being asked to carry a stronger burden than he had ever had in his career and it was painfully obvious despite some good stretches he did not have the support around him to sustain it for long on a club that fourteen games with two goals or less.

Along the way he also suffered with some poor reaction penalties in the offensive zone and some breakdowns in the defensive zone which even led to a few fights where he stood up for himself. He did not use his shot nearly enough but did not have the kind of forwards with the speed and skill to get him the puck where he could be most effective.

In the end Comrie did lead this club in scoring despite a lot of injuries, including playing with a hip injury of his own which hampered his game in the second half but he had far too many nights where he was invisible where he needed to show leadership and a role he wanted when he signed here.

Moving forward:
Mike Comrie signed a one year extension with the Islanders, obviously both sides want to see more before commiting to a long-term contract. Comrie makes for a good second line center with two talents of second line ability but next season again far more will be asked of him as he once again will likely be paired with Bill Guerin who's contract seems tied to Comrie. For this team to be successful he will have to have a greater offensive impact and a bigger overall impact.

Final grade:
I like the fact he tried to play hurt and was willing to try it here for another season. Forty nine points on this roster was below Garth Snow's expectation of sixty points nor did he have a first line (or even second line) players inpact too many nights on the lowest scoring club in the league with an awful powerplay.

Mike Comrie receives a D for his 20087-08 performance because he disappeared far too many nights.




5/18/08

Hrudey, Arbour, Huselius & Mr Botta

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/18/2008 01:29:00 PM
Russia came back to defeat Canada 5-4 in overtime to win the World Championship Sunday.

Mercury News: David Pollak in an article about the next San Jose coach has former Islander Kelly Hrudey comments about Al Arbour.

Edmonton Journal: Jim Matheson speculates the Islanders will go hard after Calgary UFA forward Kristian Huselius because he does not like a lot of pressure and would be a good second line fit for them.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
As a left wing good luck finding a fit for Huselius with Bergenheim, Comeau, Sim, Tambellini and Hilbert on the roster. It may take a Satan-like contract with a no trade clause to land him also.

Isles do need the scoring but to do this a left wing has to go.
Park, Bates can also play left wing.

Where is Newsday to give us updates on our pending free agents or what moves the team could be planning? Other papers for teams all over this league are doing this to keep the fans interested. You cannot put the lack of Islander talk on the age of the Nassau Coliseum.

You can bet players and their agents look at this too when signing with a team, some need and want a spotlight.

Point Blank: Mr Botta was kind enough to respond to a series of questions I had for him on Islanders coverage.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I appreciate the time Mr Botta took to respond, that was very nice of him to go out of his way like that and he told me a few things I did not know.

I never knew writers could travel with teams because I have read stories both ways.

I was not sure if becoming a Newsday writer would be a step down or a step up from his position with the Isles, all I know was Pat Calabria joined the Isles after working for Newsday and I think Mr Botta would do a great job.

My point with asking about the Isles paying a newspaper for daily coverage/blog is Phil Mushnick in the Post told me the budget for sports department is a problem and covering the Isles is a luxury they cannot afford. So if the Isles can pay for advertising space why not just do the same for a daily article/blog and increase fan readership?

I'm not sure Mr Botta understood my point on that but if the Isles did pay a publication for coverage it goes without writing I would only want honest hockey content depending on how the club plays, nothing else and no doubt the Isles would not have it any other way themselves.

I respectfully disagree with Mr Botta on quality over quantity for Mr Logan and his lack of blogs because you can have both and we see it for other teams all the time.

I also stand by what I wrote that Mr Logan created the speculation on DiPietro using a stat based argument to create unfair perception about his play.

I had no idea Mr Logan had to fight for space in the paper for road coverage. If Mr Botta is writing these things it is not good between the Islanders and the Newsday sports editor to where the beatwriter has to push hard for additional coverage space. If that is the case Mr Logan has to be credited for his efforts but I did not see many second articles on game day during the second half, even after the superbowl was over which Mr Logan told Mr Botta was a reason for the Isles losing the second game article at the all-star weekend.

I also have to note every thing Mr Botta brought up where Mr Logan provided more coverage (Smyth, trades, playoffs) were from 2006-07. Going into 2007-08 I had a very favorable opinion of Mr Logan's Islander coverage but this season's work changed that.

To me less coverage is less coverage. The New York Islanders need every bit of daily coverage they can get.

I hope Mr Botta is correct about Cablevision/Newsday Islander coverage being enhanced but I'm skeptical because I know the history and all signs point to less Islander coverage and an outlet for Cablevision to give additional print space to properties they own. I think Mr Botta is underestimating how Msg network presents sport content which these days have Liberty games over Yankee and Met games.

I see the Dolan's Newsday version being exactly the same regardless and they could care less what anyone thinks or writes about them. Anyone who does not like it at Newsday does not have to be there.

If Mr Botta says Mr Logan's departure will be noticed with a drop in coverage or that I will not be happy I find it hard to believe. I did not see any noticable drop from John Valenti to Alan Hahn or from Mr Hahn to Mr Logan, despite changes at Newsday.

Having written that it may well be that way. Mr Botta knows a lot more than myself on these subjects which is why I asked.






5/17/08

Saturday notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/17/2008 04:38:00 PM
Sean Bergenheim did not play for Finland Saturday in the game for third place against Sweden at the WC.

Finland defeated Sweden 4-0.

The championship game between Russia and Canada is on Sunday at 1pm EST.
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Both eliteprospects and europeanhockey report former Islander Chris Simon has signed with Vityaz Podolsk/Chekhov.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
For now we have to see if this is a contract he can opt out of if he signs with an NHL team in July but it is a sign he is looking to make sure he has a team to play for. Either that or he was offered a high salary and this deal locks him in as Alexei Yashin's contract locked him in.
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Islander fringe prospect Vladimir Gorbunov has transferred from CSKA Moskva to HK MVD Balashikha.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I write fringe because with no transfer agreement technically the Isles still own his NHL rights.
__________________________________________________
Dallas earns a trip back home for a game six and a little pressure now goes on the Wings. Reasonable now for a little 75 Islanders talk but we saw this in the San Jose series.
_________________________________________________________________
I cannot be bothered linking to Arthur Staple's Yankee Stadium outdoor game article with his un-named NHL sources claiming they do not want to offend the Isles or Devils so they may not have a New York game. Mr Staple is so far behind on this story he's writing about a November game for an event that will take place new year's day. That is the only thing everyone can agree on and he could not get that correct.




Tribute to the 1983 New York Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/17/2008 01:10:00 PM
Happy twenty fifth anniversary.




New York Post, May 18, 1983

By Doug Gould

A Dynasty grew into a legend at Nassau Coliseum last night. The
Islanders, laying claim to the title of greatest playoff team in
hockey history and, perhaps, greatest team of all time, captured
their fourth straight Stanley Cup by beating the Oilers 4-2 to sweep
the final series. "We're the best that ever skated and if anybody
doesn't believe it they're just kidding themselves," said Denis
Potvin, one of many Islanders dripping from a champagne bath in the
madness of the dressing room. "Nothing has ever matched this." It
would be hard to argue with the Islander captain, who carried the Cup
for a fourth straight year and who led the traditional handshake line
for a record- breaking 16th time. The Isles have tied the Canadiens
of 1976-79 in winning four straight Cups and can tie Montreal's
record five straight (1956-60) next season.

"Right now, we'd love to play them for a lot of money," GM Bill
Torrey said of the legendary Canadien teams. "I think this club in
its own end, well, I don't think any team has ever played
better." "For all the guff we've taken, I think it's time that
people give us the credit that's due," said Bobby Nystrom, whose
overtime goal May 24, 1980 against the Flyers started the string of
Cup victories. "People criticized us. I'll tell you right now, we've
proven to everybody that we can handle it. We've got a lot of
depth and a lot of character." The dept came through in the first
period when goals by Bryan Trottier, John Tonelli and Mike Bossy in a
97-second span propelled the Isles to a 3-0 lead. And when the Oilers
came back with two goals in the second period, the player with the
most character, Bill Smith, grabbed the spotlight once again.

Smith was magnificent in the third-period, making a lightning-fast
glove grab on a Don Jackson shot from the top of the left circle at
the eight-minute mark, stopping Kevin Lowe with a stick save 10
seconds later and foiling Glenn Anderson on a 20-foot slap just
moments after the Edmonton right wing had returned from serving a
five-minute slashing penalty against Smith. Every shot should have
been a goal. With Smith in goal, they never had a chance. And so,
after Ken Morrow sealed it with an empty-net goal with 1:09 remaining
and the Isles took their familiar but still exhilarating victory lap
with the Stanley Cup, Smith was taking his own thrilling journey,
skating around the ice with the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff
MVP. In doing so, he joined teammates Trottier, Bossy and Butch
Goring as recipients of the coveted award.

"I said to [league president John] Zeigler, "There were a lot of
people rolling around in their graves over this," Smith said after
allowing just six goals in four games to a team that scored a record
424 regular-season goals and 74 in 11 playoff games coming into the
final round. "But I feel very honored about getting the Smythe. There
were three or four guys who deserved it as much as I did." One of
them was Bossy, who set a record with his fifth game-winning goal in
one playoff year. Another was Trottier, who did not have his
customary outstanding season, but played hurt in the playoffs and was
magnificent. And then there were Bob Bourne and Duane and
Brent Sutter, who were kept of the score sheet last night but were
responsible for putting the Isles into position for a sweep. From the
opening face-off it was obvious the Isles were determined to end the
series. They stormed through the first period, withstanding a shameful
display of butt- ending (by Ken Linseman) and slashing in the first
eight minutes without losing their poise, then exploding for three
goals to send 15, 317 fans into a frenzy.

The first came on a power play, with Dave Lumley off for interfering
with Goring at 9:54. Goaltender Andy Moog was not able to control a
Bossy wrap-around shot. Instead, it went to Clark Gillies at the end
boards.

Gillies, who had just one assist in seven previous playoff games,
alertly threw a pass out to Trottier at the dot in the left circle.
Trottier took one stride and put his eighth goal through Moog's legs
at 11:02. Tonelli, scoreless in the series, combined with Nystrom
just 43 seconds later to make it 2-0. And 54 seconds after that
Trottier, at the left circle in his own end, spotted Bossy breaking
to the red line. His well-timed lead pass let Bossy break in alone on
Moog. Bossy skated to the inner edge of the right circle and put his
17th goal through Moog's legs for a 3-0 lead. The goal, matching
Bossy's production of last year's playoffs, put him ahead of
Gordie Howe into sole possession of third place in career playoff
goals with 69. He trails Maurice Richard (82) and Jean Beliveau (79).

The cheering stopped 35 seconds into the seconds into the second
period and the nail biting started 21 seconds before the end of the
period as the Oilers climbed back into the game. Wayne Gretzky,
bottled up in the first period, drew a pack of Isles when he picked
up a loose puck behind the end line in the offensive end. So many
people came over to visit that Jari Kurri was left wide open below
the right circle. With Smith hugging the right post, Kurri easily
swept in his eighth goal. If that wasn't the way to start the
period, the Isles certainly finished it the wrong way. With
just 21 seconds left Anders Kallur, having a rough night, skated past
a puck lying at the inner edge of the left circle and fell on his
derriere. He was still sitting when Mark Messier pounced on the puck
and beat Smith over the right shoulder. It was Messier's first point
of the series and his 15th goal.

But Smith and his defense were superb in the third period and the
season ended the way it has for four straight years. "It feels
great, I think the best it ever has," Bossy said. "We came into this
series not really supposed to win and I think with our experience and
talent, all our beliefs and desires, we went out there and showed the
world we're the best hockey team."
**************************************************************


NY Post, May 18, 1983

Justice At Last-A Smythe For Smith
By Mark Everson

Smith-Smythe. It even sounds right.

The Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the playoff MVP, fit Billy Smith
like his catching glove. As Bryan Trottier put it: "Smitty could have
won it the last three years."

He won it last night as the Islanders completed their sweep of the
Oilers for their fourth straight Stanley Cup. Smith turned in a
spectacular final round performance by allowing six goals in four
games to the highest-scoring team in NHL history. The Oilers outshot
the isles 128-103.

I was very honored to get the Conn Smythe. It's something I'll
cherish all my life," Smith said after running his lifetime record in
the finals to 16-3, including nine straight.

"I've probably got an unfair point of view, but from what I've
seen . . . I think he's the all-time greatest," John Tonelli said.

Smith became only the fifth goaltender to win the Smythe, joining
Bernie Parent (1974, '75), Ken Dryden ('71), Glenn Hall ('68) and
Roger Crozier ('66). There were other worthy candidates this year --
Denis Potvin, Butch Goring, Bob Bourne, Duane and Brent Sutter,
Trottier -- but Smith was a choice no one could argue with.

"Three or four other guys deserved it," Smith said. "I'm pleased they
picked me over those guys, but they deserved it as much as I did."
Smith, with a 13-3 mark in this year's playoffs, allowed a total of
43 goals on 491 shots in 17 playoff games. His career playoff record
is 73-24. Smitty struggled in the early rounds, but during the Bruin
series, he showed the form that has earned him the title "Best Money
Goalie in Hockey."

And during the finals he was a this best, turning in a shutout in
Game 1 and finishing with a 1.50 goals-against average. Even Smith
agreed it was his best final round yet. "I think it probably was,"
the 32-year-old said. "I was called on a little bit more than in any
other playoff."

"Still, the guys scored goals when we needed goals. It's very hard
playing behind. When you're up one or two goals, it makes it a lot
easier." After the Oilers had pulled within 3-2, Smith preserved the
Islander lead with giant stops on Don Jackson, Kevin Lowe, Glenn
Anderson and, of course, Wayne Gretzky, who was kept out of the
scoring column.

But even in his moment of triumph, Smith unleashed his anger over the
controversy that followed his swipes of Anderson and Gretzky in
Edmonton.

"This was the toughest because of the aggravations and the cheap
shots the press were taking at me," Smith said. "I'm bitter, very
damn bitter." Last night, he paid the Oilers back. Ten seconds into
a critical Edmonton power play in the third, Anderson sticked Smith
in the neck. Smith fell like a keg of beer, and Anderson was handed a
major penalty.

"I did the same thing Gretzky did," Smith crowed. "I hit Gretzky and
he rolled around, so Anderson hit me and I went over on my back and
rolled around. He got a major penalty. "You can tell the people in
Canada two can play that game."

But those incidents will be forgotten soon. What will linger, and
what will be engraved on the Smythe, is how important Smith was to
the Isles. The Oilers still don't know how to figure him out.
*********************************************************
NY Post, May 18, 1983

Trottier Leads Victory Parade
By Mark Everson

As the clock wound down, there was Bryan Trottier, back to the ice,
circling his arms in windmills, getting the Coliseum crowd to enjoy
the moment as much as he did. The Heart of the Islanders was at the
bursting point, and what a heart-warming sight it was.

"This was probably the most emotional series I've ever played in,
because I could not control my emotions," Trottier said. "I was sick,
but an enjoyable sick."

Other players should get so ill as Trottier, who did so much for his
team in the final, diving on defense, forcing pucks free at center
ice, and setting up goals on offense. Again, he probably played
nearly half the game, and took almost every defensive draw.

All despite that bad wheel, his left knee, which has partially torn
ligaments. And he even scored his first goal of the final, converting
Clark Gillies' feed for the opening goal last night, giving the Isles
the lead they never relinquished.

After the buzzer, and while the Stanley Cup was being wheeled out.
Trottier skated in front of each section, blowing kisses and waving
to the crowd, when he was able to get out of Duane Sutter's jersey-
grab. Clearly, this was no blase player.

"It's hard to explain," Trottier said. "I couldn't control what I was
doing, what I was feeling. There were times when I was blowing up,
here were times I almost felt like crying, and you fight that and
say, "this is awful, I can't control it,' but at the same time,
things were happening good out on the ice. I was just caught up in
this thing. It was really, really awesome."

The champs do recognize the budding power, they had beaten.

"What we've done in four years might never be done again," Gillies
said. "Probably they said that about the Canadiens, but I think the
league's a lot closer together now. But I hope we can go for five."

It may be against the same team, and at least one Islander figures the
Oilers will eventually learn what the Isles are feeling today. "I
think the Edmonton Oilers will win the Stanley Cup one year," Butch
Goring said. "There's no doubt in my mind. And not too far away,
either." This could be a long running battle. and it can only get
better.
*************************************************************
Mark Everson

New York Post, Wednesday, May 18, 1983

Bossy's Goal Sets Him Apart
By Mark Everson

The list of players with two Cup-winning goals is short, and filled
with clutch scorers. Miked Bossy joined it, and went one better last
night.

Bossy joined Toe Blake, Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Jacques Lemaire
and Bobby Orr as the only players to score two Cup winners, but only
Bossy did it back-to-back.

"The winning goal has to be a highlight of my career," said Bossy,
whose tally on Andy Moog at 12:39 of the first was the goal Edmonton
was unable to equal.

It also vaulted him past Gordie Howe and into third place in career
playoff goal-scoring with 69, behind Rocket Richard (82) and Beliveau
(79).

"It's most gratifying for me personally," Bossy said, "not that I
rewrote the record books, but just the team effort. Go down the
list, and everyone contributed everything they had.

His breakaway goal, set up by Bryan Trottier, was the fifth playoff
game-winner Bossy scored this year, breaking the mark shared by
Maurice Richard, Beliveau, Rick MacLeish, Guy Lafleur, Clark Gillies,
Bill Barber and Steve Payne.

Bossy has scored 17 goals in each of his last three playoffs.
************************************************************
New York Post
Wednesday, May 18, 1983.

Howe: Isles Rank Among All-Time Best
By Hugh Delano

The Islanders are as good as any team that has played hockey. They
even may be the best all-around team in NHL history. That was Gordie
Howe?s assessment last night after watching the Islanders whip
Edmonton 4-2 to win their fourth consecutive Stanley Cup. "The
Islanders match up with the best team in any era of the game," Howe
said. "The Islanders are strong in every area. Great goaltending,
great defensemen, forwards who can go, go, go offensively and
defensively. They?ve got a real sniper in Mike Bossy and they?ve got
one of the steadiest defensemen I?ve ever seen in Denis Potvin."

Howe, an executive with the Whalers, was particularly impressed with
Potvin?s play throughout the playoffs. "That Potvin did some
defensive job, blocking all those shots," Howe said. "He didn?t
shoot the puck as much as he could, but when he did, he really fired
that sucker." Howe played 35 seasons of professional hockey (26 in
the NHL) from 1946-80. He played with Stanley Cup championship teams
in Detroit in 1950, ?52, ?54 and ?55. He finished his brilliant
career as the highest scorer in hockey history, with 801 goals and
1850 points. "I remember those great Toronto and Montreal teams I
played against," Howe said. He referred to the Maple Leafs, who won
three straight Cups from 1947-49 and duplicated that feat with
championships from 1964-64.

"This Islander team is just as good as those teams were," Howe said.

Howe also played against the awesome Canadien teams which won a
record five straight Cups from 1956-60. "Montreal had great all-
around teams then, just like the Islanders have had guys like the
Rocket and Jean Beliveau," Howe said. "The Islanders of today have
got to be considered just as good."

Howe also was impressed with the play of defenseman Tomas Jonsson.

The hockey Hall of Famer said much of the Islanders success is
attributable to its management/coaching team of Bill Torrey and Al
Arbour. "The Islanders impressed me as a very classy organization
with great togetherness," Howe said. "They seem to treat their
players better than a lot of other teams.

I?ve never heard many rumblings of trouble within the team. They?ve
got a heckuva coach in "The Kingfish." That?s what I call Al
Arbour. We played together at one time."

Although the Oilers were swept in four games, Howe was impressed with
their youth, size and skill. He would not be surprised to see the
same two teams meeting again next year in the Stanley Cup
finals. "The way I look at it," Howe said, "the Islanders never let
Edmonton dictate the way the games would be played." Wayne Gretzky
had a sub-par playoff, failing to score a goal against the
Isles. "The Islanders did a helluva job defensing against
Gretzky?s game," Howe said. "Basically the Islanders took Wayne?s
wingers away from him." Meaning Gretzky had difficulty passing and
receiving passes from his linemates. "Wayne is a great, great
athlete," Howe said.

"I think he had to be pressing a bit against the Islanders.
Unconsciously he probably was trying to overdo things. It was only
natural."





5/16/08

Bergenheim and random notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/16/2008 02:10:00 PM
Sean Bergenheim did not play in Russia's 4-0 win friday against Finland.

Finland will play Sweden in a game for third place.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Tough WC for Islander fans. One player who's been hurt aside from a few games and no one else participating. I'll keep checking through Sunday when the tournament concludes but I would be surprised if he plays again.

Islanders website: Reports on the latest meetings regarding the Lighthouse project and requesting the fans support.

Dates and times: May 22 at 10 a.m. and May 27 at 7 p.m.
Where: Nathan L. H. Bennett Pavilion
Town of Hempstead Town Hall
One Washington Street
Hempstead, NY
*******************************************************
Regarding the NHL playoffs it's amazing how much tradition and story lines keep coming back to the New York Islanders. From the comeback against Pittsburgh and comparisons to the 83 Islanders/Oilers matchup with a possible Pens-Oilers series to the playoff beards.

Seems like this time of year everything comes back to the New York Islanders incredible traditions. Seems like the Isles should be an original six team for all they mean to hockey this time of year.

Philadelphia-Dallas extending their series and getting games on NBC is good for the league this weekend.
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Looks like all that Yankee Stadium construction I talked about for months is becoming a factor. Easy for me to spend Mr Wang's money but he pays for work on the field to get the Isles in as the host team it will help the Islanders exposure. If the Rangers are the other team they can be the visitor and not lose a home game but part of that deal should be Islander fans get majority of tickets.
*******************************************************
Jacques Martin signing a long-term extension must make for a marvelous day for Olli Jokinen. It would not shock me to see him moved this summer and no I cannot see him wanting to come back to a franchise he demanded out of a decade ago.
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I appreciate Garth Snow telling us about the draft and know he cannot give out specifics. Having written that it does not make for anything entertaining. Even a Ridderwall, Johansson update would have worked for me.

I wonder when the gm is going to respond about the coaches own comments that he's in a difficult situation?

If Ted Nolan feels this way the subject is now fair game to be asked by Mr Logan or anyone.
*******************************************************
I have mixed thoughts on Mr Dey's approach to reach out to the kids. Part of it is a good idea and the right way to create new fans and always something you should be trying to do. Having written that it seems like they know they have done all they could for the long-time diehard fan and if they cannot get those people back must get a new generation of families vested in the product.
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Regarding some television shows for the Isles that's nice but Msg owns the stations and if the Isles get one program while the competition gets countless shows each day I cannot see it helping much.

Msg wants to impress us why not show all four Islander wins against Pittsburgh this week from 1993? Get Jiggs McDonald in there and have him do half hour shows with every Islander great they can bring in.
*********************************************************
It's funny the Pittsburgh papers did a short article on the 93 series, meanwhile our friends at Newsday did not write a word?

Like I said I do not get any pleasure being critical of the media/Newsday but this is just terrible coverage and it hurts the team at the gate.
*********************************************************
For those wondering the Post is going up to fifty cents next week yet they have enough revenue to send Jay Greenberg back to his former stomping grounds in Philadelphia to cover games while the Isles go all season without a full time beatwriter or a blog?

Cutting out Larry Brooks on Sunday should save a few bucks. Why is Mark Everson providing full time Devils coverage again or why is the post paying to travel to road Ranger games?
*********************************************************
Responding to a few e-mails:
I have not found a good poll worth doing and do not want to do one just to generate response. If anyone has a good hockey suggestion for a poll I would be happy to go with it. I was thinking of a poll for coaches who you would want to replace Ted Nolan but given the club has said he will be back it's kind of pointless to ask.

I have no idea how a live draft blog will go here in terms of participation. All I know is I will be here and anyone who wants to talk Islanders draft in the blog will be welcome to do so also.
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No, the Islanders do not provide me scoops nor am I interested in that sort of thing. I am not an insider and have no desire to be. I take things as they happen with the club and try and be fair whether it be positive or negative.
***********************************
Mr praise for Mr Botta has very little to do with the blogbox, he's done a great job representing this franchise for two decades. I have never met him and do not participate in the box as someone who goes and sits there but I can tell my readers the Isles have been first class in how they have treated me because that's the way it is.

My blog comes from a viewpoint of the traditional fan watching without access and that's the way it will stay. If there was a reason to be critical of Mr Botta I would be. I have blogged and disagreed with some things he has done this year too but I have nothing but respect for him.















5/15/08

Open House II Highlights

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/15/2008 02:45:00 PM
Islanders website has the video of Wednesday nights open house at the Coliseum, video runs about thirty three minutes.

Michael Bossy appeared briefly in the video late and talked about the year he was drafted.

Time for a little trivia for the blog readers here.

Who was the player the Islanders were considering with Mike Bossy before scout Henry Saraceno talked Al Arbour into getting him the home run hitter with the fifteenth pick?

NHL.com: Adam Kimelman has a full feature on Bob Nystrom with his comments on the 1975 comeback against Pittsburgh.

St.nu spors: Elite prospects.com has this as a doubtful rumor but does have an article from a newspaper a few days ago on Frans Nielsen going to Timrå.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Take it with a major grain of salt but it is an article from a newspaper with what appears to be a professional writer which is the criteria I use reading rumors. I cannot even tell you what it says and eliteprospects has Yashin's rumors right next to it and lists this as doubtful. This could be a Bruce Garroich kind of article but what's notable is it's about Nielsen.

Having written that all I do know is Frans Nielsen may have to play in the NHL next season or be close to a situtation where he needs to be exposed to waivers to play for Bridgeport.






Islanders failure at draft haunts franchise

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/15/2008 06:59:00 AM
No folks, I'm not talking about Mike Milbury's trades.

Just raw materials you have to get from your drafts where a select number of players turn into difference-makers in your NHL lineup regardless of where they are selected. Players like Colorado's Marek Svatos for example.

Some late round Islander picks turned into respectable NHL defenders and even a good one in Radek Martinek with the potential obviously there for Campoli and Gervais but here we are in almost a full decade later with Bergenehim & Comeau
the only forwards to break into the lineup as regulars. Neither at this time can be called gamebreakers with Kyle Okposo the only player close to that level.

Nothing close to a gamebreaker in so many drafts, not one Palffy-like talent or even close among the fowards.

So many clubs find a few players like that sooner or later.

So many outright failures which you expect with late round picks but still hope you find one or two surprises. How did so many fail out of Lowell, Springfield and Bridgeport. All the time invested in players like Mattias Weinhandl who leads the SEL in scoring during the lockout in a league packed with NHL veterans but when he returns here cannot break into a spot and is now back in Europe doing well at the WC.

Kolnik was traded to Florida by Mike Milbury for a defender in Sven Butenschon who was unrestricted only a few months earlier who had a short breakout period in Florida but spent 07-08 in the Swiss league. Weinhandl went from Minnesota back to Europe. Mapletoft made it back to the AHL but that's about it after he did not sign with the Isles after so much promise in Red Deer under Brent Sutter.

So much damage but a promising class in 2006. My first impression reading the 2007 Islanders draft was too few picks and reminded me of some of Mike Milbury's draft in 2001 where no one made ever played for the club.

That cannot happen with Garth Snow's 2007 draft class.


NHL Draft - 1999
1 5 Tim Connolly
1 8 Taylor Pyatt-Not as good as Nelson Pyatt so far, disappointing year in VCR.
1 10 Branislav Mezei-Oft injured disappointment for a tenth overall pick.
1 28 Kristian Kudroc-Major bust for a first round selection.
3 78 Mattias Weinhandl-For time/investment bust for Isles and Wild.
3 87 Brian Collins-Never signed.
4 101 Juraj Kolnik-see above.
4 102 Johan Halvardsson-eight games w/Bridgeport in 06-07.
5 130 Justin Mapletoft-AHL player with Binghampton Senators after going to Europe.
5 140 Adam Johnson-never signed.
6 163 Bjorn Melin-Three games w/Ahaheim in 06-07 back in Europe.
8 228 Radek Martinek
9 255 Brett Henning-Never signed out of Notre Dame.
9 268 Tyler Scott-Played in France in 07-08 after years in ECHL.

NHL Draft - 2000
1 1 Rick Dipietro
1 5 Raffi Torres
4 101 Arto Tukio-Never signed.
4 105 Vladimir Gorbunov-Never signed.
5 136 Dimitri Upper-Still playing in Russia.
5 148 Kristofer Ottosson-Career Djurgardens product will meet Robin Figren.
7 202 Ryan Caldwell-two games w/Coyotes last season for former NCAA Champion.
9 264 Dimitri Altarev-Never left Russia.
9 267 Tomi Pettinen-We all remember his Islander stint in 05-06.

NHL Draft - 2001
4 101 Cory Stillman-Isles drafted the one who never made it.
5 132 Dusan Salficky-We all recall his bolting from Bridgeport in season?
6 166 Andy Chiodo-Isles did not sign him, went from Pitt to Europe.
7 197 Jan Holub-Never signed.
8 228 Mike Bray-Played on club with former Islander Claude Lapointe in LNAH.
9 260 Bryan Perez-Never signed with Isles.
9 280 Roman Kuhtinov-Never signed with Isles.
9 287 Juha-Pekka Ketola-Never signed with Isles.

NHL Draft - 2002
1 22 Sean Bergenheim-Finally completed first full season in NHL.
3 87 Frans Nielsen-Still on the outside needing a first full season RFA.
5 149 Marcus Paulsson-Never signed playing in swe-1 league.
6 189 Alexei Stonkus-Recovered from very serious neck injury, still Isles prospect.
7 220 Brad Topping-Never signed.
8 252 Martin Chabada-Bolted Bridgeport for Europe, playing in SEL.
9 283 Per Braxenholm-Transfering in European leagues.


NHL Draft - 2003
1 15 Robert Nilsson
2 48 Dimitri Chernykh-Never signed but still prospect on website.
2 53 Evgeny Tunik-Sixty one games in Bridgeport, still technically a prospect.
2 58 Jeremy Colliton-Here we are still waiting with no spot seemingly in sight.
4 120 Stefan Blaho-Never signed out of juniors.
6 182 Bruno Gervais-Entering fourth season with Isles.
7 212 Denis Rehak-Never signed out of WHL.
8 238 Cody Blanshan-Never signed, went from ECHL to CHL last season.
8 246 Igor Volkov-The impressive forward Isles list but cannot bring over.

NHL Draft - 2004
1 16 Petteri Nokelainen-I'm not liking this deal considering Walter not in NHL.
2 47 Blake Comeau-Best of the bunch with Bergenheim/Okposo gamebreaker? Not yet.
3 82 Sergei Ogordonikov-Could have been bought out by Bridgeport.
4 115 Wes O'Neill-So much for that fourth round steal on draftday.
5 148 Steve Regier-Isles have invested a lot, still seems no spot with Isles.
6 179 Jaroslav Mrazek-Never signed, currently in Czech league.
7 210 Emil Axelsson-Mystery man still listed on Isles prospect page.
7 227 Chris Campoli-About to enter his third full season.
8 244 Jason Pitton-Signed prospect.
9 276 Sylvain Michaud-never signed.

NHL Draft - 2005
1 15 Ryan O'Marra
2 46 Dustin Kohn-About to enter second season with Bridgeport.
3 76 Shea Guthrie-College prospect.
5 144 Masi Marjamaki-Signed by Isles, one game in NHL, back in Europe.
6 180 Tyrell Mason-College prospect.
7 196 Nicholas Tuzzolino-Never signed, in IHL today.
7 210 Luciano Aquino-Signed but RFA demoted to Fort Wayne from Bridgeport.

Seems like different culture in terms of signings and college prospects.

NHL Draft- 2006
1 7 Kyle Okposo-Signed.
2 60 Jesse Joensuu-Signed.
3 70 Robin Figren-Signed.
4 100 Rhett Rakhshani-College
4 108 Jase Weslosky-College
4 115 Tomas Marcinko-Signed.
4 119 Doug Rogers-College
5 126 Shane Sims-College
5 141 Kim Johansson-Must be signed by 6/1.
6 160 Andrew MacDonald-Signed
6 171 Brian Day-College
6 173 Stefan Ridderwall-Must be signed by 6/1.
7 190 Troy Mattila-College

Too early to review the 2007 draft class but only two forwards, and a few picks.





5/14/08

Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/14/2008 09:07:00 PM














Islanders website: Recaps Wednesday's open house with comments from Garth Snow, Chris Dey, Ted Nolan & Bruno Gervais.

Newsday: Katie Strang attended the open house and has Garth Snow's comments on what he's looking for at the draft.

Globe & Mail: Tim Wharnsby has an article on the 1975 Islanders with comments from Lorne Henning and Clark Gillies.

Sean Bergenheim did not play in Finland's 3-2 overtime win vs US at the World Championships on Wednesday. Finland lost a 2-0 lead in the final minutes before winning in overtime after the US tied the game.

Finland's semi-final game will be on Friday.

NY Times: Jeff Z. Klein is doing a live blog at the times and lists Bergenheim on his lineup sheet but he's not playing.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The Times has been all over the WC but barely cover the three local teams or provide blogs to supplement New York Islander coverage?

Apparently the budget allows for Dave Caldwell to cover Pens-Flyers.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio is blogging on the AHL playoffs, providing some Utah coverage for the Finals, the WC and reports Islander prospect Luciano Aquino's Ft Wayne Komets won the Turner Cup in triple overtime coming back in the series.

Ft Wayne Journal-Gazette: Justin A. Kohn has blanket coverage and blogs on the Komets Championship.

NY Times: Richard Sandomir also questions Cablevision's ability to be objective as the owner of Newsday and writes about Garden media policies in the past restricting writers and content.





1993 Playoffs New York vs Pittsburgh

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/14/2008 04:36:00 PM
In honor of the fifteenth anniversary of game seven, here are all four Islander wins in the series.

I miss the uniforms, the siren, everything.
Sorry, no Jiggs McDonald clips available.














NYI Fan Central Final Review: Chris Campoli

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/14/2008 08:38:00 AM
Today a final review of defenseman of Chris Campoli.

2007-08:
Going into 2007-08 was far different for Chris Campoli then his previous season where he had to win over a new coach and earn back his spot. He had won over both the coach and general manager to where he was signed to a three year contract extension despite a lot of injuries the previous season but proved he could play steady when he was healthy.

Chris Campoli started 2007-08 with some big goals early, but what most impressive to me was his ability to step up and throw a hit at the right time that would not be a penalty and not lead to a mistake/turnover which was something he seemed more polished at doing. He was paired with Bruno Gervais and did a very soild job in all three zones as he displayed a nice level of maturity in his game.

Campoli has always had excellent offensive intincts as to when to pinch and gamble to force a play. This year I not only saw that but more of those inctincts translated to his defensive game. He seemed to not get rattled by Mike Sillinger getting animated with him in Tampa during a powerplay in overtime against the Lightning where Sillinger scored a game winning goal.

Overall his strong offensive start in terms of statistics did not continue nor did it seem like he could help the club on the powerplay in terms of being a quarterback he did not step up and take the spot from Bergeron, Berard or anyone else.

Finally in Jaunary it was clear he was making a few mistakes or he was off his game, but he had a shoulder problem, needed surgery but played as long as he could.

Moving forward:
Islander have Campoli signed for another two years and seems a big part of the future here but this is a player other teams will be asking about in trades because clearly the offensive/defensive upside and potential are only getting better.

With Kohn, Hillen, Meyer, Gervais, Johnson restricted and even a Berard/Davison to consider resigning a tough choice may have to come here and if the right trade comes to improve the offense does the gm decide to move him?

Fair or not it also has to be asked can Chris Campoli play eight two games or be as durable as he was in his rookie season. He has a lot of the same tendencies as Freddy Meyer who also has a two year contract.

Final Grade:
Chris Campoli did a very solid job in 2007-08 and showed a lot of good signs where he is progressing well. It also seemed the opportunity was there for him to step into a powerplay quarterback role and he did not win the spot but overall he showed he's on the right track. He gets a very solid B for his work last season.

5/13/08

Islander News Articles 5/14:

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/13/2008 10:27:00 PM
Boston Globe: Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has a few words from Islanders goaltending coach Mike Dunham about golfing and how he will be here in July for prospects camp.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
All due respect to Mike Dunham but his comments can be perceived as he would rather be playing golf in July as opposed to his job but he was interviewed during a golf event. I would like to see some urgency from a coach after the season the Isles just completed.

Newsday: Katie Strang in Newsday's blog previews Wednesday's open house and again will be on hand to cover the event.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Cue my usual where is Greg Logan comment. Meanwile Steve Zipay is blogging on Ranger prospects transfering to European teams for his readers even after having to work much longer this season. Former Islander goalie Dusan Salficky is transfering again for anyone interested.

Islanders website: Has a Tuesday night feature on Clancy nominee Bill Guerin for his leadership with comments from Aaron Johnson, Trent Hunter, Bruno Gervais, Mike Comrie & Blake Comeau.

Newsday: Keith Herbert already is asking if Cablevision's deal will mean objective coverage of business and sports news while the Newsday blog links to the Huffington Post article by Marvin Kitman blasting James Dolan here while several Newsday blogs are asking the same thing as Bart Jones and Erik German's article on Charles Dolan again mentions Charles Wang here and if the elder Dolan will provide objective coverage while protecting the properties he owns.

More tomorrow if some updated news.




Feature on Alex Pietrangelo

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/13/2008 02:57:00 PM


NHL.com: Adam Kimelman has a full feature on prospect Alex Pietrangelo with comments from Chris Edwards, who scouts the Ontario Hockey League for NHL Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire, the Central Scouting director and Gary Eggleston.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Excellent feature where the young defender talks about his ability with the prospect experts breaking down the upside and downside.

For what this is worth my speculation is this will be the Islanders selection if Filatov is already drafted.





Draft weekend interactive blog

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/13/2008 11:49:00 AM
Some announcements for folks reading this blog on what's ahead.

1. That grey box announcing a live blog on 6/20 on will allow folks to come here and talk Islander hockey here draft day in the blog itself. I will be doing this both Friday night and Saturday morning as Friday is only for round one and Saturday for the remaining picks.

I hope a lot of folks decide to visit and be a part of it as I promise a good two days of interactive blogging/hockey talk as I would like to hear from even more of my readers here, what you think about the Isles draft and the team.

No signups, no subscriptions, just come and talk Islander hockey. Any questions please feel free to ask. I will pack the blog with updates and all the information I can find on the players the Isles select.

2. I decided to pull back from the message board concept I have been working on because it's too time consuming to do a blog/message board and the more things I want out of a board the more work it is to maintain it. If enough folks e-mail me and say that want a message board here I will revisit it.

3. I added back in the scoreboard so folks could follow the playoff games. After the recent blogger monster problems shutting things down here I have been scaling back changes so the page loads quicker for everyone and there are no more problems.

4. I keep adding to the prospect and draft centers with all updated articles so please keep checking. I finally added in a Troy Mattila mini article/profile which the Islanders did not have in the prospect section.

5. The season ending reviews will be continuing, took a short break from them and have to remember who I have yet to review.

6. My old Islanders-Sound Tigers mailing list does not allow me to change the settings so everyone can read/view archives so to put a link here to it would not work for anyone and only give everyone a log in page. I will post old updates at times from the list as many have already seen.

7. Finally found a rss feed for Kyle Woodlief's Red Line Reports from USAToday.com that will be permanent here even after the draft.

8. Picture link added for Tsn.ca in both the sidebar and the media section so folks can find their site. They do not have a seperate hockey feeder.

Thanks again for the great support.





WC update, Mr Botta, Newsday/Cablevision

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/13/2008 10:21:00 AM
Finland will again play team USA in a rematch at the WC on Wednesday as the Quarterfinals begin. If there is anything printed on Bergenhiem's playing status I will add it to the blog.

For the semi-finals in Quebec City, the winner of CZE-SWE will play the winner of NOR-CAN, and the winner of RUS-SUI will play the winner of USA-FIN.
******************************************************************
Point Blank: Mr Botta continues blogging, tells us about the Islanders concept for podcasting that never happened he hopes will and talks about some segments completed which include one where Garth Snow was interviewed.

He also talks about Ryan Jankowski who oversaw the 2006 draft among other subjects and feels he will do an excellent job.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I expected nothing less from Mr Botta but great Islander information as his blog remains very active from a first class individual who obviously is a fan of the Islanders above all.

If Garth Snow's comments are correct that he's trying to sign prospect Stefan Ridderwall and bring him to Bridgeport you have to think Joey MacDonald with a one way signed contract for next season already would become the Islanders new backup goaltender and Wade Dubielewicz could be moving on but I suppose anything could happen in that regard.

Truth is Dubie could start for a few teams in this league right now and I have little doubt he would do an excellent job. The Islander fan in me wants him to stay and the Dubielewicz fan in me wants to see him start for someone.

SI.com: Richard Deitsch also praised Mr Botta today writing he was one of the few pleasures of interacting with the Islanders franchise during the past decade. He predict's Mr Botta will be proved as a visionary when it comes to the relationship between professional sports teams/bloggers and echoed Adam Proteau of THN in that the Isles are far poorer today without him.

Newsday: Several writers contributed to today's report on the sale of Newsday to Cablevision and what's ahead with the Dolan family comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I think I read the same thing a decade ago when Sportschannel and Msg merged, next thing we knew the Islanders home opener was taken off television, playoff games were put on Metro, Islander coverage starting getting reduced and ratings went down.

If folks think I'm not being fair here or overestimating the impact because I'm an Islander fan all I can do is invite you to look at what the people covering Msg in the media say in this article by John Koblin in the New York Observer here this is what insiders say covering sports under Cablevision, not myself.

I cannot add to that.




Question about Mr Logan

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/13/2008 05:05:00 AM
I received a question today about Mr Logan that asked if I was being fair with him in my blog which I would like to answer to all my readers.

The last thing I want to do is write about Greg Logan in my space here unless it's to praise a good article but between the poor coverage and what seems like an agenda to stir things up whenever he can, I feel I am given little choice if I am going to hold hockey media coverage under the spotlight.

He may be a very nice person but this is only about his hockey content.

When was the last time this man wrote anything positive about this team beyond a quick paragraph while writers for other teams always talk up the positive?

Outside writers in other cities may get mad at their teams and rip them but they love the teams they cover, that's why so many of them have been in the same job for decades covering those beats.

All Mr Logan does is make me feel lousy about being a fan of this franchise between his indifference in the club's lack of coverage and stirring things up. Things are not great but they are not that bad either.

Mr Fornabaio in the Ct Post never makes me feel this way about being a Sound Tiger fan regardless of the record and in my opinion works as hard as someone can to cover a team and does an outstanding job telling the club's story which is what the Islanders desperately need.

Mr Fornabaio's enthuisasitc in his work, you can tell he enjoys it and he blogs as if he understands the fans want more and he delivers even now as he tells us the AHL playoff story or anything else happening. It's fantastic work on every possible level and it makes me want to be a Sound Tiger fan.

For Mr Logan everything seems to have a negative spin behind it and it all comes from his speculation which fans pick up on because he's the only full time writer and his message is usually the only one sent around the NHL print media world.

Rick DiPietro is the first Islander goalie to start an all-star game and he cannot even be bothered to do some blogs on it?

What's sad is when some veterans did deserved to be ripped for poor play he wanted no part of it in his coverage even when the coach was ripping them but he seemed to go all out aganinst DiPietro who had a very good second half, statistics aside.

Why the double-standard?

The lack of blogs I think are not fair to our fans. He should understand this beat requires more even if it is just an assigmnent for him. The hard work a year ago to track down Ryan Smyth changing planes on his way here was lacking all season this time around. How can he justify the Isles being outblogged five to one in Newsday by the other hockey writer?

It seems almost everything negative about this franchise comes out of Mr Logan's personal speculation.

Worst of all Newsday's lack of features on individual players hurts the club's marketability in recruiting players from other clubs in free agency. Signing here you will not get any hype which will make money for the player and more interest in the team.

What's fascinating to me was when the Isles went to Western Canada this season for the first time in years the franchise reconnected with the media up there and got to tell their story without Newsday's spin from afar and so many people did positive articles after having first hand access to the club.

You can see it now from a lot of outside articles, no one is ripping the Isles like they were doing a year ago. Seeing these people from the Isles in person and telling the club's story changed the perception of some writers.

I hope that answers your question.





5/12/08

NHL Notables, Bergenheim, Wilson fired, Yashin

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/12/2008 09:10:00 AM
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
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.

5/11/08

Bergenheim not in lineup for Finland at WC

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/11/2008 05:30:00 PM
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.

Updated:
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
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.

5/10/08

Mr Botta, Newsday's Islander beat?

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/10/2008 08:55:00 PM
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
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?
No.

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.







5/9/08

NYI Fan Central Notables/WC update

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/09/2008 04:50:00 PM
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.








5/8/08

Islanders sign Joel Rechlicz

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/08/2008 02:00:00 PM
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
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
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.



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