6/3/08

Newsday reports minor knee surgery for DiPietro

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/03/2008 05:45:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan reports goaltender Rick DiPietro had minor knee (meniscus) surgery on Tuesday. The article notes the latest procedure is not expected to interfere with the goaltender's rehabilitation from his hip surgery and he is expected to be a hundred percent before the opening of training camp but the club took a pro-active approach because the situation was bothering the goaltender.

Mr Logan speculates the surgery is on the same left knee he sprained during warm-ups before a home game against Toronto on Dec. 26.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I don't know folks, article says DiPietro was on a radio program today and it also says the surgery took place today with the doctor's comments.

That radio program does not provide updates quickly. I'm sure we will get an Islander website release at some point.

Fair to speculate this is why Garth Snow again brought up Dubielewicz early season conditioning?

Feels like regular season to me with all the blogging today. Just wish it was for some good news.




New York Islander reporting: Fact vs Fiction

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/03/2008 02:19:00 PM
It's kind of funny reading through some of the few websites reporting on the Islanders off of one Newsday article as it hits sportsnet or other hockey websites around North America.

I almost feel like it's last July again as Newsday's speculation combined with a few comments from the general manager are spun in so many different directions things are almost completely distorted.

This is why other newspapers are needed so badly and why ITV is now so important to the franchise so fans get the full comments. We are practically down to Newsday being the only view point unless the club issues a release.

I cannot tell everyone how many game summaries I have read where only a part of what someone says is quoted and in the next paper you read more of what he had to say to go with the first part and it reads as something completely different.

Which leads us to the latest from Newsday where already we see fiction coming out of fact from other outlets which is no knock on Newsday but just that at times these things take on a life of their own.

Last summer all we read were the players left the Isles in an exodus as if Snow kept making offers down to the final seconds and no player would come back here under any circumstances. Never mind the fact the Isles made it clear last summer they had made final offers to their pending UFA and were moving on with the exception of Ryan Smyth and almost everyone who left said they wanted to sign here.

Here we are already and off the latest article I'm starting to read headlines:
" Islanders to jettison several veterans "
" Isles plan fresh start "

Isles only have about five unrestricted free agents. Only absolute written was the gm said he was going to qualify almost all of his RFA and mentioned them by name.

Where did Garth Snow say he will absolutely not bring back some of his UFA before or after July 1st? He said Dubie rejected his contract offer, the gm again brought up his conditioning and wished him luck which is a likely goodbye but there is no rule here that says Dubie & Snow can still get together on something.

This is what contract negotiations are, sometimes things change, others they do not but there is no absolute here until a player signs elsewhere.

Newsday had a few words from Trent Hunter about a week before he signed that came off as if he could have cared less about re-signing here. A few days later when the five year extension was announced both sides praised the other.

I hope our fans take a minute and separate the speculation from where things are, point being anything can happen. That's not a knock on any publication.

I know folks are not going to be doing cartwheels on this part but the Isles did resign Andy Hilbert after July 1st. Point being one of the pending UFA could be third on the Isles list if they cannot get someone from another club.

Good fact I can give you is Isles need to spend some money to get up to the bottom of the cap right now which means Snow may be able to overpend big to add a front line talent or lock up a Bergenheim-Comeau to a longer term deal.









NYI Fan Central Final Review: Trent Hunter

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/03/2008 09:08:00 AM
Today's review is on Islanders forward Trent Hunter.

Entering 2007-08:
Trent Hunter entered last season as a pending UFA after going to arbitration in the summer and seemed like he had a lot to build on after a solid second half and playoff against Buffalo.

2007-08:
What can be written about Trent Hunter? His defensive ability, work in the corners and the Isles slogan of grit, character, heart define Hunter's game. He will dive in front of shots shorthanded and gives all he has.

Unfortunately the magic he had in the second half with Mike Sillinger & Andy Hilbert a year ago did not produce the scoring from that line after Sim went down and Hilbert got his spot back with them and it was a major factor in the clubs offensive problems all season. Not sure who can be directly blamed but Hunter's skating has never been the same since his knee on knee with Sean Brown during the 2003-04 season. Having written that despite the long offensive droughts he did match his second best season in terms of points, but big goals and the ability to skate/create chances was lacking all season. He had a few moments but most times it seemed when he scored we would hear about how he does not shoot enough or this was his first goal since.........

Moving forward:
Despite any scoring problems or skating limitations Trent Hunter defines the kind of player/person the Islanders want in their organization and the feeling was obviously mutual as the club completed a five year extension that was quietly done with a lot of class on both sides that the public never had a clue was coming. Put the right kind of speed and skill around Hunter and his goals should improve. He will hit anything he can find and never stop fighting for position in front of a goaltender.

Final grade:
Despite his strong defensive play and his high assist total along with a high character game, Isles were counting on a breakout offensive season from Hunter and did not get it. Major factor in the club taking a step back this season which cannot be ignored because Hunter proved at this level and the AHL he can and should be scoring more.

Trent Hunter receives a D.




Islander News Articles 6/3

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/03/2008 06:31:00 AM
Times & Transcript: Cole Hobson reports the Islanders will host an NHL exhibition game against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m. Ian Fowler, City of Moncton general manager of recreation, parks, tourism and culture, talks about the event & the team's training camp in Moncton.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
For those putting together a pre-season schedule:
New York vs Florida, Sept 27th at Summerside.
New York vs Boston, Sept 23th at Moncton.

The team that needs to get away from it all the least that will be upsetting the players routine and risk injury by practicing at unfamiliar rinks during the season to stir up fan support in the local community will again go to Moncton to get lukewarm fan support for exhibition games because Ted Nolan coached there.

Not a Ted Nolan issue gang, Isles have had camps at Lake Placid, Wheeling West Virginia, Yarmouth and now Moncton. I know teams need to get away and bond but the fans need to bond with this team a lot more so they come out to games.

These camps are scheduled years in advance sometimes as was the agreement with Moncton but somewhere along the way Isles should have decided to have this training camp in and around New York.

NY Post: NHL blog actually did a write-up on the signing of Tim Jackman after throwing together three quick paragraphs in the print edition of the newspaper here with of course no writer doing the story like Mr Everson reports on all things Devils.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Times has several bloggers and is not reporting Islander signings on it's main page or even putting up AP update. Daily News (aside from John Dellapina telling us NBC does not want the Isles in an outdoor game while he lobbies for the club he covers) has not even had an AP update since April 6th.

Newsday: Neil Best reports game four of the finals on NBC received only a 2.4 in New York on television.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had a few words on the signing of Tim Jackman as well as some speculation on the upcoming moves for Bridgeport in a blog on several subjects.

Tsn.ca: Darren Dreger reported Mike Milbury from TSN interviewed for the San Jose Sharks job and could be a prime candidate after updating the Leafs situation.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The video has Milbury sitting right next to Dreger when he reported it and refused to comments in his usual colorful way.

So the interim gm hires the coach, then leaves in Toronto? Why not hire a gm and then let him hire his choice?

Between the Tortorella-Melrose rumors in Tampa, the Leafs circus and now this makes you wonder what is coming next?

Updated 4:27pm
AP/Several Sources:: Report John Tortorella has been fired as coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning with a year left on his contract.

At least the finals have officially gotten interesting.

Updated 5:30pm
ECHL.com: Utah Grizzlies Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Jason Christie today released his 2008-2009 Protected List. Players who signed contracts prior to this past season with either the New York Islanders or their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport are not eligible for this list.








6/2/08

Tim Jackman resigned by New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/02/2008 03:59:00 PM
Newsday: Katie Strang reports in the Newsday blog the Islanders have resigned Tim Jackman to a one year contract Monday with Garth Snow's comments.

According to Newsday Jackman's deal is structured so that he will make above the league minimum at the NHL level, but will make only $100,00 at the AHL level which will allow him to avoid having to clear re-entry waivers.

Islanders website: Also did an update on the signing without contract details.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Hopefully Michael Fornabaio can make a little sense of this when he updates because it seems unconventional or at least I have not read about this practice for other players.

Obviously Jackman will not be playing for a hundred dollars at the AHL level if assigned there so it should be interesting how that is handled. As a right wing for the club last year for over thirty games he seems to be fighting with Joel Rechlicz on paper at this time for a fourth line spot which means nothing in June.

On paper right now Guerin, Hunter & Kyle Okposo seem to be the three right wingers going into camp.






NYI Fan Central Final Review: Ruslan Fedotenko

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/02/2008 08:47:00 AM
Today's final review is on forward Ruslan Fedotenko.

Entering 2007-08:
Fedotenko in his last season with Tampa seemed to play his way out of the top six forwards and he did not seem to keep John Tortarella's confidence after being such a dominating player in the Lightning cup run a few years earlier. Isles paid a lot on a one year contract and decided to give him a spot in their top six hoping they would get over eight two games what he gave Tampa in that cup run.

2007-08 Season:
Call it a tale of three seasons for Fedotenko where he bonded with Mike Comrie and Bill Guerin in Moncton, started the season very well but then his game fell off due to injury/inconsistency and found himself on several lines & another hot streak that was a big part of the Isles six game winning streak before another injury ended his season.

For a lot of reasons he seemed to be inconsistent after it really seemed like this may work early with reports of how much the club liked his game and wanted to get an extension done. It went from looking like a great signing to a poor one very quickly.

Still this was another in a long line of forwards on this team who had about three goals in thirty games and that will mostly define his tenure here. When Fedotenko started struggling with arm problems he also was invisible in games where he did not generate chances, he seemed to try and play through it also which may not have been a good idea but says a lot about his character which was a reason the club signed him last summer.

Moving forward:
Fedotenko is an UFA and the clock is ticking. Seems as if the Isles made their decision even though he did express a desire to return. Anything can happen but if he cannot produce as a top six forward and standout among the competition why will the Isles bring him back at another players expense who could do better?

Isles have Sim, Bergenheim, Comeau, Tambellini all as left wingers with Park and Hilbert who can also play the left side.

Final Grade:
When he was healthy and on his game he did an excellent job here and not just by the numbers but his overall impact on a game. Unfortunately that did not happen nearly enough for the responciblity given to him. Part of that was about injuries but part of it also seemed about him being inconsistent.

Ruslan Fedotenko receives a generous C because of the injuries but this grade leans toward a D because he did not live up to his expectations.






Islander News Articles 6/2

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/02/2008 01:48:00 AM
Los Angeles Times: Helene Elliott has a few words from former Islander & Red Wings coach Dave Lewis who was traded before the Islanders won their first stanley cup for Butch Goring and replaced Scotty Bowman in Detroit before Mike Babcock was hired as coach.

NHL.com: Brian Compton has a full feature with comments from former Islander scout Jimmy Devellano who today is the Detroit Red Wings Senior Vice President and Alternate Governor with Bill Torrey's comments about his tenure in New York and how his scouting help bring together the pieces for a dynasty.

Tsn.ca: Compares the core Red Wings to some of the great dynasties in league history.

THN.com: Brian Costello looks at the top picks in the upcoming draft and feels this group will eventually go down among the best ever as it's compared with the draft class of 1979 after the WHA disbanded.

Point Blank: Mr Botta in his blog describes his 6/10 upcoming column in the THN and his thoughts on writing as opposed to being in media relations as THN.com THN also has a small picture of the 6/10 issue.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Wherever Mr Botta decides to work I will be happy for him and know he will do an outstanding job. I never met him but my impression from my own experience is he will miss doing his blog after 7/7 for the same reasons I decided to return to hockey cyberspace after a year off. At first you love the time off but when the puck drops there is a void.

New York Islander fans need his blog and he obviously still will be a fan of this team by his own words and even his views as an outsider would be of great value to everyone.

Updated 3:15pm
THN.com: Adam Protrau made his point once again from last summer the Islanders overpaid for Ruslan Fedotenko but toned down his stance he was the worst UFA signing from last year with brought some strong reaction from Islander fans and this blog at the time.






6/1/08

No deadline for Ridderwall, Johansson

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/01/2008 01:42:00 PM
Buffalo News: Bucky Gleason attempts to clarify the situtation regarding the transfer agreement and explains why the Islanders should retain the rights of 2006 draft selections Stefan Ridderwall and Kim Johansson past today's former deadline.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sorry folks, but it's tough to find information on this and a lot of contradictions but this article seems to explain it best. I went by the old established rules which only excluded Russian prospects but now it appears to include all European prospects.

To summarize Mr Gleason in January, both sides opted out of the four-year transfer agreement after the Czech Republic joined Russia in no longer wanting a part of the current deal. An interim agreement also was dumped. The relationship between the NHL and the IIHF appears to be in limbo and no resolution is expected any time soon.

Bottom line:
The deadline for signing European prospects in the 2006 draft for 2008-09 was supposed to be 6/1/08. With no transfer agreement in place, there’s no longer a deadline. Stefan Ridderwall & Kim Johnasson for now should remain Islander property but even that could be in limbo moving forward depending on the next agreement.





Islander News Articles 6/1

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/01/2008 01:08:00 AM
























Newsday: Greg Logan writes a state of the Islanders article with comments from general manager Garth Snow on the status of his free agents, Wade Dubielewicz rejecting the teams contract offer, the upcoming draft and who he is close to resigning or will qualify among his restricted free agents.

Summary:
* In short, no offers to Satan, Vasicek, Fedotenko, Berard because the team does not want to load up on players who could take spots from the younger players.

* Tim Jackman is close on a two-way contract extension.

* Jeff Tambellini, Frans Nielsen and Ben Walter will receive qualifying offers along with forwards Sean Bergenheim, Jeremy Colliton and defenseman Bruno Gervais.

* According to the GM Dubie turned down the club's contract offer (which could have
been a two way offer according to Mr Logan) and now is being blamed for DiPietro's workload early because he was in poor shape and could not be trusted by the coaching staff to play.

* The Isles interviewed about 100 prospects in preparation for the draft June 20-21 in Ottawa but the draft board is still not set with another two rounds of amateur meetings.

* Mr Logan speculates Aaron Johnson is not likely to receive a qualifying offer because he can go to arbitration and possibly win a one-way contract to secure one of 23 NHL roster spots.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No one is sure of the kind of exact contract Garth Snow offered but it sure seems Garth Snow just threw Wade Dubielewicz under the bus and the backup job could now go to Joey MacDonald because that sure seemed like a see ya later if ever I read one.

If he was out of shape there was plenty of opportunity for him to go to Bridgeport and it seems a bit of a reach with a team playing three games in twenty games early in season that Dubie was going to see any work. After his two spot starts early he proved to be a solid goaltender.

Bottom line if Garth Snow or the coaching staff was not happy with his conditioning he easily could have sent him down or outright placed him on waivers. You do not offer a multi-year contract to any player if you feel his reporting out of shape hurt your team. This seems like sour grapes on Snow's part and not classy to release this to the media after a contract negotiation. You thank him for his efforts and move on.

To be fair to the general manager for those who recall in several articles Wade Dubielewicz promised he would report to camp in the best shape of his life here. On April 10th Garth Snow in Newsday's Islander blog talked about Dubie not entering camp in shape and that he selfadmittedly struggled early so this is not just about a player turning down a contract recently as the gm also praised his work later in the season as he talked about a goaltending rotation here.

What does it say about what the gm thinks of Joey MacDonald if a multi-year offer was made to Wade Dubielewicz?

I will be very interested in what Ted Nolan has to say on this given Nolan stuck with Dubielewicz after DiPietro returned to the club after his grandmothers funeral for a critical Ranger game.

It's a fair guess Joey MacDonald becomes the backup goalie with a one-way contract but in today's NHL backup goaltender are not a huge priority.

No surprise the Isles are qualifying almost all the restricted free agents & not making any offers to the unrestricted free agents. Snow's trend seems to be to make an offer and it's not good enough move on.

Not like I want to go off on Greg Logan again folks but being it's June 1st and the deadline is here to sign these players, you think he would have gotten at least a no comment from the general manager on Ridderwall or Johansson?

For what it's worth I asked Mr Fornabaio who of course had a link to the Newsday article in his blog already what the rules are in terms of games/years on how Dubie even if signing a two way contract would not be exposed to waivers? I'm just not sure on these rules.

Long Island Business News: David Reich-Hale back on 5/29 had a brief interview with Islanders
senior vice president of sales, marketing and operations Chris Dey about next season and beyond.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I checked the LI Business News for the meeting summary the last few days, not sure how Mr Dey's comments slipped by or if this publication does update daily? First time I have read the Isles could be interesting in hosting an NHL draft but this overall project will require construction that could run for a full decade.




5/31/08

A few words on the Lighthouse

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/31/2008 09:30:00 PM
The Lighthouse Website: Mr Wang sat down with WLNY TV 10/55 news anchor Richard Rose and Long Island Association President Matthew Crosson for the show Focus back on May 18th where he talks about the Lighthouse Project and the approval process.

This is a three part interview and runs about thirty minutes:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

The site also has some updated articles on the business end of things and the upcoming schedule of events.

The proper format to show your support for the project would be to submit a letter through the Lighthouse website here
because sensationalist tactics & misconceptions about the process are not going to get this approved.

I have added the feeder from the site to this blog for those wanting regular updates from credible professional media sources.








5/30/08

Islanders 5/31 Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/30/2008 09:51:00 PM
Islanders website: John Hill has a very early Saturday am update on the Isles at the prospects combine with comments from Ryan Jankowski, the Islanders Assistant GM/Director of Amateur Scouting on the process and what the club is looking for.

National Post: Michael Traikos also had a few words from Mr Jankowski in an article on the defenseman defining the draft class after the first selection.

NHL.com: Evan Weiner does a feature on Bobby Nystrom and his Stanley Cup winning goal in 1980 against Philadelphia and asked the legendary player if taking a misconduct on a hot day helped get him a rest?

Toronto Star : Rick Westhead claims a secret document on NHL revenue shows the six Canadian teams account for thirty one percent of the $1.1 billion (U.S.) in league ticket revenue with the Isles among eight clubs that generated less than half the amount of ticket revenue of the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators with the Coyotes generating the least ticket revenue of any club.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The fans had to sit out an entire year for this agreement, both sides agreed to full disclosure and there is revenue sharing so why not simply release the full accounting of each team from an independent arbitrator without secret documents leaking to the media?

If the Canadian dollar is strong of course they are going to take in more revenue along with markets that increase the price of tickets. In many markets this still does not offset the huge overhead to run a franchise in places like New York where many things are more expensive.

Note the pdf file included says the Isles revenue from ticket sales went from five hundred thousand per game to five hundred fifty thousand per game. Seems estimated in many teams cases or at the very least rounded off.

Many of these reports come off like fabricated Msg/Versus press releases on television ratings or announced attendance at games off Espn links. It's practically as bad as all the folks who take the Forbes yearly estimate released around December as gospel even though they have no access to any teams books.

My point being with a lack of credible information folks will believe anything that anyone says or writes.

Telegraph-Journal: Nathan White and Marty Klinkenberg had comments from Ted Nolan on the passing of his former player in Luc Bourdon, former Islander Steve Tambellini also comments. Islanders website also released an article with the coaches comments
here.

Tsn.ca: Has an article on the prospect combine taking place in Toronto with player comments and provided a full blog on the days events here.

Isles profiled prospect Zach Bogosian on the website, I added it to the prospect section.

USA Today.com: Kyle Woodlief of Red Line Report profiled the top fowards in the draft with Stamkos, Filatov a cut above the rest.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Added to sidebar, must read for Islander fans.

Newsday: Neil Best who has the media beat reports New York finished with a 1.6 rating for game three of the finals which was 34th among 56 major markets and claims it must be baseball season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's always baseball season in New York, Mr Best. This is why your paper needs to put in more New York Islander coverage and lower Ranger content in the paper but you only seem to be interested in your favorite team, it's hurt local interest in the sport across the board.

What's funny is folks like Mr Best will be the first ones telling us his Rangers in the finals will be good for the sport but here is Detroit-Pittsburgh and New York could care less.

So why will it be different for other markets if a New York area team did make a final if New York is thirty sixth for a great matchup like this?

Daily News: Ranger reporter John Dellapina who has been selling the Rangers at Yankee Stadium since day one has Bill Daly's comments the big meeting regarding this will take place next week which involves the Mayor's office. The article says NBC wants no part of the Isles involvement or a local matchup and that being excluded could anger the club.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Keep sending e-mails to Mayor Bloomberg folks if you want the New York Islanders involved because it's down to the Mayor's office and a meeting next week. If Mr Ebersol, Dellapina, Flood and the Garden do not want the Isles in that game let them pick another city. Isles put in all the work for this and should not only be in the event but the host New York team as the championship hockey tradition in New York Hockey.

Finally nothing new on the Ridderwall-Johansson front.





NYI Fan Central Final Review: Rob Davison

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/30/2008 08:32:00 AM
Today a quick final review of Islander defender Rob Davison.

2007-08:
For a player who had not played going back a few months in San Jose Rob Davison not only got here from Columbus on the day of the trade deadline but played that same night so he was a man very happy to be a part of a team getting a chance.

His days in the pressbox were over when he came here.

For what I could tell he seemed to fit in well and did a solid job on defense. It was rare to see many mistakes from him and in this conference he seemed to be able to keep up in terms of skating on defense. His game reminded me of Andy Sutton in the second half when he was playing well. Isles did not need him fighting which was one of his assets going into the deal because he did too good a job on a team with a backline with so many injuries, he was needed on the ice. Not many big hits but you look for solid defensive play and it was a good job scouting by the Isles on this move.

Having written that he did not help the club win but he is not an offensive defender.

Moving forward:
With so many defenders signed he is in a mix of players who are fourth, fifth and sixth defenders here. His only chance seems to be if the Isles move a Witt or a Sutton. My guess is his goal against Toronto from two hundred feet away will be the memorable highlight of his tenure in New York.

Final Grade:
I thought he did a solid job, I'm not expecting him back but he earned a B with his defensive game.





5/29/08

Islander/NHL notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/29/2008 09:23:00 PM
Islanders website: Islanders New Vice President of Communications
Josh Bernstein comments on the new Islanders Illustrated program that will debut June 18th on Msg plus and what the long-term plans are for this permanent feature.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good concept to have a television show for the Islanders that is long overdue. I do not want to come off negative here but the house team at Msg has constant progamming that can run for a full day and longer if necessary so I'm not sure if it's time to celebrate one program. I want to see Jiggs McDonald do half hour programs on all the great players from the franchise with highlights from their careers and the writers comments.

And the same has to start happening for the Devils.

If Ron Duguay can get something like this on Msg there is no excuse for championship winning players with multiple cups as New York Islanders being profiled as well as the entire current team along with a regular schedule of the greatest Islander games as voted by the fans. Added to that a regular lineup of pre-season games televised with some games sold to channel nine or channel four to help market the club that would normally appear on Msg plus2.

Finally repeat Islander telecasts provided a one hour edition.

When the Garden starts making television inroads like this for our team that is the day I give them credit for doing things properly and will call them a fair partner.

Partners share, not give one team ninety eight percent while splitting two percent with the other two teams.

It's helped kill exposure and ratings for all three teams and the sport in the New York market. One look at the local coverage for the finals say it all.

THN.com/several articles: Ken Campbell confirms Blake Wheeler rejected the Coyotes final offer and will be an unrestricted free agent as of June 8th with the ramifications of this.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
One of those ramificantions is the Coyotes are awarded the fifth pick in the second round which pushes the Islanders back a spot. Kyle Okposo is from Minnesota as well as Wheeler.

Someone will get a good prospect without giving up a player in return, his value in terms of contract is limited as to what can be offered so this will not be a sweepstakes.

I think it goes without saying it sure would not hurt the Isles youth movement to try and sign him along with twenty eight other clubs.

Yahoo sports: Released an uncredited team report which is basically a summary of recent Islander events with some speculation on their own free agents along with a few old comments from the Isles website.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It is what it is, take it as an uncredited overview. I debated posting it at all here but Ross McKeon does some good hockey reports for this site.

Finally a horrible day for the entire NHL family and all of it's fans with the death of Cauncks prospect Luc Bourdon in a motorcycle accident. Bourdon played in Moncton under Ted Nolan and Danny Flynn when they reached the memorial cup final.





Ratings game/Outdoor game

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/29/2008 02:56:00 PM
NBC sports: Released their version of the ratings for game three
announced as earning a 2.8 overnight rating and a 5 share, the best overnight rating for a Game 3 in six years. (2002 – Carolina-Detroit, 3.8/8)

The Penguins 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings garnered an 18.2/28 in Detroit, trouncing the Detroit Pistons-Boston Celtics NBA Eastern Conference Final
head-to-head by more than 14 percent in "Hockeytown" (15.9/24).

The 2.8/5 was an 87 percent increase over last year's Game 3 on NBC (Anaheim-Ottawa, 1.5/3) but that was a Saturday night game which is traditionally a lower rating night.

Wednesday's Top Markets:
1. Pittsburgh, 33.1/47
2. Detroit, 18.2/28
3. Buffalo, 6.2/9
4. Columbus, 4.1/7
5. Minneapolis, 3.7/7

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A ton of spin both ways. Ottawa-Anaheim game three was played on a Saturday night which is traditionally a lower rating night.

I think it says a lot about how far hockey as fallen when Pittsburgh-Detroit is competing with Carolina-Detroit for ratings.

2.8 is not even in the same universe as Dallas-New Jersey about a decade ago. The Wings beat out the Pistons with basketball on cable and hockey on free television but with both on cable the Pistons won across the board.

NBC finished fourth for the night on broadcast with ratings down 34% from the programming they showed a year ago which is not good.

New York did a 1.6 according to WFAN and Francesa-Russo laughed off the New York hockey fans claiming a WNBA basketball game here had a higher rating than a conference finals hockey game last week.

Tsn.ca: Is confirming Detroit will play Chicago in the next outdoor game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Wake me when the league announces an official game, we have a few too many unofficial/official confirmations, someone call Al Trautwig.




Can the Isles contend in 08-09 Absolutely

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/29/2008 02:20:00 PM
With the Islanders off at the NHL prospect combines in Toronto doing player interviews & the local papers not covering anything beyond one blog on Lighthouse meeting the other day (Post had Devil/Ranger updates Thursday) the question of the day is can the NY Islanders content next season?

Absolutely and without any doubt would be my answer.

This club was one of the lowest scoring teams in the league with a terrible powerplay that was prone to allowing goals with the man advantage, had a fourteen game stretch with two goals or less when they were rested/healthy and lost over four hundred man games to injury. They lost seven games in a row in January. As bad as things were with a team that had only eleven first period goals into December and were terrible at even strength that could not get games to overtime they still were mathematically in the race until the final two weeks of the season.

The forty/fifty shot games they managed to lose also said something about how hard they did work in some games, even with a lot of players who could not score.

You look at Boston going into last season who were supposed to be terrible, a club that lost Bergeron and somehow they found enough scoring and defense to qualify for a playoff spot that took Montreal to seven games. Philadephia went from 30th to a playoff spot and made a run to the conference finals with a flawed team that had some brutal stretches last season.

Islander fans know terrible teams that cannot compete, the kind of seasons they are ten-fifteen points out of a playoff spot before Thanksgiving/Christmas and approaching double-digits below five hundred. Last years's club was in a playoff spot for a good part of the season until health and the lack of scoring finally caught up with them. Even with the seven game losing streak they won six in a row and were close enough not to be sellers at the trade deadline.

I know the schedule is about to change with less Atlantic division games which could hurt with more speed/skill teams from the West but Isles had a winning record against two of the four teams in the division and finished a game under against Pittsburgh who they played eight even games with aside from a deflection off Brendan Witt. Another game they lost they took over fifty shots against the Pens.

Isles improve their scoring and stay healthy (two big questions) there is no doubt they not only compete for a playoff spot but can make a run come playoff time. Isles for all their flaws had very few games they were blown out of and no more than most teams that did make the playoffs.

DiPietro's shots against was cut by almost two hundred last season from 06-07, something no one has written about.

I'm not expecting much in terms of roster changes aside from many of the UFA not returning. I do think Snow will stick to his word and the team will get younger but as we saw on many nights the young players were among the most visible. If any of these kids emerge as consistent scorers and they can some mileage out of some veterans who are injury prone, I have little doubt Isles will have a great chance to not only return to the playoffs but do some damage.

My guess is a young player could be moved in a trade, especially on defense.




5/28/08

NYI Fan Central Final Review: Kyle Okposo

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/28/2008 09:05:00 PM
Tonight's mini-review is on the Islanders top draft pick Kyle Okposo.

2007-08:
Overall it was a wild ride for Okposo in 07-08 being one of the first player to leave college in season and sign with an NHL club as he was headed to the WJC. A few weeks after the commotion died down after he returned from team USA he found himself with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in completely different circumstances as a professional.

Islander stretch:
Okposo was recalled to the Isles as soon as his contract could no longer count against this season and he did not disappoint showing the skills and hockey ability to find the open area's of the ice and make plays to get into position. He looked very solid with Richard Park and Blake Comeau. His first goal was very impressive that won a game against the Devils where he got himself to the high slot and unloaded a rocket to beat Martin Brodeur, another goal he hit the hole and drove the net for a good goal against the Rangers in the season finale. He's not easy to take off the puck and a wrap around against Toronto almost brought down the house in his home debut.

All in all you look at a player like Tambellini who has had several NHL looks and seems invisible then you see Okposo come up and make that kind of impact where he is a factor and it's very impressive at such a young age after a tough season with so much change.

Moving ahead:
It would not shock me to see him with the Isles but maybe the right thing to do is let him get a full year in Bridgeport. With Guerin, Hunter under contract there seems to be room for only one more right wing. If Satan is resigned or another veteran scoring right winger is brought in there does not seem to be a spot for Okposo unless he plays on a fourth line. Either way it's a good situtation for the club because he can flat out play with a talent level lacking on the roster.

Final grade:
For his nine games he hardly looked out of place for his age and showed good instincts. Put me down for an A as I cannot wait to see him a year older and better hopefully with a scoring center who can get him the puck.




Upcoming final reviews

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/28/2008 08:17:00 AM
Quick Update on the final reviews remaining and what dates the ones I have done were posted for those who wish to go back.

Bill Guerin 4/6
Mike Sillinger 4/15
Shawn Bates 4/15
Sean Bergenheim 4/16
Jon Sim 4/21
Miroslav Satan 4/26
Frans Nielsen 4/30
Jeff Tambellini 5/1
Richard Park 5/7
Mike Comrie 5/19
Josef Vasicek 5/22
Blake Comeau 5/22

Remaining reviews: Trent Hunter, Kyle Okposo, Ruslan Fedotenko, Tim Jackman.
Colliton, Walter, Regier did not see enough minutes to do a full review beyond a quick blog so I'm going to omit them.
_______________________________________________________

Brendan Witt 4/9
Radek Martinek 4/11
Bryan Berard 4/14
Andy Sutton 4/29
Chris Campoli 5/14

Remaining reviews: Bruno Gervais, Aaron Johnson, Rob Davison, Freddy Meyer
Hillen, Fata, Spiller did not play enough games or minutes to do full blogs.
_______________________________________________________
Rick DiPietro 4/23
Wade Dubielewicz 5/28

Joey MacDonald/Mike Mole did not play enough games or minutes to do a full blog.

________________________________________________________
I guess enough blog postings have been done already on Garth Snow and Ted Nolan that can be called full reviews.

I will have these reviews done before the draft.




NYI Fan Central Final Review: Wade Dubielewicz

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/28/2008 07:46:00 AM
Today we continue the season ending reviews with the spotlight on goaltender Wade Dubielewicz.

Entering 2007-08:
It took some time for Ted Nolan to go with Wade Dubielewicz down the stretch late in 2006-07 but when he did he won the coach over and management as he was finally given an one-way contract as a reward for his strong season in Bridgeport and for the Islanders when they needed it most.

At the beginning of 2007-08 Dubie did not see much action but had a solid preseason, when he finally got his first start an exhausted Islander team was traveling and playing it's fifth game in seven nights against Toronto and simply did not give him much help in a bad loss against Toronto where he was not sharp himself.

After that the club played about three games in twenty plus days where again he was put into a bad situtation where an Islander team hung him out to dry in a game against Atlanta where he surrendered four first period goals where he allowed one bad goal late in the first period.

In that Atlanta game their club came at Dubielewicz in waves and did not allow anything after the first period that could have been 8-0 if not for his play.

On Al Arbour night he came in cold half way through the game and was outstanding in the comeback win.

At one point the Isles did get him to Bridgeport for a few games but when the call came he proved he could adapt and not only responded with good play from a backup but did not look at of place against any club.

When DiPietro did miss some games with mild injuries or knocks after that Dubielewicz played above and beyond what you expect from a backup goaltender with several outstanding efforts, his forty shot win against Carolina was typical of most of his work in the second half, he defeated the Rangers twice in the garden, gave his team a chance to win in almost all of his stretch starts after DiPietro shut down his season. No goalie is going to win without scoring support, Dubie did all he could and more and looked as good as most full time starters in this league.

In truth Dubielewicz looked like he could start for many teams in this league. As
much as the club needs Rick DiPietro's world class abilities, Wade Dubielewicz was outstanding most games when he got the call.

Moving forward:
Here we are in late May Joey MacDonald is signed to a one-way deal, Ridderwall's status will be decided in a few days and Dubie hits the open market on July 1st while DiPietro recovers from his second hip surgery. Seems to me if the Islanders wanted Dubie back something would have been done. The goaltenders comments have usually been he does not want to prove himself somewhere else and would like to stay.

Do the Isles gamble and give the backup role to MacDonald who has NHL experience and a few solid late season efforts or Dubie who looks like he could step in and start if necessary?

I have written several times the Islander fan in me wants him to stay but the NHL fan wants to see him start for someone. From day one this year I felt he would do a good job here, he lived up to my expectations and no doubt the Islanders are stronger with him.

Final Grade:
He could not outright steal games on the lowest scoring club in the league but he was ready when the call came for him to do the job without playing which was something we were not sure he could do after such a big workload in Bridgeport, he did his job and gave his team every chance to win.

Dubielewicz gets an A and a contract extension if it's my decision. He would easily start in Toronto/Los Angeles and vastly upgrade the current state of their goaltending.





Islander News Articles 5/28

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/28/2008 06:32:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan blogged on last night's Lighthouse meeting, the road ahead in the process as well as the political and enviormental hurdles the project will have to get through before final approval. It was written partly from a hockey perspective with Mike Bossy also in attendance.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Hopefully Newsday has an update in the business section on the meeting. The LI Business News lags behind a day or so on these updates but has done a lot on the Lighthouse project. Will be interesting if/when the heavyweights like Smg/Al D'Amato, and the same folks who have been killing Coliseum projects back to the days of John Pickett start surfacing with their demands. Nice update today but this works kind of like Sheldon Silver in Manhattan where he can kill something simply because he feels like it regardless of what anyone thinks.

Mr Wang negotiated an out-clause in the Isles lease with the county if this project is rejected at some point but Smg's lease runs until 2014 and the television contract until 2030 makes any relocation highly unlikely because of the huge revenue the club receives in the deal.

Erie Times News: Victor Fernandes has an article on the NHL draft as Pierre McGuire envisions Drew Doughty as the next Denis Potvin with comments from several of the prospects.

Winnipeg Sun: Steve Simmons has an article about Wings scout Hakan Andersson and the success they have had with draft picks from Sweden starting with Henrik Zetterberg in relation to the 1999 draft with a lot on how Mattias Weinhandl was also targeted by the Wings but went to the Isles in the third round.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This was the kind of thing I was writing about recently in terms of the Islanders drafts over close to a decade, no late round steals at the forward position, not even a mid or early round steal for that matter either.

Erie Times News: Victor Fernandes has an article on the NHL draft as Pierre McGuire envisions Drew Doughty as the next Denis Potvin with comments from several of the prospects.
_______________________________________________________________
It should be noted for those watching Wednesday's finals on my cable guide Versus lists no postgame while Espn news is advertising all postgame interviews.

Makes little sense to me unless NBC-Versus-NHL Network simply do not work well together. Why not have a panel with an hour long postgame and full press conferences after months of Versus coverage. NBC will be cutting to local news quickly after games.

They did a special live program to show some ping pong balls for a half hour lottery, to not have finals postgame makes little sense but it's been happening for three years.
_______________________________________________________________





5/27/08

Islander/Finals notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/27/2008 04:40:00 PM
Thanks for the e-mails on the outdoor game folks, but please just send your e-mail to Mayor Bloomberg, not to me. I have done what I can with this, it's up to you.

I will leave the link up until a decision is announced on the game. If you want our team involved you have to do your part, I do not know if it will help but it sure cannot hurt. Isles put in two years trying to make this game happen and I feel our team deserve to be in this game or no event like this should ever take place in New York.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Eliteprospects.com
Has three rumor reports Tuesday of Islander prospect Kim Johansson moving to Sundsvall, Nyköping or Nybro with all three linked to a blog here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Take all this with a very large grain of salt but with Johansson needing to be signed within a week I listed it. I'm leaning toward cutting out eliteprospects.com from our updates because a few of them like this are linking to blogs I'm not sure are legitimate professional media sources and they have not been as reliable as they have been in the past. _______________________________________________________________________________
Finals notables:
My finals predictions of Pittsburgh in six from Hockey Night on LI Saturday with Osgood being exploited because he is not one of the new age goalies wearing all the extra padding is not looking too good right now. Guess that home ice advantage not being a big deal in today's NHL has me 0-3. (Laughing)

Having written that I did also say these clubs have never met and we'll see what will be the over-riding factor and that anything could happen.

It is getting old reading these 83 Oilers comparisons, Pittsburgh did not dominate during the regular season like Edmonton did in their conference that year. Fact is this Pittsburgh team is looking more like the 81-82 Oilers but played two average clubs in Philadelphia-Rangers who struggled to make the playoffs and a Ottawa club in a free fall but their overall talent and long-term potential is excellent.

Now they are meeting a good team playing well that dominated their conference all season, but Pittsburgh is going home and this will tell us whether we have a long series or a short series if their home winning streak is broken.

Gary Roberts looked like he did in the 2002 playoffs going after Jonsson's head last night. Only this time he's too old to charge in from center ice, garbage play.

These Versus ratings are not exactly great, are they double last year because they have more outlets in year three for people to watch? What does 1.8 on Versus translate to on a network with limited affiliates?

I guess we will find out when NBC takes over for game three. Personally I do not think any market makes that big a difference, the fact so many media did not even go to Detroit says all we need to know about what the sports editors think of hockey in general.

The New York media is not even showing the game highlights.

Best articles I have read from the major media on the finals are the ones wondering why Gary Bettman opens his press conferences with softball questions from NHL network to set the tone as David Shoalts in the Globe & Mail pointed out here.

It's about as pre-packaged as those rating reports coming from Versus media people.
__________________________________________________________________
Newsday: Mark Herrmann does a feature with Robert Borzomi from Sunday, who has painted the Nassau Coliseum ice since day one which the Isles website linked to today with comments from Bryan Trottier, John Tonelli and Lorne Henning.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Nice feature and well deserved, but it's long overdue for an update on pending free agents and a state of the Isles. If there is room in the print edition for a two part feature on this there should be room in the budget for information on the team. Kind of sad only Steve Zipay's Ranger blog is going live for the finals but all I can do here is point it out to everyone and ask why the Islander blog is not covering the finals?

The Oklahoman: Bob Hersom does a very good three part interview with former three time cup winner with the Islanders, Mike McEwen who talks about what is was like to play on those championship clubs.

Telegraph-Journal: Scott Briggs has a feature on former cup winning Islander Yvon Vautour who will enter New Brunswick sports shrine Saturday as he talks about being a part of a championship team with the Islanders.

Newsday: Noel Rubinton in the business blog of Newsday has more on Cablevision's purchase of the paper with more criticism for the deal and a link to the LI business news article on 5/23 and a Times article on the history of Newsday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I sent Mr Rubinton an e-mail about a week and a half ago asking what this means for the New York Islanders and their hockey coverage, to this point he did not respond.

Point Blank: Mr Botta answered a blog on the Islanders Hall of Fame regarding Bob Bourne and did a second video blog as a new feature (nice work) on John Tonelli.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A few years earlier a relative of Bob Bourne sent the Sunday Post Soundoff of all places an e-mail about Bourne being under appreciated. As usual Charles Wang stepped up and did something about that to make up for past owners because it was the right thing to do. Hopefully names like Goring, Tonelli, Persson, Westphal and company also are added to that list in the coming years.

In the prospect section Igor Volkov transferred to another Russian club over the weekend.

The Star: Kevin McGran reports the draft prospects combine is underway in Toronto with the Isles (among several clubs) having wined and dined Paul Myers who is the fourth-ranked skater in North America according to the NHL's Central Scouting bureau. Meyer and as Alex Pieterangelo are asked and comment about being drafted by the Leafs.





5/25/08

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

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
















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:
here.

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.










5/24/08

Hockey Night on LI, Isles Notables

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


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.

Updated:
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








5/23/08

Finals Coverage, Boedker & Kessel

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/23/2008 03:11:00 PM
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
By MICHAEL FORNABAIO
10-5-01

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
second.

"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.






5/22/08

NYI Fan Central Final Review: Blake Comeau

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/22/2008 08:47:00 PM
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
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.

Updated:
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.




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