Hot Tuesday update

Newsday: Katie Strang has an interview with Kyle Okposo and Garth Snow's comments about the young prospect.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No doubt both were interviewed during last weeks business club event when Snow and Okposo were together.

Islanders website: Reviewed the picks the club will have in the upcoming draft.

1st Round: #5
2nd Round: #36, #53 (Ana to Edm to NYI)
3rd Round: #66, #73 (Edm to NYI to Edm to Ana to NYI)
4th Round: #96
5th Round: #126, #148 (Phi to NYI)
6th Round: #156, #175 (Min to NYI)

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Phoenix was awarded the 35th pick as compensation for losing the rights to Blake Wheeler recently so the Isles move back a selection. There may be more picks added as compensation so that could change again before June 20th.

Sudbury Star: Harold Carmichael reports Islander coach Al Arbour has been nominated for Joe Drago coach of the year award at the 40th Annual House of Kin Sports Celebrity Dinner and Awards Wednesday night.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Unless Al Arbour is being nominated for his win against Pittsburgh this season it seems late in the day for him only to be nominated now for his accomplishments, but impossible to know how this work.

J.D News, Jacksonville NC: Gregory Bond has former Islander Ed Westphal's comments about NHL salary and the struggle for some clubs to keep up.

SI: Darren Eliot reports on the goalie equipment working group which will meet Wednesday in Toronto and include Garth Snow and Rick DiPietro.

Lots of old updates on this one from March when this was announced here.

Updated 7:46pm:
Tsn.ca: Reports Anaheim traded the rights to former Islander defender Marc-Andre Bergeron to Minnesota for a third round pick.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So Anaheim was able to unload Bergeron, got it's third round pick back and added depth for their playoff drive while Garth Snow obviously was concerned he would be stuck with him so he dealt him at the deadline and made the offensive part of his back line weaker subtracting the club's best powerplay point shot at a time they had just won six in a row and had nothing on the backline to replace Bergeron's shot?

Not one of Garth Snow's best moments today. Not saying Bergeron's shot would have made the difference by itself but the year before they desperately needed to add a shot and decided on Bergeron and he helped. This year they took a step back to where they were before that trade and left themselves weaker when they could have waited and gotten the same pick from the Wild.

Tsn.ca: Reports former Islander Trevor Linden will announce his retirement on Wednesday.

Kings website/several media outlets: Report Marc Crawford has been fired by the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday with comments from general manager Dean Lombardi.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I remember two years ago how many Islander fans were furious the club did not hire Lombardi and Crawford. It begs the question if ownership believes in Lombardi's development/prospect plan why did they not support the coach who had to take the pains to coach under those circumstances?

Dean Lombardi sure left him hanging a long time or someone was just fired he really is interested in?




Monday afternoon update

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/09/2008 02:57:00 PM | | | | | | Be the first to comment!
Bloomberg News/Several sources: James Callan reports JumpTV will combine with NeuLion to increase sports programming with Charles Wang purchasing ten million dollars in stock. The purchase will give the Toronto based company access to National Hockey League games, the International Fight League, with television shows from China and the Philippines.

Newsday: Mark Harrington has more on the deal with a statement from Mr Wang.

Fox Business News: Has more details of the agreement.

Globe & Mail: Grant Robinson also had details.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Anything that helps the New York Islanders television exposure is a good idea. Mr Wang's company was a big part of ITV which the entire league used. It says a lot to the detractors who after a full decade of losing money owning a hockey team who could still think he's only in this for a land purchase that he spends ten million to increase sports programming?

Yahoo Sports.com: Ross McKeon placed the Islanders 27th in his NHL power rankings this week and wrote the Islanders bungled negotiations with Wade Dubielewicz.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
All due respect to Mr McKeon, I know he's doing a paragraph on thirty teams but unless he was with Garth Snow and Wade Dubielewicz agent he has no idea what was offered or rejected.

I did notice Joey MacDonald will be making an appearance on LI at a team event later this summer in the Trent Hunter appearance update but all the players listed are subject to change. The Isles are likely moving on without Dubielewicz but to write anyone bungled anything without being in the negotiations or a quote from someone saying that's what happened is not fair.

Dubie at this point should be looking for a chance to be a starter.

Windsor Star/countless articles: Michael Traikos reports the Maple Leafs have an agreement with former Sharks Ron Wilson to become the new head coach that will be made official tuesday as former Islanders Jason Blake & Bryan McCabe are mentioned by the writer but not interim gm Cliff Fletcher.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I wonder if the Toronto media can complain enough to get Brian Burke out of his job as Ducks gm if that's what he wishes to do or if Cliff Fletcher stays the interim figure head for Richard Peddie the next year?

If Leafs do buy out Blake or McCabe they can do so within the next week.

No way do I see Burke taking marching orders from Richard Peddie or anyone. I do not think Ron Wilson will take anything from Mr Peddie either.

Islanders website: Has a profile of prospect Tyler Myers from Friday which I already added to the draft center.

Quick note-I'm not sure why Mr Botta/Mr Witt's blogs are not updating on the feeders here. It could be a blogger issue or something they did with their feeds. For now just click the links to their site for updates.








NYI Fan Central Final Review: Tim Jackman

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/08/2008 10:57:00 AM | | Be the first to comment!
We are down to the final reviews this week on the New York Islanders for the
2007-08 season this week which will include Bruno Gervais & Freddy Meyer.

Today's review is on right wing Tim Jackman, the final forward to be reviewed.

Entering 2007-08:
What can I write about Tim Jackman entering last summer? I knew his name and that he was somewhat of a journeyman player who played very limited games on three other teams. I did not expect to see him in the NHL for many games at all as an Islander but this was a former second rounder at an age where it's a good gamble to sign him in terms of the NHL.

He got his best NHL opportunity last season.

2007-08:
Tim Jackman is one of those players who makes you look at the AHL vs the NHL and how different both leagues are in terms of speed and skill and how big a jump it is from one league to the other. In Bridgeport Jackman is a top six forward who can take over a game. In the NHL he's a fringe player for the fourth line who does not generate many chances with his limited ice-time. That may be a bit unfair but to this date Jackman has not forced a team to give him a top six forward spot for any amount of games.

Having written that Jackman worked hard in his thirty plus games here even if it's not reflective in the stats, giving the team energy and hard work in his shifts with the presence of an player who will defend his teammates. He was not a liability on the ice and did a solid job in all three zones with good hockey sense.

This was one of the taxi-squard players at the end of the season, playing five games in five days as he would go from New York to Bridgeport and back depending on which club had a game as they scrambled to fill out a lineup. I have never seen something like that but Jackman hung in and did a fine job under those circumstances displaying a lot of composure and maturity in his game.

Moving forward:
Jackman got a well-earned one year extension by the club, I expect he will get a look as fourth line right wing but Joel Rechlicz also is a right wing with a three year two-way contract who will also provide competition for that spot among several potential players.

Either way Jackman will fit in somewhere, whether it be New York or Bridgeport. It
does not seem feasible he can the play right wing spot on New York's top three lines with Guerin, Hunter and perhaps Okposo nor would his lack of NHL scoring be a good fit for that role unless his NHL offensive game improves dramatically in camp. I'm not sure he solves the enforcer problem on the roster and on this team more is required than just a pure fighter.

He sure looks like a goal-scorer in the AHL, if he could ever play that game at this level Islanders would have themselves a top six right wing.

Final Grade:
Jackman did a solid overall job in 07-08 in New York. He worked hard and did everything the club asked of him and was a good fit for his limited minutes. Jackman gets a solid B for his performance last season.





A few notables for Sunday

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/08/2008 10:24:00 AM | | | Be the first to comment!
I only took one day off and I added in the final preview on Tim Jackman which was scheduled to be released here.

Monday and Tuesday will be very busy next week, I will not have time for early updates either day beyond pre-scheduled automated blogs.

Time & Transcript: Gerard McLaughlin on Saturday reported Moncton will play it's only preseason home game against the Islander rookies Sept. 22.

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.
New York Rookies vs UNB Sept 24th at the Aitken University Centre.
New York Rookies vs Moncton Sept 22 at Moncton Coliseum.

One thing for sure, the Isles pre-season and regular season will be beginning a little later this year unless they have no intention of playing any preseson games in the tri-state area before opening night. Isles were done playing in NB by Sept 19th in 2007, pre-season ended on Sept 30th after several games in the New York area or in Bridgeport/AHL affiliates.

For those wondering Rangers opening in Europe means they will be not be around for a preseason game. Prudential Center should be open for business and my guess is a game at Harbor Yard could be possible.

Of course no law against another day game with all the school kids at the Coliseum, good way to market to the kids. No law against two or three home preseason games at the Coliseum.
________________________________________________________________
The Blake Wheeler sweepstakes started Sunday. Isles should have no reservations making an offer with Kyle Okposo on the telephone. Of course both play right wing but Wheeler was drafted two years before Okposo.

Funny thing is if Isles did sign Wheeler he would likely take Okposo's spot next season as a second line right wing. Guerin and Hunter are not left wingers and with Comeau, Bergenheim, Sim and Tambellini on that side there is no spot for them.

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No shock in the paper that does not have the financial luxury to cover the Isles properly with a professional writer and a blog on Sunday Larry Brooks decided to take his usual dig at Rick DiPietro and Garth Snow about Chris Osgood being the most successful goaltender of the Charles Wang era to open his Ranger-centric feature?

Larry Brooks ever consider if he covered hockey better all these years when they gave him more space he would not be reduced to reporting on baseball while the important US hockey markets never have to send their hockey writers to another sport in summer?

Boston Globe had a five part article today, several major hockey markets had full coverage today with the draft and free agency approaching.

Hope you enjoyed what you help create for hockey fans in New York Mr Brooks?
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NY Times has all these professional writers around to blog, why not let one of them cover the New York Islanders exclusively and provide a dedicated blog? Do they really think feature articles on selling equipment or this SI type coverage that has been a total failure for two years is helping hockey in this market when the finals
ratings for New York are coming in at 24th and 36th among US cities?

The European league coverage is more dedicated than the New York coverage. It is interesting the paper fills in articles with blogs from fans which seems to be a growing practice for papers who need hockey filler to make up for lack of content.
__________________________________________________________________
I did a little looking back and I have to ask how come Newsday's Mark Herrmann did a Ranger playoff features raving about Jagr here defending his poor season/problems through his career, then when the Rangers were losing in five did not write about how they took a step back and barely qualified, that they spent 90m on two centers that could barely play with Jagr?

I did not see these features on Yashin when he had his good playoff against Toronto nor did he ever refuse to participate in shootouts and I did not see him defended by Mr Herrman when he was hurt in the playoffs for the Isles?

If Garth Snow added 90m in forwards and he had Jagr's poor season guys like Mr
Herrmann would be lining up to rip him but he has a good game in a series his club trails 3-0 and we get a feature that reads like someone who's more fan than beatwriter?

What happened the day the Rangers were eliminated?

Mr Herrmann did a feature completely ignoring the loss about a family from California who were die-hard Ranger fans who left the house with them losing which prevented an accident. He then made sure to point out the former LI family were not Islander fans here.


It sure would be nice if a few of these reporters simply dropped the pretense and said what teams they were fans of going into an article. This way when Mr Herrmann is selling one team and putting down another we can figure out whether to take it seriously?

I did not see any articles from Mr Herrmann last spring when the Isles were eliminated in the same five games about a family of Islander fans in another market
instead of articles calling for changes?

Sorry folks, I think these are very fair questions to ask.

Of course with Cablevision coming in to run Newsday this may become the standard for hockey viewpoints in the paper. Good article for the resume Mr Herrmann.
__________________________________________________________________
The Islanders resigned Campoli for three years last 7/16 for those perhaps looking for a time line on Gervais or other RFA. These things seem to get done in bunches.
__________________________________________________________________
Buyout time is coming soon in the NHL with the date around 6/15. I highly doubt the Isles will go that way with Hilbert or Bates because between waives and trades they could help fill out a deal.

Of course the Islanders could keep and play both if healthy. That would create one heck of a numbers game with the prospects.
___________________________________________________________________
Nothing updated on an outdoor game folks. Don't let Cablevision and NBC keep the Isles out of this one, contact the Mayor's office and demand the Isles are included or no construction be done on the current Yankee Stadium and the game shipped out of town.

If there is a game in New York the Isles have to be in it at all cost for the future of the franchise on a lot of levels, including the Lighthouse. If Mr Ebersol does not like that let him take his coverage elsewhere.

Do you part and send a quick e-mail. Mr Bloomberg will not give Cablevsion the time of day but he may do it for the New York Islanders.









A few quick hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/06/2008 04:55:00 PM | Be the first to comment!
Were already two months into off-season for the Isles with the draft in two weeks.

Two more months and camp will be here, things are moving very quickly. Free agency, prospect camp, signings/trades/negotiations. No off-season at New York Islander Fan Central.

So far the live draft chat is still on here for Friday June 20th. I wish this was a full Saturday with several rounds. Opening night is first round only which means if Isles pick and do nothing it could be over very quickly.

Saturday will be a lot of fun with nine picks. I'm planning another live interactive
blog Saturday morning. I'm working on feeders and tickers that show the Isles picks as they come in.
__________________________________________________________________

SI.com: John Rolfe does an article on Mike Milbury where the former gm verbally goes after Tiger Woods.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What's funny is Mr Rolfe spends three quarters of the article bashing Milbury then prints he is right for bashing Woods begging the question why do an article on everything he ever did wrong if that's the case or did he have to qualify it with a rip job on the former gm so he would get no backlash?

If Tiger Woods does not like hockey, that's his business. Almost seems like he was brought into it by the league just to create some headlines.

Mr Rolfe went back to his previous Islander update where he was critical of the team for rolling out the dynasty players. I responded and wrote Mr Wang is just doing the right thing because John Pickett did not bother. I also wrote if he does not do these things he is accused of not caring about the alumni and if he does it's only to sell tickets so how can he win?

Isles also scheduled these events on weekends when ticket sales were not a problem last season so the ticket sales argument makes virtually no sense.

Call it the heat but I also asked Mr Rolfe if he's going to ask the same question of the forever mediocre Rangers when Adam Graves number is retired next year considering the New York Islanders are the standard for US hockey dynasties with no team in any sport matching nineteen playoff series wins in a row and a boatload of players who should have their jersey's retired for their championship accomplishments compared to Graves with his one cup at Msg.
_________________________________________________________________________
SI.com: Adam Muir reports Michel Therrien's job status could be in trouble.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Old news before the playoffs, for a good part of the season and since he was brought up from the AHL to coach from Wilkes-Barre. Given the revenue Pittsburgh will take in with the playoff run and with a new building going up the bad old days in Pittsburgh are officially over so if enough star players want a new coach, they will get one this time.

And the same thing can happen here folks, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Isles
ping-pong ball came up for Crosby a few years ago it might have happened already.

Having written that put me in the minority that Malkin is better than Crosby. He got them in the playoffs and carried them through the early rounds and was dominating games at a level Crosby is not at currently.
_____________________________________________________________

I'm hoping John Tortorella does not find his way to Pittsburgh, Toronto, Ottawa or an Eastern Conference club. I know quality coaches like Wilson, Quenneville and Hartley will land somewhere and hope that Pat Burns coaches anywhere. I would like Paul Maurice in Florida because I do not think he's the right man but good for a gm like Jacques Martin who does not want anyone who will create waves.

I do not dislike the Panthers but Isles have to stay ahead of them, amazing these kids have not put it together yet and a year of turmoil could force a few of those young players here.

I guess that's why.
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If Barry Melrose is hired by Tampa I will never make the mistake of writing someone has been out of the game too long to return to coaching again. Not Kevin Constantine, Trots, Goring, Al Arbour, Keenan, Bowman or anyone living. I used to write Ted Nolan should go coach in the AHL if he wants another NHL job, he went to Moncton and got to the Memorial Cup and proved himself. Pat Quinn coached against Al Arbour in the 1980 final and still wants to coach.

If Melrose does not have to go coach in the minors to get hired by someone, no one should have to.
________________________________________________________________

Speaking of Toronto why not hire a new gm and let him pick a coach, or does that make too much sense for Richard Peddie? Ron Wilson would be a good pick but if you are going with a traditional GM/Coach format you are forcing a gm to accept that coach and you have to wonder who makes the final decision?

Garth Snow if there are players you absolutely want to deal pick up the phone and trade with Cliff Fletcher, even Milbury got Jonsson, the pick for Luongo off of him.
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I'll go out on a limb right here and guess I think Sundin is headed for Colorado this July if the money is right. Between Forsberg, Sakic, Smyth it's just a place star players seem to like to play with pressure but not overwhelming pressure and going there does not upset anyone very much.

Someday someone has to explain to me why every star player who goes to Edmonton seems to want out while Colorado everyone seems to want to sign there for the
long-term. Is it the exchange rate, the city? It's cold with a ton of snow in both places. Both are good hockey markets and Edmonton's crowd will be intense regardless of record.

Is the travel that much different? I would think that ice surface in Edmonton would be a big selling point to players who want to extend their careers because it's faster.

That's one I have never figured out.
________________________________________________________________

Should I want Mike Milbury behind the bench in San Jose to keep a better coach out of the job or do I want him off television? Not too sure.

One thing I do know, Milbury coaching another club at the Coliseum will produce a sellout crowd calling for his lynching. Like Roenick the act is getting old and things sure are peaceful with him in San Jose.

Milbury started off entertaining but now it just seems forced. Last summer I thought he should get the Bruins job, but Chiarelli hired his friend Claude Julien and it was an outstanding pick who deserved at least Jack Adams consideration after what the Bruins did last season.
_________________________________________________________________
One more time:
When Pittsburgh dominates the Eastern Conference next season and returns to the finals we can start making Edmonton Oiler comparisons, not before.

When Detroit wins three more cups in a row we can talk about the in the same universe with the Islanders.

Good final, great players? Absolutely.
Any better than Edmonton-Carolina, Calgary-Tampa? No, if you take away the color of the uniforms and just look at the hockey for what it was, one team got that bounce or the post/crossbar or powerplay that made the difference.

Pete Sykora's ot goal was the first pp goal to win a finals game since Denis Potvin did it in game one of the 80 finals.

First time:
All this attention for Chris Osgood to the Hall of Fame? He had two cups rings before this final and well over three hundred wins. I guess this takes him off the Tom Barrasso list.

For those who listened to me on Hockey Night on LI a week ago I got little right on the finals predicting Pittsbugh in six on the basis Pens sharpshooter would exploit Osgood because he did not wear the over sized equipment and find holes. I did get the home ice question correct with Detroit breaking the Pens home winning streak and Pittsburgh winning in Detroit.
___________________________________________________________
Isles claimed today the Dinner & and Dynasty DVD was the first released in a decade by the club, I would be very curious what that last one was? I still have Pride of the Island on VHS.

Imagine the money Cablevision could let them make if they let them go through the archive of incredible games and make DVD's from them to go with one for each season.

Anyone notice you almost never see the Jiggs McDonald-Ed Westphal calls of these games, just the out of town version?

I would love to see Islanders-Oilers 1981.

Finally:
Unless something major happens a full weekend off for NYI Fan Central, of course whenever I write that something major does happen. The feeders all over the blog are always working for updates.

Major means a signing, a trade or more this weekend.







NYI Fan Central Final Review Aaron Johnson

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/06/2008 07:25:00 AM | | Be the first to comment!
Todays season ending review is on defenseman Aaron Johnson.

Entering 2007-08:
Aaron Johnson played over sixty games for Columbus in 2006-07 so any misconceptions this was an AHL defender trying to earn a job in the NHL are not correct. Former Jackets gm Doug McLean wanted to keep him, new gm Scott Howson could not find a spot for him but both liked his game and praised him.

2007-08:
Unfortunately with so many of the same kind of defenders on the Isles roster and the group healthy early Johnson had problems getting into the lineup, when he finally did it was as a forward or rare instances when the club would dress seven defenders.

A knee injury at practice set him back months and he never got his chance at full strength until late January where he played most of the games in February and March and did a very good job at even strength and was a big factor in the clubs six game winning streak. For the most part he was playing fifteen minutes a game or more and on a team that could not score played to a plus rating which was impressive with steady play. Nothing flashy but he showed a lot of good signs and was rewarded with minutes.

Johnson was constantly praised by the staff for his attitude and hard work.

Moving forward:
Johnson enters June as a restricted free agent but like Columbus will he be qualified? The numbers game on this roster and signed defenders make this a tough call for Garth Snow and Ted Nolan to bring him back because there does not seem to be a spot for him again with everyone healthy. Of course it also could mean Garth Snow can trade a defender to give him a spot in the top six which makes me look at Bruno Gervais who is a restricted free agent.

Final Grade:
It took until January before he finally played on a regular basis, he did a solid/steady job on the backline and logged significant minutes and it was impressive.

Aaron Johnson receives a B. I would like to see more but I'm doubtful that will happen here.





Islander News Articles 6/6

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/06/2008 06:32:00 AM | | | Be the first to comment!
Daily Gleaner: Bill Hunt reports the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds hockey team will host the New York Islanders rookies Sept. 24 - with the writer speculating for UNB player Rob Hennigar could dress for New York.

It will be the second year in a row the V-Reds will meet the Islanders rookies. For
those curious, Rob Hennigar did play in last years game and score in the win over the Isles rookies here.

Telegraph-Journal: Also had a few words on the upcoming game featuring the Isles rookies.

The Lindsay Post: Matt James reports the Islanders were one of the first eleven teams to interview prospect Cody Hodgson who could go in the top ten picks with his comments on the NHL combine and the upcoming NHL draft.

Timmins Press : In an editorial on the NHL off-season beginning speculation that Islander defensive prospect Mark Katic should have a decent shot at cracking the lineup of the New York Islanders and is ranked as the team's fifth best prospect.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not to pick apart a general article/NHL editorial that mentions a prospect, but Katic was drafted in the third round. I have never seen an official list from the Islanders ranking prospects to where he would be placed fifth and it will take something very special for him in camp to beat out Jack Hillen combined with what is a big group of defenders already signed to say nothing of Dustin Kohn.

Katic also would have to be signed.

Islanders website ranked it's enforcers from five to one with more youtube.com video on the website for each player.

Small notables:
Kyle Woodlief again did a prospect report on USAToday.com which is posted in the prospect section, on XM radio in his mock draft he predicted the Isles would select Michael Bodker.

Newsday: Neil Best Thursday reported the NHL television ratings and for some reason seems to think New York's jump from 36th to 24th in markerts to a 3.4 is a positive?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So much spin from so many places on these ratings. Sure it's good news overall ratings are higher but it really says a lot when two teams loaded with stars in major hockey-centric markets did not even match the Carolina-Detroit final or the Devils-Stars matchup. It's hard for folks to understand with versus this is a new network that has been adding outlets each year so they will improve ratings but that's more because they added more affiliates for folks to see games.

On paper take away the team colors and both Carolina-Edmonton, Calgary-Tampa put on just as good a show for the league.

Dick Ebersol nor Sam Flood can be thrilled with such a poor New York market rating with three teams fans only good enough for 36th or 24th?

Yes, folks I'm aware a 3.4 in New York can equal a 20.0 somewhere else with less televisions. Still, the bottom line here was this series was barely mentioned or even covered much by the media.




Islander News Articles 6/5

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/05/2008 04:59:00 AM | | | | | | Be the first to comment!
Islanders website: John Hill reported on last night's business club meeting.

Newsday: Islander blog had a recap of last night's business club event with Chris Dey's comments.

Newsday: Katie Strang attended last night's business club event with Garth Snow's comments that we're a tight-knit organization and the situation with confidence in Wade Dubielewicz was not as big of a deal as what people are making it out to be. In addition, the gm said everything is great regarding his relationship with the coach but prefers that situations like this be kept within the four walls.

He also spoke with Rick DiPietro after surgery and everything is great according to the gm.

Ted Nolan for his part felt there was no disagreement at all, that he and Snow agreed on the conditioning, that Dubie was hurt in the off season, so he couldn't come in and that sometimes that's construed as lack of confidence, but it was maybe a lack of communication.

The coach also plans on thanking Dubielewicz, trying to maintain a friendship as he spoke about the business side vs the relationship side as he again praised Dubielewicz and maintained he never lost faith in his ability.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Bottom line Greg Logan made another mountain out of nothing and Garth Snow made it very easy for him to do so. Even a harmless comment about raising an eyebrow (starting Dubie in second March Ranger game) is all it took for Mr Logan to create something.

The Newsday beatwriter did not even attend to face Snow or Nolan together or do the blog on the business meeting.

Garth Snow for his part has to watch what he says a lot better. He talks of keeping things inside the four walls and they are a tight-knit family and all that but then he goes and tells everyone about Dubielewicz conditioning and that the coaching staff had no confidence in him, requiring a public comment from the coach. He made light of Dubie's conditioning back in April, once was enough.

Tight-knit families keep things in house, you publicly thank Dubielewicz (as Snow did in April) report we could not get together on a contract and that's it.

Charles Wang, Garth Snow, Ted Nolan need to understand the few people covering this team are not die-hard Islander fans who have been on this beat for decades like you would see with a Red Fisher, Tim Panaccio, Kevin-Paul Dupont. It's a paid job assignment, little more and when an opportunity presents itself to stir something up they will take that as far as they can.

What I personally do not like is Greg Logan has no real competition from several papers or writers, he's not struggling to produce stories or scoops and should not have to go out of his way to present an issue as more than it is unless the Newsday sports editor, Hank Winnicki demands he cover the team in this manner?

It does a lot of damage with the fanbase too because many folks cannot get past the headline before they start ripping the team and just tune out everything else.

Michigan Live: Ansar Khan has former Islander general manager Mike Milbury's comments that he offered Chris Osgood a
long-term contract, $16 million for four years, and he turned it down as an indication of what the Islander organization thought of him.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Congratulations to Chris Osgood on winning another Stanley Cup with the Red Wings.

Only Mike Milbury would trade Roberto Luongo, draft Rick DiPietro first overall and then offer another goalie a four year/sixteeen million contract who had a great first month in New York but was hardly a stopper after that.

Ozzie signing a four year deal here would have likely meant DiPietro would have been traded.

Of course this is old news that everyone knew when Osgood was still here at the time the contract offers were reported.

Updated 4:00pm:
Detroit News: Ted Kulfan has Wings owner Mike Mike Illitch comment today comparing his teams four in cups in eleven years with that of the Islanders four in a row and what a great organization they were.






Islander/Sound Tiger Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/04/2008 03:27:00 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
Islanders website: Invites everyone to preview the new home of the Islanders Business Club in the Nassau Coliseum Expo Hall tonight. Mr Wang will be in attendance and will address event guests along with Head Coach Ted Nolan and General Manager Garth Snow. Clark Gillies, Bob Nystrom, Mike Sillinger, Kyle Okposo with Mike Bossy will be on hand.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Will Newsday's Greg Logan be on hand now that Charles Wang, Garth Snow & Ted Nolan will be in the same room and can ask them about DiPietro and Dubielewicz together?

Islanders website: John Hill previews the top Islander enforcers of all time counting down from ten through six.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Normally I would not include something like this but what makes this newsworth here is the club decided to incorporate video directly from youtube.com into the update which is the first time I have ever seen that on the teams website.

Is it fair for me to write how come Isles could not call up their television partner in cablevision and simply requested the game video's of these fights that could go on ITV for the profiles?

SoundTigers.com: Lauren Van Dam has a Sound Tigers website/tv interview with team President Howard Saffan about the past season, what he sees lying ahead for Bridgeport as far as the draft and the upcoming free agency period.





Islander News Articles 6/4

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/04/2008 04:12:00 AM | | | | 1 Comment so far
Newsday: Greg Logan reports Rick DiPietro had successful knee surgery Tuesday with Ted Nolan's comments that he agreed with Garth Snow about Wade Dubielewicz initial lack of conditioning but he never lost confidence in his ability as he praised the goaltender for doing everything humanly possible down the stretch (and last season in the playoff drive) while noting he was not sure if Joey MacDonald's one-way contract had a bearing on the decision.

The Islanders coach also explains Dubielewicz was injured last off-season which hurt his conditioning early, commented on Rick DiPietro's surgery that the club had to take precautions and hopes it's not a serious issue.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm glad Ted Nolan praised Dubielewicz but to be fair back in April so did Garth Snow and at the same time the gm also raised the issue of his conditioning.

Where do Ted Nolan and Garth Snow have commuication problems when the first thing written was the coach agreed with Snow about Dubie's initial lack of conditioning?

What other communication problems were there? A player had surgery and commented on it and it was so minor he was on a radio program the same day? Where in the article does Nolan say he did not know of DiPietro's surgery.

It's hard to take Mr Logan seriously with some of this when he writes the coach and gm clashed over the second Ranger game in March which seems right in line with the sensationalist headline written for his work today in the print edition by someone else.

Both Nolan and Snow went on WFAN the same day, Snow said Dubielewicz starting
" raised an eyebrow " and that was all the so-called clashing that actually took place beyond writer spin/speculation in the media.

If anyone can find a quote from the general manager beyond the now infamous raising an eyebrow comment during a live interview I would be very interested in seeing it.

Is this really Mr Logan's idea of the general manager and coach clashing?

You read some of this and wonder if the beat writer is tying to get the coach fired or create perception of public friction with the general manager as Mr Logan was the one who raised the issue of the coaches contract in the first place or it's just time to stir something up?

A good Kyle Okposo feature would work for me, even better a report on why Bergenheim only played part of the WC.

The beatwriter also made a huge deal out of the coach and goaltender not getting along after the Tampa game. Ted Nolan laughed at some of those reports in the Canadian media a few days later.

Mr Logan back on 3/20 described Rick DiPietro as head strong as I gave my comments back then what I felt of Mr Logan's opinion here that seemed over the top for a beatwriter who only wanted to help his team by playing hurt the same way Guerin and a lot of veterans played hurt and were praised by the same beatwriter for doing so.

Here is what was written on 3/20:
Nolan said he wasn't sure if surgery could have been avoided by resting DiPietro after he hurt himself at the All-Star Game, but the notion of ordering the headstrong goalie to rest historically has met strong resistance. "Yeah, he wanted to play all the time," Nolan said. "That's just Ricky's mentality. He's a very competitive guy. He wants to play a lot. Once in a while, your body tells you that you can't do it."

Ted Nolan-Competitive guy.
Greg Logan-Headstrong goalie.

This is why another newspaper viewpoint would help here. One beat writer can make or break fan perspective. I did not read Greg Logan write Bill Guerin, Miro Satan or Mike Comrie were headstrong for playing hurt to help the club even as the coach blasted the veterans the same day this was written as the coach threatened to skate his players every single day if they do not show up for games.

I did not read Mr Logan write Mike Sillinger was headstrong for playing hurt as long as he could?

By the time this hits Canada it sure will do nothing for free agents considering signing here.

Sean Bergenheim WC injury updates? No.
Player features? No.
Outdoor game for Isles from the beatwriter? No.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in his blog describes the article as more interesting fun 'n' games on the Islanders Committee.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Let the games begin. Well done Mr Logan, most people cannot get past the headline before making up their minds.

Point Blank: Mr Botta does a great job talking about the annoucement of the Islanders hockey committee two years ago and how it was overblown at the time and not really different from what most teams do.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Agree with the blog but Mr Wang at the time presented it that way where more was made of a non-traditional structure and a hockey board of sorts. Perhaps it was the questions or how they were answered but it took on a life of it's own that only got worse with what transpired afterward.

Mr Botta nailed it on the part that all owners get the final call because no one wakes up and finds someone spent millions of their money without approval.




Newsday reports minor knee surgery for DiPietro

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/03/2008 05:45:00 PM | | 2 Comments so far
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 | 2 Comments so far
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 | | Be the first to comment!
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

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.








Tim Jackman resigned by New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/02/2008 03:59:00 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
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 | | Be the first to comment!
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

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.






No deadline for Ridderwall, Johansson

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/01/2008 01:42:00 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
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 | | | | | | | Be the first to comment!
























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.




A few words on the Lighthouse

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/31/2008 09:30:00 PM | | Be the first to comment!
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.








Islanders 5/31 Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/30/2008 09:51:00 PM | | | | | | Be the first to comment!
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 | | Be the first to comment!
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.





Islander/NHL notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/29/2008 09:23:00 PM | | | | | Be the first to comment!
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 | | | Be the first to comment!
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 | Be the first to comment!
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.