E-mail Mayor Bloomberg, No Isles, no outdoor game in NYC

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/25/2008 02:19:00 AM | | | 2 Comments

Folks, the New York Islanders need your help now.

I'm asking for my fellow New York Islander fans reading this blog to get involved in something that should only take a minute of your time and could help our team be a part of the outdoor game in their own market or make sure no game is held in New York at all.

Spread the word to as many folks as you can.

Please save the time you take e-mailing me back/responding with a discussion and use it to send NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg an email and then get your fellow Islander fans involved.

It's down to the end of the process with the league expected to announce a host city for the next outdoor game according to Gary Bettman's Stanley Cup press conference.

It looks like that comes down to the City of New York granting approval for the construction/winterizing projects that have to take place in the current Yankee Stadium to host an outdoor hockey event that need city approval. This means the Bloomberg administration is the final word here.

Spread the word, let the Mayor's office receive a few thousand e-mails from New York Islander fans demanding our team is involved in this event or no approval be granted by the city for any work on the current Yankee Stadium to make this event possible.

Mr Bloomberg's radio network owns the rights to New York Islander hockey. Former deputy mayor Dan Doctoroff used to be a minority owner of our team.

Not political here folks, it's simply about the right thing being done.

Fill out the forum and demand the New York Islanders be involved in the outdoor game or the city not approve any construction/winterization on the current Yankee Stadium so Cablevision/NBC/Dick Ebersol, Sam Flood can once again cut the New York Islanders out of their own market while only their own special interest take precedent.

If the New York Islanders are not involved in this game, the city should not grant the Yankees approval to make a game possible.

New York is the Islanders market. The club has put in all the work to make this game a reality for almost two years according to Mr Botta while NBC/Dick Ebersol/Sam Flood and likely Cablevision want no part of the Islanders involvement despite our strong fan support at Msg and in New Jersey.

If Dick Ebersol does not like it and wants the Garden's team involved at all cost let them go on the road to play an outdoor game. New York is the Islanders market and if they are not part of it no game should ever take place in New York.

Anyone who thinks Cablevision is paying the New York Islanders close to seventeen million a year or Devils about the same to give them equal billing on television and build a larger fan base I'm afraid I cannot do anything for you.

This is the same Cablevision that killed the West Side Stadium & the Olympics with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and his former chief of staff Patricia Lynch, a Garden lobbyist. The speaker himself has been accused of special priviledges at Ranger games by the NY Post here.

To this day Msg is still receiving tax exepmtions from the early 80's to keep from moving back then and want no part of ending that practice here with again Mr Silver pulling all the strings for Cablevision.

Our team needs this game and the exposure from it. The Islanders put in the groundwork for it and are the championship hockey tradition in New York. They belong in this event as the only other New York pro team with four or more consceutitive championships with the Yankees. It may even help them get the Hub approved with that many Islander fans in one place rooting for the team sending a message to the politicians in Nassau County with the attention the club will receive in the media from being a part of this.

This is the link to contact Mayor Bloomberg:

You can bet Mr Bloomberg will be more than happy to step up and take something away from Cablevision after all they have taken from New York if the Islanders are not included. The mayor would not even get involved in a friendly wager with the City of Buffalo last spring when the Rangers were in the playoffs while Mr Suozzi did a friendly wager for the Islanders in the opening round.

It's up to you and I think it's a time for everyone to take a few minutes and do something to help. I hope you decide to send the mayor an e-mail and spread the word to help our team.

Thank You for reading this.

Hockey Night on LI, Isles Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/24/2008 04:30:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

Just finished up Hockey Night on LI with Alex & Steve who as usual did a great job as we talked about several Islander subjects (draft, media coverage, fan meetings) as well as the NHL final. They always make it a pleasure for me to appear.

For those wishing to listen to the show it is posted on the sidebar of the blog as is the links to their website to follow their upcoming/past programs.

On other fronts Mr Botta in his Point Blank blog Saturday gave his thoughts on the Islanders efforts for New York to land the outdoor game again here and points to Larry Brooks article in the NY Post today here where he makes his point Dick Ebersol/Sam Flood do not want the a New York Islanders (or Devils) vs Rangers at Yankee Stadium.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Other than Mr Botta's insights, the only value here is what the Yankee rep said on the subject. I'm kind of talked out on Mr Ebersol/NBC's long friendly association with Msg to where the Garden is promoted by NBC sports at all costs and have had a vested stake in the past with the Garden. The poor ratings the Rangers have produced when featured during the regular season & the playoffs the last three seasons on national television say all we need to know about the hockey market in the city and it's marginal impact on a national level.

Pittsburgh, Buffalo carry the Eastern Conference ratings.

If the New York Islanders are not part of the game I encourage our fans not to attend or watch. I encourage the Islanders to schedule a game themselves at the same time if possible.

All I can add beyond that is Mr Brooks speculates on a decision being made in two weeks. That reads well but a year ago nothing was officially announced until training camp opened and unofficial confirmation did not hit the Pittsburgh papers until August 25th according to Rob Rossi in the Tribune Review here.

I suppose anything can happen in that regard but it seems off-base for anyone to claim something must be done within two weeks if that was not the case a year ago.

Gary Bettman in his finals press conference intends to announce the teams and venue for the winter clasic shortly here.


Islanders website: Release it's best of 2007-08 with a feature of Al Arbour night.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I do not want to be the bad guy here but perhaps given the calander says 5/24 the club could have done something on the 1980 team and held that for another day?

In the poll for the Isles website I gave them a B and it would have been an A if they simply beefed up the championship information and articles on this teams incredible past. They should have year-round access to old articles/backpages, photos, game highlights all over the site. Few teams have the Isles storied championship tradition and it's something that's needs to be addressed and should not be very hard to incorporate into the teams website.

You cannot just market the past on core of the four weekend or Al Arbour night to a new generation, that information should be available all the time.

This should be an easy one. A few snippets from the book Pride & Passion are not nearly enough.
As for the blog itself:

Unless something major breaks in terms of the New York Islanders, I'm going to take a few days off here for the holiday that could run well into late Tuesday. The Ridderwall, Johansson signing watch continues along with the unrestricted/restricted free agents.

The current media poll will run through the next few days as well.

The feeders all over the blog provide Islander-related updates as well so visitng here you will miss nothing.

Everyone have a good memorial day weekend, thank you as always for the great support.

Happy Anniversary 1980 New York Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/24/2008 07:21:00 AM | | Comment Here

Finals Coverage, Boedker & Kessel

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/23/2008 03:11:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Globe & Mail: William Houston writes about the lack of Newspapers covering the Stanley Cup finals or providing only part time coverage.

Newsday sports editor Hank Winnicki believes interest in the NHL in increasing, but felt it couldn't have been much worse than it was a couple of years ago. He also says among Newsday's sports blogs, the Islanders rank in the top 10. In April, the Rangers blog led in traffic.

Mr Winnicki also says there are a lot of Islander fan blogs but there's only one by the guy who's covering the team and in the locker room, he thinks people see the value of that.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I would see the value if I saw a dedicated blog updated often by someone who understands the Isles need more coverage and picks up the slack for the poor coverage in the city. Instead the Rangers have far more blog updates in Newsday than the Islanders. That's something he seems to want no part of and it's unacceptable.

Again, I disagree with Mr Botta because the teams does need quantity and as much as possible in terms of blogs. You can have quality and quantity also.

In fact it should be a given.

Newsday does not give Islander fans that, at best we receive even space with a team that should not be covered at all in Newsday given the city's papers treatment of the Isles. Mr Winnicki should be the first one to understand this and provide greater coverage to help offset the problem.

Can you imagine the complaining if the Islanders had blogs in the city papers that outworked the Ranger blogs five to one or better?

Both major Flyer publications (Philadelphia Daily News/Inquirer) declined coverage for a team in their own state because of the late start time.

Globe & Mail: William Houston's article from 5/24/07 on coverage of last year's final by the media had some different comments from the sports editors which again includes Newsday's Hank Winnicki.

University of New Hampshire: Dick Umile, head coach of the University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team, announced the seven-member incoming freshmen class of 2008 which includes Islander prospect Blake Kessel.

Updated 5/24:
Nashua Telegraph: Mike Zhe has a few words from the Islanders prospect on the University.

Islanders website: Profiled prospect Mikkel Boedker today.

Point Blank: Mr Botta blogs with a few words for anyone who would be interested in applying for his former job with the Islanders.

Michael Fornabaio in the Ct Post blog had a picture of his ticket stub from his first Sound Tigers game.

Of course NYI Fan Central can go one better:
Curtain rises on Sound Tigers

BRIDGEPORT -- Over a year since the team's inception, just four weeks
after training camp began, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers' inaugural
season finally begins tonight.

The Sound Tigers left here Thursday at noon for Rochester, N.Y., and
the first game of an 80-game schedule against the Americans tonight
at 7:35. The team also plays the Syracuse Crunch on the road Saturday
night at 7:35.

"I'm not really sick of training camp," defenseman Ray Giroux
said, "but I'm definitely eager to get started and have them count."

"It's time to get going," coach Steve Stirling said. "As training
camp winds down, a lot of the younger guys get a little antsy. They
know the season's near, and they're ready to go. They're as ready as
they're going to be."

With talented goaltending, experienced defensemen and a group of
forwards with potential, there's a lot of optimism about this team.

"I feel pretty good about this group," Giroux said. "We've got a good
blend of veterans, a good blend of young guys. We've got guys who can
put the puck in the net, guy that are great defensively."

The defensemen themselves are a solid group. All but one of the six
defensemen have NHL experience, and that one, Dick Tarnstrom, has
played in Sweden's top league for the last seven years.

Chris Armstrong begins his seventh pro season. Ray Schultz is in his
fifth, Evgeny Korolev and Giroux each begins his fourth, and
Branislav Mezei, the 10th pick in the 1999 entry draft, is in his

"There's no reason our defense shouldn't be extremely solid every
night," Giroux said, including the goaltending trio of Rick DiPietro,
Dusan Salficky and Stephen Valiquette in that assessment. "It's a
good mix, good players. I think we're pretty talented. The defense is
going to be good, as are the forwards."

Some of Stirling's plans for the forwards changed when center Jason
Krog dislocated his left shoulder in a New York Islanders practice
this week.

Krog had been held in Islanders camp because of minor injuries to
other New York players, but he was a player expected to be one of
Bridgeport's top centers.

"Up front, we'll have to maneuver a little bit. Without Krog,
obviously, that throws us a little curveball," Stirling said. "That
hurts us down the middle. It's bad news, but the good news is guys
like Mapletoft and Guite are given an opportunity to step up."

With a shortened center corps, Stirling said he might double-shift a
veteran forward, Marko Tuomainen or Jason Podollan for instance, in
the middle to allow Bridgeport to play four lines.

"It's up to whether we put all the pieces together," Giroux
said, "but I think we have all the pieces."

UP AND DOWN -- Defenseman Marko Kiprusoff was called back to Long
Island. Tarnstrom, who had been practicing in Bridgeport but wasn't
among the 20 players initially assigned Monday, was kept with the
Sound Tigers for opening weekend. Bridgeport returned defenseman
Scott Ricci to Trenton of the ECHL for the start of the season.

NYI Fan Central Final Review: Blake Comeau

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/22/2008 08:47:00 PM | | Comment Here
Today's final season review is on Islanders left wing Blake Comeau.

Entering 2007-2008:
Blake Comeau entered 2007-08 as a prospect who got a limited look in 2006 but if many folks recall before Robert Nilsson & Ryan O'Mara were traded that Ted Nolan felt he he was the prospect with the best overall ability to compete at the NHL level in the future when he visited Bridgeport to watch games.

Comeau was called up in December after a slow start with the Sound Tigers and again the Islanders coach made it clear he felt Comeau's overall game was best suited for the NHL. From the beginning he not disappoint, showing a level of skill, composure and instincts that looked like he can help an NHL team with just a solid overall game.

Most important he was visible because of how hard he skated which on this team was badly lacking collectively.

He had the big goal in a December win against Pittsburgh but what was most impressive was how visible he was with and without the puck, how he worked to get into position to make plays in all three zones that do not appear on a scoresheet but help a team win, Comeau also displayed an ability to throw a big hit or two to shake up the opposition as he did against Montreal.

2007-08 on the stat sheet will not tell us the full story of his impact because for a fair part of the time he saw limited minutes and played with a lot of other prospects, but one area that will was his plus minus where he was a plus one on a team that was terrible at even strength.

Only problem I saw with Blake Comeau's game was the drop in his play when he was suddenly switched from left wing to right wing for a good fifteen games when Jeff Tambellini got called up. He was not the same player and did not look confident in what he was doing like he was out of synch on another wing.

It should be noted Comeau played right wing in juniors but I did not see him play the right side for Bridgeport, that sudden switch seemed to effect him. He was moved back to the left side after and almost immediately regained the forum he showed earlier.

Moving forward:
Blake Comeau should be a big part of the Islanders next season as his role increases. He's been praised top to bottom by the veterans, his coach, general manager for his hard work. The production has to improve and should as he earns more time with the top line forwards. With Sim, Bergenheim, Tambellini and other players the left side is loaded but no standout offensive performer is among the group.

Final Grade:
Blake Comeau flat out looks like an NHL player who is only going to get better, he was one of the most visible forwards on the team nightly and stats aside proved he not only belongs here but can be an impact player.

Comeau gets an A.

Islanders/NHL/Finals notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/22/2008 04:38:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Answered the fans questions from the open house last week.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Best player available, we'll see what we can do. A lot of stock answers to questions but impossible to blame the Islanders for this. They cannot give definitive answers to most of these questions without giving up strategy. What can they say about transportation answers that are more Nassau County than the club but who they no doubt will try and work with?

Point Blank: Mr Botta answered more questions in his blog with this one on fan relations with the team.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It should be noted all links to Mr Botta's blog have been removed from the Islanders website. I would hope the person taking Mr Botta's spot would be willing to blog and talk to the fans at some point also.

What was the rush to pull his link or not leave it in for Islander fans who use the website to access it? I did not know this until today because his blog is linked here.

Media blog: Cory Witt reports Bill & Kara Guerin are being honored at the Long Island Children’s Museum on May 30th. Part of the evening will include a live auction, which the Guerin's are offering up the opportunity for 12 children to play a game of street hockey at their Long Island home with the Islanders captain.

National Post/several reports: Confirm Tony Granato has been signed on for a second time to coach the Colorado Avalanche.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Would I be correct in guessing Lou Lamoriello would be the last one to coach the same organization twice unless were talking about Larry Robinson from the same organization?

A little surprising but Larry Robinson went from coach to assistant coach back to head coach. Granato will do the same after being an assistant for the Avs.

Of course Robinson won a Stanley Cup for the Devils.

Islander fans are well aware Mike Milbury came back a second time from the gm box to coach and that did not end well at all with the players practically driving Milbury back upstairs for good.

I wonder if Peter Laviolette will in the same position a year from now?

Detroit Free Press: Has Gary Bettman's comments from a radio interview (WDFN-AM 1130) on the finals, the scheduling conflicts and a bunch of items.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I know it's easy to blame Bettman for anything/everything but if this was scheduled over a year in advance by both leagues there is nothing that can be done to anticipate this. The Wings and Pistons no longer share the same facility and also the networks are competing with one another.

Also both the Wings and Pens have earned a few days off. If Dallas-Detroit went seven games that would only have been a two day break. We see teams at playoff time get a full week off and more all the time after a short series. Four days is not that big a deal.

Fun storyline for me is Scott Bowman coached both clubs to their last Stanley Cup.

I have no idea which club will win, both play a modified trap and can slow things down with a lead. Both have good offenses with an extra gear that can turn it up.

This is a different Chris Osgood than in past years who won a cup but mostly was about the club in front of him dominating. Now he is stepping up where in the past soft goals found him. Fleury is playing like a number one pick only getting better. On paper the Wings have the better names on defense but that is all about the chemistry of the collective group.

It could be very close but it could be a blowout also with one teams system/strategy simply better at this time. A long/competitive series between one of the two best national ratings markets in the East (Pittsburgh/Buffalo) & the top ratings market in the West (Detroit) is the dream exposure matchup for hockey.

A guess prediction here but I see Pittsburgh in six. I have a hard time seeing a different Osgood who allowed soft goals in critical moments because that's how I remember him even if he has seemingly turned around his career this season which is unfair on my part but an impression that marks his career for me.

For what little this is worth Osgood is one of those goalies who is not wearing an extra fifty pounds of equipment where he takes up another twenty percent of the net, he broke in during a different generation for goaltenders. My impression is Pittsburgh's great offensive talent will see those openings and exploit them.

Having written all that if Osgood plays like a stopper Detroit has a great chance.

Will Espn News be the only outlet with a full postgame when NBC goes off the air when they start covering games? This is a problems Versus should finally correct because in past years once the contract for their games was up they stopped all finals post-game coverage.

Games would be off NBC within minutes, Versus would be showing their own programming and hockey fans had to scramble to find any postgame press conferences after a team wins a Stanley Cup.

Enter Espn News for all postgame which is kind of ironic and only fuels the
Espn-spin doctors in the media business with a vested interest to market Espn & everyone else to make a great point why not get Espn back in the mix for hockey if Versus is not going to do a postgame.

Dick Ebersol, Sam Flood, Gary Bettman, Comcast, Ed Snider, Versus, repeat after me.

All finals games will have full postgame coverage and press conferences on Versus after each game of the Stanley Cup Finals followed by a repeat of the NBC telecast.

No law against Versus making every day hockey day with past finals highlights, hockey programming, and a pregame before NBC shows the live game either.

Elite Prospects.com: Reports former Islander Zigmund Palffy signed a three year contract extension with
HK 36 Skalica today which their website confirms here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Like Chris Simon we do not know if his contract could allow for him to sign as an NHL unrestricted free agent but given how long Ziggy has been out of the NHL I would expect he will end his playing career where he is after this contract. Of course this Islander fan wishes Palffy the best of luck.

NYI Fan Central Final Review: Josef Vasicek

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/22/2008 03:32:00 AM | | Comment Here
Today's season ending review is on center Josef Vasicek.

Going into 07-08:
Vasicek returned to Carolina in 06-07 in a trade with Nashville where he produced a combined six goals in a split season with both clubs. When you go back to where you did your best and that team is not interested in signing you it's not a good sign.

Garth Snow specifically targeted Josef Vasicek for his grit/ability/skills and felt with the knee problems that hindered him for a few seasons behind him could match & surpass his most productive season with Carolina in 03-04 with nineteen goals & forty five points in a fresh start.

Hard to complain with the early effort of Vasicek last season where he was visible, drove the net and most importantly with his few shots he took made most of them count as he raced out to a great start where he was given a role as the teams second line center with Miroslav Satan and Sean Bergenheim for the most part. His overall effort was solid in all three zones and he did display an edge to his game that helped the club.

Having written all that the Isles got what they paid for which was a track record of someones who at best was streaky and at worst was unplayable in your top six. After November 21st he did not score another goal until late February and despite solid defensive play where he seemed to do everything asked he had far too many nights as a second line center where he could not produce as a top six forard on a club desperate for scoring, many games he was not very visible.

Ted Nolan moved him around at times, nothing really seemed to spark his offensive game to where he could prove consistent.

You get what you pay for and out of Vasieck they seemed to get an honest effort from a limited player. For a checking center on a club with good balanced scoring it could be enough. On the 2007-08 Islanders, the lowest scoring club in the league it was not nearly close to being enough. Vasicek is not going to look to shoot often and like former Islander Viktor Kozlov did not use his offensive gifts nearly enough as he looked to create a perfect goal with far too many moves. He was strong on his skates, the few times he drove the net it was impressive. For a big man he seems to have the potential to play big at times also but last season he did not give that to the club nightly.

Best example of Vasicek's offensive game can be described by his shorthanded goal in a 1-0 win against the Devils where he made what seemed like an endless series of moves before finally flubbing a shot over Brodeur where it looked nice but he seemed to make it as tough as he could on himself. Other times he would move from high quality area's to take lower percentage shots.

Moving forward:
Vasicek signed a one year contract with the Islanders, he's unrestricted at this time and it's fair to say with Sillinger & Comrie signed the club has to look to find a more productive second line center despite how he did a good overall job in the defensive zone where he proved he could be durable. Someones going to sign him, give him a better offensive supporting cast but I doubt any club will use him above their third line.

There is a chance he is back too, but I tend to think the club has to improve it's scoring and look for consistency. I do not think another club in the league would carry him as a top six forward & given a choice my guess is he would like to return.

It's also fair to ask should Ben Walter, Jeremy Colliton, Frans Nielsen & even Rob Hennigar get a shot also now that they have seen Vasieck for eighty one games.

Final grade:
Giving Vasicek a poor grade here would be like giving Richard Park a poor grade for not being a front line offensive talent and that would not be fair. He proved himself durable after years with knee problems, posted a plus rating among a group of forwards who were terrible at even strength as a unit and gave a club with no front line offensive talent and a brutal powerplay sixteen goals & thirty five points and he seemed like a good team player on the ice.

Vasicek receives a B. All in all he did a nice job here and may even be back but I do not see a role for him and he's not going to become a twenty five goal player who can produce critical goals or dominate games.

His next goal will always have me wondering will we have to wait thirty games before we see another one.

Wednesday notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/21/2008 08:13:00 PM | | Comment Here
National Post: Cam Cole has a few words from Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe on the 1983 Islanders in one of the countless articles building this final up as the best one since the New York & Edmonton met twenty five years ago.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
All due respect to Pittsburgh but they did not dominate their conference like the Oilers in 1983. All due respect to Detroit but they are not in the universe as the Islander team that went into that final with three Stanley Cups in a row.

Very good matchup with a lot of star players but time to tone down the comparisions.

All due respect to the 83-84 Edmonton Oilers but the Islanders would have made ten finals in a row if they came out the Western Conference with that playoff format that it changed after 1981 so a Western Conference team could qualify for a final after years of the West being playoff fodder for the East. Atlanta relocated to Calgary and went from a marginal team in th East to a top team come playoff time.

To this day I have little doubt if the finals format was not changed for the first time to 2-3-2 from 2-2-1-1-1 Edmonton would not have beaten the Isles in the 1984 finals given how bad Gretzky looked in games one and two at the Coliseum.

Newsday/Newsday blog and a bunch of sites confirm Chris Simon signed in Russia starting with the Minneapolis papers the last fews days. (including today)

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I blogged on this all the way back on Saturday, still no one can get the full story on whether he signed a contract where he can still resign with an NHL team come July or if he is locked into the deal he signed?

Not much else happening on a quiet day for the Isles, nothing on Ridderwall or Kim Johansson signing but the clock is running regarding contract offers.

Sure would be nice if Newsday or any paper did an update on Dubielewicz and the club's pending UFA with July 1st about five weeks away.

If the NY Times is going to include fan blogs why not get some Islander bloggers in there being that they seem to have hockey content for a lot of teams out of town?

No, I'm not talking about my blog.

Hockey Night on LI, Prospects & Point Blank

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/20/2008 08:40:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Barring any family circumstances that force me to cancel at the last minute I will be appearing as the special guest for Hockey Night on Long Island this coming Saturday 5/24 (first cup anniversary) at 3:30pm for anyone who would like to call in and talk some Islander Hockey.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Alex & Steve from Hockey Night on Long Island do a great job with the show, always a pleasure to be invited as a guest. The latest show is always posted on the sidebar here for anyone who cannot catch it live.

USA.com: Kyle Woodlief's latest prospect update was released 5/20 with updated prospect rankings where he slots RW Mikkel Bodker as his fifth overall pick.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Must read independent prospect re-source for Islander fans, impeccable work, latest update is also in prospect center.

Point Blank: Mr Botta continues to update his blog with answers to questions submitted by readers on several subjects.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Great job by Mr Botta to take his time to answer the fans questions and is doing an outstanding job.

Yahoo sports: Greg Wyshynski of SportsFan Magazine in Washington DC/Senior Sports Editor for The Connection Newspapers of Northern Virginia had a few interesting comments on Mr Botta's blog entries to his readers where he credits him for the way he used his blog to pull back the curtain on how an NHL team works and how he would also use it to aggressively go after members of the MSM whom he felt treated the team unfairly. He also brought up and credited Mr Botta's take on Times reporter Selena Roberts and her comments on former Islander Eric Carins without getting as much as a quote.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
My first inclination was to check whether Greg Wyshynski should be treated as a legitimate professional media source despite his listed credentials. I'm aware of what AOL Fanhouse is but I'm also very conservative with what articles are posted here. I don't know if he wrote his own title in this instance (many professional writers in publications have it written by someone else) but " brutally candid " in the headline description I did not consider appropriate or reflective of Mr Botta's blog entries now or since he began it despite well deserved praise for Mr Botta.

I'm not a fan of writers who use sensationalism to get folks to notice their articles, the quality of the content should do that on it's own merit.

Even now 07-08 Isles a tough read

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/20/2008 10:47:00 AM | Comment Here
It's getting close to seven weeks since the Isles season ended and even now it's still tough to point to one thing that finished this club last season.

I see a team like Pittsburgh in the finals being talked about as the 1983 Edmonton Oilers and it makes me think not of how the Islanders swept that club long ago but why this years Islander team simply could not have been more consistent over eighty two games given how most of the head to head contest with Pittsburgh they outplayed them for a good stretch of the games but seemed to find ways to lose.

Less than two months ago on March 24th the Isles dominated the Pens in a 4-1 win with Joey MacDonald in goal, before that they lost a game where they took over fifty shots and lost to Pittsburgh. Blake Comeau helped win a game in Pittsburgh, Simon's stomp was big in a close loss while Dubie came in and won on Al Arbour night against Pittsburgh. Early season a powerplay goal against decided an Isles-Pens game.

Terrible teams are supposed to be losing games 6-1 or dominated from beginning to end of games on a regular basis. Islanders should have looked like Philadelphia did in the deciding game against Pittsburgh most of the season based upon that.

Meanwhile the Islanders had a lot of self-inflicted losses to Philadelphia. Power play goals by the Flyers that were too easy at times, goals allowed by the Isles powerplay that were critical in two losses. Isles lost a game they scored three first period goals where Nolan was visibly upset afterward with how they cheated the system when the Flyers came back and won.

Digest this for a moment: Isles scored three first period goals in that Flyer game, around mid-december the Islanders only scored eleven first period goals ALL SEASON.

Isles even needed close to fifty shots to finally win a game vs Philadelphia after that.

We saw some Islander games in 2006 where they just were all over the place with an
8-1 loss to Vancouver after beating Calgary the game before in Brad Shaw's debut as interim coach but that was not the case in the second half for the Isles, despite how many players were injured, even the Tampa game was close until the final minutes when it got away from them.

For me it was one of the toughest Islander clubs to get a read on in it's history on so many levels. A seven game losing streak, a six game winning streak, followed by fifty shots games where they could not finish any plays or generate any shots where the goalie was out of position and had no chance?

Teams that score two goals or less fourteen games in a row are supposed to be in last place by early December, not at a point where they are five games over and in a playoff spot.

On top of that they were terrible at even strength and could not get games to overtime like the previous season, trademarks for low scoring clubs that manage to stay in contention.

The year before Isles were a game over five hundred on 1/31, they lost only three times in regulation afterward over the next twenty games. Isles only had two shootout home games all season this year.

This group was all over the board even going back to the opening weekend where they ran over the Sabres and looked like an offensive powerhouse. At the time I though of how Phoenix ran over the Isles in Ted Nolan's opening game as Islander coach and knew a month later that Coyotes team would have it's bubble popped because they were supposed to be terrible and were.

That did not happen to the 07-08 Islanders.

Boston beat the Isles using the formula the Isles used to beat Boston over several seasons. Florida swept the season series with games like the one Craig Anderson started on core of the four weekend where the Islanders outworked Florida but rarely got a quality chance for their fifty plus shots.

Montreal was the only Eastern Conference team that beat the Islanders the way a good team is supposed to beat a poor team, all four games the Canadians speed and skill had the Isles off balance. Even after one of those losses Mike Sillinger defended his club saying we took over forty shots.

I look at the 2007-08 Islanders and cannot recall a Islander team that had so many flaws but managed to stay competitive and in some games dominate.

Meanwhile this is the same group that basically outworked and won the season series vs the Devils, Rangers.

You see all the exit interviews from the players on ITV and all of them talked of the injuries but no one brought up the two goals in fourteen games when all of them were healthy and well rested in November-December. No one touched the awful powerplay or the shorthanded goals allowed. No one talked about how Comeau and Bergenheim were the two most visible forwards on a team where the veterans were supposed to carry the club.

Ted Nolan in the first fan meeting felt he went too easy on some of the veterans early. He had a lot of days off for practice to forum a culture and no doubt he was very popular with the players given the comments. By the end of the season he was all over his veterans for poor play and promised to skate them daily if they did not work harder in games.

When the Isles went to Boston the game before the all-star break, one Bruin talked about desperately wanting to win the game after a bad loss. Isles came in off a bad loss and most of the Isles talk was about getting away, afterward the talk was Boston wanted the game more.

I have never watched an Islander season and wondered going into a powerplay if they were going to give up another shorthanded goal, this year down the stretch I expected them to give up chances with the powerplay.

I guess for many you look at the lack of scoring, the powerplay and it's easy to say they were just a bad team. You add in four hundred man games lost to injury and it also helps that argument as those eight two games fade away.

But it does not tell the full story of eighty two games, not even close for me.

Entire season feels like that win against Carolina where they had three shorthanded goals, yet gave up over forty shots and needed a Brendan Witt goal to finally win the game.

Even now it's still tough to get a read on them.

Poll on media coverage/blog notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/19/2008 04:50:00 PM | Comment Here
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.

Daily News
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 | | Comment Here
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.

Hrudey, Arbour, Huselius & Mr Botta

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/18/2008 01:29:00 PM | | | Comment Here
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.

Saturday notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/17/2008 04:38:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
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.
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.

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 | Comment Here
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

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

"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
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

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

"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

Bergenheim and random notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/16/2008 02:10:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Open House II Highlights

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/15/2008 02:45:00 PM | | | | | 2 Comments
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 | | 1 Comments
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.

Islander Notables

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

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.