Team USA Development Camp/Baumbach's turn

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/05/2008 06:54:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
USAHOCKEY.COM: Has some updates on team USA, Finland, and Sweden that began Tuesday with head to head games in Lake Placid at developmental camp with all three clubs having Islander representation.

Shawn P. Roarke has been live blogging during Tuesday's game with updates from Lake Placid for here.

Newsday: Jim Baumbach does a blog on what he writes is an Islander-friendly article by Adam Kimelman of and wonders how come a goaltender was reviewed considering Rick DiPietro's contract?

He also acknowledge the positive reviews for this summers draft but notes the Isles need to develop prospects unlike past regimes and plan like the Yankees do with young pitchers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Baumbach I guess was unhappy the league is reviewing prospects of all the club and did a good job on the Isles and had to throw some cold water on it, even if he needed someone to tell him about blue chip prospects or the draft. Disappointing he went out during mini-camp to meet some of these kids (or play paintball) but despite that gave us nothing from them that may not have been reported.

For a young kid that may be a big thing to see his name in an NHL Newspaper.

In short all Mr Baumbach did was to tell us about DiPietro's contract and point out past regimes did not hold onto prospects despite DiPietro, Bergenheim, Comeau, Gervais, Campoli here from the clubs system and also have Colliton/Nielsen from the system.

By his logic with seven defenders signed for the next two years not counting Kohn or Hillen maybe Mr Kimelman should not have written about any defenders either.

Another poor showing at Newsday.

Islanders website: Reports on the open house this coming Saturday August 9th which will feature Josh Bailey and Doug Weight who is pictured in an Islander uniform.

NYI Fan Central Live Blog chat 8/12 @ 1pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/05/2008 05:15:00 PM | Comment Here

I have scheduled a live blog for next Tuesday 8/12 at 1pm for all things New York Islanders for everyone who would like to stop by and chat. My guess is we should have a coach or some finalist for the job by that point.

Hope to speak with everyone next Tuesday with about a month left before camp by next week.

A Little Bloggers vs Professional Media

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/05/2008 02:38:00 PM | | | Comment Here
USA Hockey Magazine: Ricki Dugdale has a feature article on blogging with comments from the President of Professional Hockey Writers Association Kevin Allen (USATODAY.COM) along with Islander media relations coordinator Cory Witt about the teams blog box program.

Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times also has a few words.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Allen does a very good job here pointing out his memberships perspective that bloggers do not have any accountability, can post anything and it does not matter because independant bloggers are not held accountable by an editor or publisher nor are they obligated to report factual and accurate news.

In his personal take he feels as long as a guy has proven himself who dedicates his profession to [blogging], he deserves to be taken seriously.

I basically agree with what Mr Allen had to say across the board but there are a lot of quality blogs from both genders.

Larry Brooks when he was hockey writers association President fought quietly to keep amateur scribes out of the 2002 finals and lost. He was not even honest enough to present his case in his Sunday tell-all column but Red Fischer in Montreal reported what Mr Brooks was up to and wrote about it for the public.

Having written that Mr Allen also has to know that we read a lot of commentary or articles from the professional media that is not accurate and is hard to distingish at times from the fan blogger.

When professional writers spew out anything to draw reaction it begs the question is the editor or publisher asleep or simply does not care or willing to sacrifice accuracy in reporting for page views?

The shock jocks at Newsday/other outlets like Anthony Rieber or the guest amateur writer set a very poor standard and make Mr Allen's claims of standard and accuracy seems weak when writers are reduced to blog version.

A lot of professional blogs from print media at times read like something where someone slaps something together and the line is getting tougher to distinguish but I feel needs to be maintained.

For this blog I have set my own standards but work from most of the same blueprint as Mr Allen described. I write what I consider to be correct and accurate with my commentary based on what I feel is fair given a report or information combined with my knowledge and long experience as a New York Islander/NHL fan. More often than not this blog will link to information from the professional media to back my viewpoint.

Of course this blog also puts the light on the media coverage which I felt has to be done because of how poor and inaccurate the coverage has been. If those same editors/publishers decide on tabloid journalism is professional this blog will step in and try to do what the editor or publisher fail to provide by pointing out mistakes when it comes to reporting on the New York Islanders.

Having written that my perspective does not make my view professional either and I make that clear often here. I do not have to be a professional to display professionalism.

I also work from a position of strength because I do not aspire to be a professional writer. I am exactly where I want to be with this blog and that is the way things will stay. I'm back doing what I enjoy doing as I did on my mailing list, when I decide to stop I will stop.

Mr Witt does a good job as well here talking about how the blog box program has helped the club. Of course he knows the only difference between folks in the blog box and some of the professional writers upstairs is those thirty year reporters on one team/market do not cheer during the game but you can see in the work they are just as happy or frustrated as the fan blogger given the game result or the standings.

Good job on this article all around, too bad they did not get more from Helen Elliott who does exceptional work when allowed space to write on hockey.

Tuesday notables/Quick Hit

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/05/2008 02:02:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here Adam Kimelman does a full feature on the Islanders prospects along with comments from Garth Snow and assistant gm Ryan Jankowski.

A second article is done on prospects Travis Hamonic and Jyri Niemi with their comments here where Garth Snow says no player is guaranteed a spot and if someone comes in and opens some eyes, that player will be on the team.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A few of the comments were from the draft but excellent articles that even touched on some of the players in Bridgeport like Trevor Smith.

Boston Globe: Fluto Shinzawa reports in the Bruins blog former Boston coach Dave Lewis was not retained as an assistant by Los Angeles who recently hired Terry Murray. Ryan Kennedy has his top ten players to watch for next year's draft.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports in his blog Colton Fretter signed with Buffalo among other items.

Quick Hits:
I would guess were getting close to Garth Snow finishing up his first group of interviews, narrowing his list before he does second interviews or outright makes a hire.

Total guess on my part here but I think were about a week away from a hire.

Did the Isles Underachieve last season

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/04/2008 01:55:00 PM | Comment Here
Sunday Larry Brooks had to get in his weekly dig on the Isles with the latest being he finally got around to events written/reported or quoted from back in March about management claims the team underachieved here under Ted Nolan.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It has to be pointed out management back in February/March did not put it all on Ted Nolan or outright blame it all on the coach. If I recall correctly the blame was placed on everyone including the players. The fact some players were not resigned confirm this by the general manager's actions.

Charles Wang's I told you so comment to the coach in print about playing prospects was brutal and could be perceived as a shot at the coach but this also goes beyond prospects.

Rarely does a Sunday go by where Larry Brooks has something negative to banter about the Isles in a paper that does not provide full time coverage and he obviously has no quotes or anything current but that is par for Mr Brooks or he would not write anything at all (about anything) but this idea the Isles were just a bad team destined to finish at the bottom of the pack is simply not true in this bloggers opinion.

Mr Logan predicted them for a playoff spot, Evan Grossman who was in camp for felt this would be a very tough team to beat and placed them in playoff position.

I predicted them sixth here before the season, I compared the scoring lost with the scoring gained and there was at best a small tangible difference.

I would suspect many who read outside predictions that never gave them a chance (nor have they ever) list them out of contention but most of those folks are the same ones trapped in the late nineties about the club which also includes Larry Brooks these days because he is out of touch with the Isles.

What we saw the opening weekend is what I expected to see. Instead we saw a club that scored two goals or less fourteen games in a row when completely healthy aside from Jon Sim which was no small loss but one the group should have overcome. The goaltending held them in but without DiPietro during that incredible stretch for him the season is over by early December with a group setting an all-time franchise low for scoring.

For myself that is underachieving.

Almost the entire roster played below their career numbers with Sillinger, Guerin, Hunter not getting their goals and unlike the previous season this club went from one of the best at even strength to one of the worst with a huge downturn in plus/minus and a powerplay likely to give up a goal or a quality chance.

Shootout games that were a staple in 2006-07 that produced a streak of only three regulation losses in twenty games that got the club to sixth place and eventually the playoffs were extremely rare last season.

Can all that but put on Ted Nolan? Absolutely not. Having written that a part of it does have to be placed on him along with everyone including the general manager with the players.

In my estimation this team underachieved huge last season and they did it when mostly healthy with plenty of rest. The goaltending kept them in contention along with some overdue scoring in stretches but overall this team before injuries or sickness took it's toll should have been a lot better. The fact they scratched together six wins in a row when against the wall says how much better they should have been all along.

For Ted Nolan's part at the end of the season he blasted his veterans aside from Guerin but did not name anyone, he threatened to skate the players every day and singled out the kids for praise often. Newsday misreported the coach threatened the players with trades.

Your in mid-December, the team has only eleven first period goals all season with most of your roster healthy that is underachieving. Individually it seems aside from Richard Park and Vasicek every forward underachieved on offense in terms of goals and those players had their twenty plus games without a goal.

It does not all go on Ted Nolan, it goes on everyone.

Espn: Teri Frei has an article about NHL coaches and wonders if the Isles will hire someone before opening night.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I guess that's Mr Frei's bi-yearly Islander related comment.

Jacques LeMaire, Lindy Ruff & Barry Trotz among the elite? Tenure yes, results not really. How did Dave Tippett not make that group? Andy Murray's work in Los Angeles and St Louis makes him among the best in the league?

The Blues finished behind the Isles again.

So Brent Sutter and Claude Julien do a fine job with less and are not proven or suspect while Tom Renney who's club could not score with ninety milllion dollars worth of centers is proven?

Maybe Espn hockey writers should simply report based on who has an Espn zone.

Ted Nolan, The Final Interview

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/04/2008 01:36:00 AM | Comment Here
This was from day two of the NHL draft on 6/21 where he sat down with Steve Mears, by July 14th all we had was his statement from the club.

I was not sure if everyone got a chance here to listen to his final interview, he kind of ignored the question about coaching the prospects next season.

Kind of ironic back on 2/2 Bill Guerin told George Vecsey of the NY Times that you hear a lot of negative things about some coaches but I never heard anything bad about Ted Nolan considering what had to transpire that final month.

It should also be noted in the Times and Transcript article on 4/15 by Dave Hodge
here Ted Nolan used the word " we " several times in describing his team and talked about the injuries being such a huge factor.

Sporting News turn to get it wrong on Isles

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/03/2008 07:40:00 PM | Comment Here
Sporting News: Sporting news staff report puts up a headline based on Sat/Sun Newsday article that claims Crawford, Gallant among Isles' coach finalists and that second-round interviews begin this week.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Is it really that hard to read an article and reprint a story properly or is the work simply that sloppy?

This article points to the word according to Newsday's Greg Logan (as almost everyone does) but the beatwriter did not claim Gallant or Crawford were finalists and that according to the reports neither have had a first interview yet but folks will see the headline and start ripping away as if it's down to two.

Not as if the Islander general manager has commented beyond what he is looking for in the long-term for his next coach.

I did not see anything in that article where Snow said he was conducing a second round of interviews yet. It's logical he will be this week but Newsday did not report that either.

Don't worry folks, these folks will be giving us predictions for next seasons club which could be as poorly done as the headlines.

Scary part is some will agree with those reviews.

Sporting News edited it's headline.

Lot's of questions, few answers

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/03/2008 01:21:00 AM | Comment Here
A lot of questions for this club on paper if it enters training camp and next season as it's currently constructed.

For me I do not really see hiring a coach as a huge question. Some will point out the club has never hired a coach this late but this season is starting a week later anyway. Does Tampa even have a general manager in place?

The important questions are ones that are frankly going to determine if this club can stay competitive in the first twenty games regardless of who is behind it's bench.

For myself these are the questions that have to be looked at:

1. Is Mike Sillinger going to be at full strength from day one off his surgery given he has had to stay off skates for months with some reports that he would not be able to skate until August?

Will Guerin be at full strength, what about Comrie or Rick DiPietro?

Are Witt, Sutton close to a hundred percent after the injuries they had?

For that matter is Bergenheim fully healed after apparent injuries cost him most of the World Championships? Campoli has been off since early January, Gervais concussion problem was a serious issue at the end of last season.

The younger players recovering from injuries are a concern but for players who need to be in top conditioning like Guerin or Sillinger it's critical because they must have one more huge year at a point where frankly if they were healthy all summer asking for the kind of production it will take could be too much.

2. What will the club be getting from Jon Sim, will he hit that wall that many do skating off that kind of injury where many say it takes two full years to regain the speed and quickness? This club desperately needs those seventeen goals he scored for Atlanta.

3. Isles need the version of Doug Weight who produced two years ago, anything less on a club with so many offensive holes could frankly be fatal, will he even match Vasicek's early production?

4. What someone step up to make this powerplay better who can work the puck to the right player in the right spot? Will someone step up with Mark Streit and be a true number two point man with the entire defense signed beyond a year with only room for a trade/injuries?

5. Perhaps the second biggest question after the veterans health.

Can Comeau, Okposo, Bergenheim and especially Tampbellini produce enough to keep the club competitive. Will Hunter be able to produce more goals. A few of these players have to put up twenty goals or more or the club will not stay competitive. Okposo is going to have to give production on a level with a first or second line NHL right wing, same for whoever are the two left wings in the top six.

This is not 1999 where Tim Connolly is being asked to produce out of a draft, it's not the same as when Taylor Pyatt or Juraj Kolnik were thrown into spots, outside of Okposo these players have been in this organization for almost five years in many cases, it's showtime or go time.

6. Will the toughness factor be a problem with no true enforcer among the forwards or does the lack of enforcer mean Sutton, Witt have to become more involved in that role?

Some questions will work out ok, others will not. Isles have options and competition for spots which will settle some questions but not all of them.

Not many answers on paper in early August. I would not be shocked to see a trade or two toward the end of camp.

Saturday Isles update

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/02/2008 08:30:00 PM | | Comment Here
Point Blank: Chris Botta had an update on the Isles coaching search telling us Marc Crawford and Gerard Gallant will be in for interviews next week with his thoughts on some of the individuals who could be hired. He also tells the fans to essentially ignore the attacks by the Newsday writers against the club and had a few choice words.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I guess I should start with a story for my blog readers. The one time I was tempted to actually appear in the blog box last season was when we were invited to sit there at the trade deadline which was very generous by the club.

As soon as I read Jim Baumbach of Newsday was coming to report on blog box reaction and not our team I knew I made the right decision not to accept the invitation. For myself the New York Islanders and the hockey are the story, never myself or this blog.

I could not have sat there and spoken with some shock jock who was only there to cover Islander fans reporting events and not our team before he went on to his next event in Washington. If the club were given descent coverage in the first place the Isles would never have needed fan participation so the only thing I could tell Mr Baumbach or any of these outlets that appeared early last season is that I'm here because your bosses failed at their jobs to cover the New York Islander and now you have the temerity to provide coverage only to watch us blog?

It's insulting and at the same time sad. If the revenue is not there to provide coverage that's one thing and understandable however if it's available only for sidebar events that is not accecptable.

As for the coaching search Mr Botta knows better than we do but Marc Crawford's comments came off like a man who was very happy to be working for CBC next season so my guess is his new employer would not be thrilled if after they announced his hiring he went off and took another job within a week. I guess we will see.

Regarding Botta telling the fans to basically ignore the shock jock articles in Newsday (I will not put words in his mouth, you read his blog and decided for yourself) feels will go away if we ignore them I do not think he understands the circumstances or at least my own in this instance.

I have no problem with fair criticism by Newsday about the New York Islanders, none at all and there are plenty of fair issues to raise.

Having written that when we read blind, unreasoning assaults that we do not see for other local clubs that have lost for a long time with a lot of circus-like events it's fair to question the motivation and judgement, not sit back in silence while Neil Best tells us about Ranger page views.

Heck if it were balanced out with over hype for Al Arbour, Core of the Four, All-Star Rick DiPietro or the six game winning streak it would be a little more tolerable as the highs and lows evened out but even for those events Newsday also went negative and tried to ruin the events by making it about ticket sales despite the strong weekend turnout.

For Rick DiPietro no beatwriter was even sent to Atlanta.

Mr Herrmann did not go negative on Brian Leetch when his night came along despite all the failures with eighty million dollar clubs. He did cover Arbour's return and looked to stir things up making it about his past relationships with owners that first day.

Mr Botta knows the media business a lot better than myself and I have no doubt his intentions are good and speaks from long experience.

In my estimation if Islander fans did follow his advice someone would surface at Newsday to tell us no one cares about the club and use less page views as the latest excuse for a drop in coverage. No other club that goes to the playoffs four times in six years takes this kind of beating from it's local paper with many non-hockey writers surfacing only to attack the club.

It's been a long time issue with the staff at Newsday regardless of who owned the paper but it has gotten worse the last season or two with attacks for seemingly anything.

Cablevision has their own negative history with the Isles that cannot be ignored but until they do something to raise fair questions with regard to their Newspaper coverage there is little to write but to point out past problems.

As for Mr Botta, I can appreciate his loyalty and respect for Greg Logan but it's getting old reading from him the beat writer will be all over things involving the Isles when he's out blogged and for the most part outworked by his Newsday counterpart for the Rangers who's generating page views and not for negative coverage. Mr Botta and I agree to disagree respectfully on that one but of course it's great to see him take his time and provide us any insights.

Regarding Mr Rieber and all the Newsday shock jocks, maybe I'm one of the few but I let the quality of my blog speak for itself. I appreciate and thank all the folks who visit but I have never written anything with the intention of how many page views it will generate here or to stir something up, maybe Mr Rieber has to?

To me any professional working for a newspaper who only writes to generate page views is in the wrong profession. It seems there are a lot of writers throwing stuff around as fodder to justify their next paycheck that's virtually worthless in my estimation when they are capable of so much more.


Would it have been that tough for Mr Rieber's editor to tell him to place a call to Radek Martinek and do an interview with him or a dozen other players, including Doug Weight who has yet to be quoted.

Newsday: Greg Logan reports on the Isles coaching search and tells us most of what Mr Botta had along with Gerard Gallant being interviewed is an indication of Snow's regard for his work. Mr Logan also speculates Rick DiPietro is said to be out of the brace he was wearing on his left knee during the team's recent mini camp and is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.

Quick Hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/01/2008 02:50:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Team USA National Evaluation Camp: Got underway Friday with Islander prospects Blake Kessel and Aaron Ness representing the US squad. David Ullstrom will be coming over with team Sweden as will Jyri Niemi representing Finland.

The list of games in Lake Placid will be as follows:
Aug. 5, U.S. Blue vs. Finland, 4 p.m.
Aug. 5, U.S. White vs. Sweden, 7 p.m.
Aug. 6, U.S. White vs. Finland, 4 p.m.
Aug. 6, U.S. Blue vs. Sweden, 7 p.m.
Aug. 8, U.S. White vs. Sweden, 4 p.m.
Aug. 8, U.S. Blue vs. Finland, 7 p.m.
Aug. 9, U.S. White vs. Finland, 1 p.m.
Aug. 9, U.S. Blue vs. Sweden, 4 p.m.

Yahoo Sports: Has the Islanders team report which is basically a review of recent events along with signings and prospects.

The Boston Globe had comments from Providence Captain about how good a coach Scott Gordon will be.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Still a little way to go here. We have no idea if there is someone who did not make it on the media's list of interviews. My guess is Mr Botta will know on Sunday and tell us how it will play out before everyone if he blogs.

Neil Best in Newsday told us Ranger beatwriter Steve Zipay's blog generated one of the top page views at the paper.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I cannot do all the heavy lifting here and keep pointing out Greg Logan can and should blog more because this is not something that cost the print edition space because frankly I'm tired of blogging on it. If Mr Logan blogs more the Isles will get more page views at Newsday, if folks want to keep defending the longer blog theory is the same it's not because it does not mean as many page views.

You can do long blogs and short blogs. To keep interest going you have to have a steady influx of information. Mr Logan falls painfully short in this department and he should take it personally the only paper with an Islander blog is outworked by his Ranger counterpart consistently.

Quick transfer notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/31/2008 11:26:00 PM | | Comment Here
Elite Reports Islander prospect Kim Johansson could be transfering to Kristianstads IK while former Islander-Sound Tiger Ryan Caldwell will be leaving the Coyotes AHL club in San Antonio to play for Düsseldorfer EG Metro Stars which confirms.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
European leagues start up very soon, the KHL will begin September 2nd.

Latest Newsday Disgrace: Anthony Rieber

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/31/2008 10:08:00 PM | | | 2 Comments
Newsday: Anthony Rieber in his Newsday blog decides to tell us about the Newsday/Cablevision ownership, how honest the paper and his blog will be but then tells us the Knicks are simply still not a good team, the Rangers still don't get enough bang for their buck but only the Isles are a laughingstock and we're going to keep writing it in Newsday in what he calls honest commentary until it's no longer true (in his view) or the club moves.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Where I come from honesty is not a double-standard where it is selectively applied to your favorite teams and not all teams.

Not too friendly from the only paper that is supposed to provide full-time coverage from Mr Rieber who only shows up to play the shock jock game on the Isles and insult them.

So Mr Rieber wants us to buy from him under Cablevision we will receive honest coverage but then he tells us the Knicks are not a good team and does not throw the laughingstock label on them with a half a column about all the comical decisions they have made under his new boss?

Did he write that with a Cablevision employee sitting next to him needing approval before it was posted like Alan Hahn and several writers needed approval from Msg security NY Observer before interviews with Knicks players last season?

I guess that would not help Mr Rieber's job status writing the Knicks are far from simply a bad team but a disgrace and arguably one of the biggest laughingstocks in New York sports history thanks to his new boss.

The Rangers with one cup since 1940 that have done virtually nothing more than the Isles in the postseason (and finished only two points ahead of the Isles a year ago with the Isles winning both season series) that spent ninety million on two centers who could not play on the first line are not a laughingstock after missing the playoff for seven years in a row while the Isles who have been to more playoffs in the last six years then both Msg franchises combined are a laughingstock?

No folks, the Isles are hardly a good team at this time but things are not that bad either that they merit this constant assault from Newsday writers/bloggers. If they stayed healthy and got anything from their veterans they likely would have made their fifth playoff in six years even with the lack of scoring.

It's hard to take coverage like that seriously in what reads like more like a Cablevision resume than what Mr Rieber calls honest coverage but Isles fans are used to this kind of poor treatment from a staff of writers who are not fans of this team who do not beat up any of the other clubs like this regardless of record and seemingly go out of their way.

The Mets change managers the Isles take a beating from a Newsday writer.
The paper changes hands the Isles take another beating from Mr Rieber.
Isles make a coaching change Wallace Matthews jumps off baseball to bash the club.
Al Arbour comes back, has a great night Jim Baumbach writes something negative.
DiPietro starts the All-Star game our beat writer cannot be bothered blogging.
Isles go to Newark Mr Herrmann talks about the clubs viability.
Guest amateur writers blasting the club.

It seems the only time Newsday can treat our team like a big market team is when it's time for someone to come out and insult them.

No wonder a lot of our fans just tune the club out. You take this kind of unfair coverage too long you don't want to be bothered or just accept it.

This is the paper that most of the North American media relies on for New York Islanders perception with the phrase according to Newsday attached to almost everything as a disclaimer.

Not good.

Only thing Mr Rieber does here is make himself look like a laughingstock with a double-standard in reporting that is disgraceful.

Islander/NHL Notables: Crawford out

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/31/2008 01:41:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here Report former Kings coach Marc Crawford will be joining Hockey Night in Canada next season with his comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I guess Crawford can be taken off the Isles coaching list based on this or it will be a very short run at HNIC.

Edmonton Oilers: Have announced Kevin Lowe has been promoted to President of Hockey Operations for the Edmonton Oilers and has named former Islander Steve Tambellini as the team’s new General Manager.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So Jeff Tambellini's father is now an NHL general manager. He must have been on the outs in Vancouver to let him become gm of a rival team in the same division unless Lowe is what John Davidson is to St Louis with gm Larry Pleau basically a step below.

Somewhere Brian Burke is either laughing or unhappy. Would not shock me if the new Oilers ownership is kicking Lowe upstairs too.

National Post: Michael Traikos has Mats Sundin's agent, J.P Barry's comments on the saga to sign the long time Leaf.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mercifully the professional media sources have kept his name away from the Isles, perfect fit for the Rangers to sign another veteran declining for big money with a front-loaded Cablevision contract which will not make the local papers. I guess Roberto Luongo and twenty million is not enough to get his to sign in Vancouver.

Canadian Press: Report unrestricted Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Jaroslav Modry signed a two-year contract with Czech club HC Liberec.

Daily News: John Dellapina reports through Czech newspapers two time Ranger Peter Nedved will be invited to camp for a tryout.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm surprised Messier did not call up already and try and to get his spot back for five million a year with the captaincy. Funny, I did not read about how old Nedved was compared to Doug Weight who must be fifty years old from some of the reports about him.

Nedved for those wondering both players were born in 1971. Weight in January, Nedved in December. Holik is oldest of the three.

Canadian Press/several sources: Report Scotty Bowman has agreed to become the senior advisor of hockey operations for the Chicago BlackHawks after six years with Detroit as a consultant, joining his son Stan who is the Blackhawks assistant GM.

Quick Hits:
The Isles website reported Doug Weight will appear from the signed unrestricted free agent witness protection program and be on hand for Islander fans August 9th at the next team shareholders meeting as we finally get to hear something from him.

Final Poll Results: Sixth Defenseman

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/31/2008 01:32:00 PM | Comment Here
Final poll results are in and in a late rush of votes, Gervais was voted the sixth defender over Freddy Meyer but many feel an injury will decide things.

The poll started at a point before Gervais signed.
I'm kind of glad I included the option on Berard which several felt could still happen.

I guess we will see. It would be interesting after seven preseason games if everyone is healthy if one of these regular defenders are in the stands at New Jersey.

Freddy Meyer 12 (22%)
Bruno Gervais 18 (33%)
Injuries will solve it quickly 16 (29%)
A defender will be traded to improve group 2 (3%)
Campoli or Meyer will be traded 0 (0%)
Campoli or Meyer will be exposed to waivers 0 (0%)
Gervais will not get a contract done 0 (0%)
Don't count out Berard yet 6 (11%)

Votes so far: 54
Poll closed

Islander News Articles 7/31

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/30/2008 11:37:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan reports according to the infamous NHL source Joel Quenneville was committed to take a year off from coaching before the Isles' job opened up, but Garth Snow later followed through and contacted the former Avs coach, but in preliminary discussion he was not a good fit for the Islanders at this time.

Mr Logan also report's Scott Gordon's interview went very well with Gerard Gallant scheduled this week and will speak with other canidates and that the preseason schedule will be released Thursday with the expected date for the Coliseum preseason game as October 1st against New Jersey.

The seven game preseason lists as follows:
Boston on Sept. 23 at Moncton.
Philadelphia on Sept. 25 at London, Ontario.
Florida on Sept. 27 in Summerside, Prince Edward Island.
New Jersey on October 1st, Nassau Coliseum, New York.
New Jersey on October 3rd, Prudential Center.
At Boston on Oct. 4
At Florida on Oct. 6.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Unless Garth Snow has some interviews no one knows about it should be down to Gallant and Marc Crawford before we see some second interviews or an outright hiring. No big surprise Quenneville did not want to coach in the Eastern Conference for the first time.

Cannot recall the Isles going that far south for a preseason game much less one that late.

According to this they play in Florida and then come back to play the Devils in New Jersey to open the season? It would be something different if they opened down there and played a game in Florida.

Wednesday notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/30/2008 06:42:00 PM | | | Comment Here Dan Rosen has an article on the Canadian Prospect Camp in Ottawa with comments from coach Benoit Groulx he now knows who Travis Hamonic is as the Isles prospect is featured in the article with a picture.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Rosen always does quality work on the club and did last weekends update. I hope he does the August 5th update where the Isles prospects are scheduled for review and goes to team USA camp.

Star Tribune: Michael Russo has a few words from Mark Parrish today upon being placed on waivers by the Minnesota Wild. Later today it was reported the former Islander cleared waivers and was bought out so he is not a free agent here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No fit for Mark Parrish on this roster. Career right wing with Hunter, Guerin and Okposo in front of him a a slew of competition for the fourth line center and right wing spot.

Columbus Dispatch: Aaron Portzline reports by the third year of goaltender Pascal LeClaire's new contract he will be making more than Rick DiPietro at 4.8m.

So what's next at NYI Fan Central?

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/30/2008 02:08:00 PM | | Comment Here
Greg Logan in Newsday's Islander blog here tells us the pre-season schedule will be released later this week and that Scott Gordon will be interviewing today.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Funny, I did not read Steve Zipay's print article titled no Islander appetizers? To quote Bill Guerin earlier last season give it a rest with the Rangers, write about the Isles. Mr Logan starts by telling us were are not playing the Rangers and then does a paragraph about last year's brawl?

So what's next?
More updates depending on what's happening and more of the same as we go through a ton of negative preseason expectation articles presented by the usual suspects in the media along with team USA camp updates on the prospects as we get closer to training camp.

I will be taking vacation and a few days off here and there from blogging.

Of course full coverage when a coach is finally hired which is when I will finally schedule a live blog and chat so look for one scheduled next week or the week after when Garth Snow makes his decision.

Quick Hits:
I read in Newsday today they will shortly decide whether to make the on-line paper a pay subscription site like their TV News site.

If that happens my work load will decrease because I am not paying Cablevision for the margial coverage we receive to post their mediocre at best content whether it be Greg Logan or another writer.

Anyone who thinks Islander coverage will increase I'm afraid would be kidding themselves or wishful thinking at best. This is company that got Islander televsion rights years ago almost immediately took their games off television while during the summer we see virtually nothing in terms of Islander content while the house team is practically spammed all over Msg. Our team could not even get it's full share of the Hummer Metro Ice challenge without a fight and even then got only half. The writers will do as they are told or go find another job.

Regarding this blog I already do my own summary of games, the Isles can provide the quotes along with the AP and out of town coverage with ITV. It's up to the Islanders to bring the coverage to us and to work something out with Newsday and the other papers or provide their own writers for summaries and quotes. The Long Island theme to practically everything they release sure has made it very easy for editors in other papers to decrease coverage.

This blog will not be paying anyone to post full copyrighted material. The format changed during last season to provide a link with a summary of an article and will stay with that format.

Funny thing is Cablevision promises they will have a disclaimer next to coverage of their sports teams in the paper which is a joke because the Rangers should not be covered at all in Newsday for the same reasons city editors are finding excuses not to provide full time coverage of the New York Islanders.

Of course we know that is not going to be the case, I'm afraid anyone who sees a Cablevision owned Newsday as an increase in Islander coverage only need to turn on Msg Network to see how much more one team will receive than the others.

Parrish on waivers/Prospect notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/29/2008 07:27:00 PM | | | 4 Comments
Sporting News: Craig Custance reports former Islander Mark Parrish has been placed on waivers by the Minnesota Wild. The veteran forward signed a five-year deal worth $2.65 per year in 2006.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Boy that group that left here after the lockout has fallen far, I cannot see another club claiming Parrish at that price unless it's a team well below the cap.

Of course the same Islander fans crying we want a plan will say bring him back because they do not understand that means Okposo would be locked out of a right wing spot with Guerin, Hunter as the other right wings unless you want to kick Park off the team for him to play on the fourth line?

Time to update the Isles pre and post lockout:

Scatchard got a four year contract, was traded, bought out and is finished.
Peca is reduced to one year contract for low salary in Columbus.
Aucoin spent most of two years on IR in Chicago before being traded.
Hamrlik got a lot more money than his play merits for Calgary or Montreal.
Zhitnik was bought out of Atlanta and is trying out in Russia.
I have no idea if anyone has bothered with Sopel yet after he's moved around.
Updated: Chicago gave Sopel a three year contract in season.
Cairns is retired.
Bates looks like it's almost over.
Webb is retired.
Kvasha-Yashin are in Russia.
Weinhandl is out of the NHL.
Jonsson is back in Europe.
No one wanted Niinimaa and he is back in Europe.
Czerkawski just announced his retirement.
Mike York just limped to a two-way contract with Columbus after several stops.

Anyone else I miss? DiPietro, Hunter, Martinek, Gervais, Campoli remain.

This is why your core youth have to replace what you lose. Scott Burnside decided to bring his gloom and doom to sunny Florida today in an attempt to prove even teams that build with prospects can fail miserably on the ice and be at the crossroads with this players leaving when they get the chance. Canadian Junior Prospect Camp reports Islander prospect Mark Katic assisted on the opening goal for team Red in Tuesday's Red-White game Jared Spurgeon had a second period penalty.

Team red won Tuesday's final game 4-2.

Monday Update: Isles/Tigers/NHL

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/28/2008 02:30:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Quick Notable:
John Rolfe sent me another e-mail today which I added to the earlier thread where he also looked at SI perspective. Great stuff from someone who clearly is a long-time fan and again I thank him for taking the time to respond.

Norwalk Plus: Has a release on the Islanders announcing Matthew Bertani is the new assistant coach of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who will join head coach Jack Capuano and assistant coach Pat Bingham, assisting in video analysis for the upcoming 2008-09 AHL season with comments from Mr Bertani and Sound Tigers President Howard Saffan.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in the Sound Tigers blog has a few words on the hiring along with Sound Tigers website.

Miami Herald: George Richard reports in the Panthers blog defenseman Jay Bouwmeester signed a one year contract today avoiding arbitration but could be moving on sooner or later if a long-term contract cannot get done or he does not like the Panthers direction.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Only if he agrees to a long-term contract with the Isles before a trade should Garth Snow have interest. Bouwmeester is going to want to pick and choose sooner or later, it may be Florida but maybe not.

Updated 8pm:
Islander prospect Jared Spurgeon scored the final goal in the Red teams 4-3 loss on Monday at the Canadian prospect camp. Corey Trivino has a second period penalty for team red here.

The Magnificent Seven ride into New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/28/2008 10:27:00 AM | | | | | | | | Comment Here

You read some of the speculation on why some coaches would be a good fit here vs those who would not be a good fit here and I kind of laugh at most of it. Unless someone who worked with these people in those places comments about what outright skills or flaws they had it's virtually worthless in terms of today or the Isles of 2008-09.

Every team and it's circumstances are different and things change a lot.

Unless we are behind the scenes working with these people on a daily basis we really have little idea of anything. Al Arbour came here in 1974 after leaving the St Louis Blues where he coached and helped build a club with prospects into a dynasty, second time when he came back for Terry Simpson it took a lot of growing pains and the club never really became a good team for a sustained period with a lot of playoff misses or mediocre clubs that only played well in stretches.

Al Arbour did not turn many prospects into star players in his second tenure as coach, however Vladimir Malakhov or Darius Kasparaitis were never better.

Of course if Arbour were looking for a job today we would be reading he can only take playoff teams to the next level and is not good for a rebuilding.

With that we present the Magnificent Seven with some background and a little speculation of our own in no particular order:

You can put the actors to the name, Gerard Gallant can play the role of Eli Wallach for this one.

1. Scott Gordon-For those who will do the Steve Stirling analogies that would be a huge mistake given age difference despite the amazing job Stirling did in the NHL as a rookie coach with an injured Isles team after a great job in Bridgeport. Scott Gordon has been an outstanding coach in the AHL with Providence as an assistant coach first who almost was named Bruins head coach last summer who is well regarded in the organization with many saying he is more than ready for an NHL head coaching job and would be a great fit as an NHL head coach. He can work well with prospects obviously but can he work well with veterans would be my question. It should be noted he was Mike Sullivan's assistant coach with Providence before before Sullivan was promoted to the Bruins coaching job.

Goaltenders generally do not have great track records as NHL head coaches (at least recently) for what that is worth but goaltenders do bond well which could be a big plus to our goaltender turned general manager.

It should be noted one of the star players on the team Scott Gordon took over in 03was current Islander Andy Hilbert who also played for Mike Sullivan and no doubt he has plenty of experience with Ben Walter.

2. Mike Sullivan-Not a lot to write here, he was promoted from Providence with little coaching experience in the AHL and was the youngest coach in the NHL at the time of his hiring guiding the Bruins to a playoff spot his first season. GM Mike O'Connell decided not to retain many veterans during the lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season so at the end of 05-06 with the club struggling he was fired by new gm Peter Chiarelli who brought in Dave Lewis who fared no better. Sullivan was left waiting as replacements for his job were being interviewed by Boston. John Tortorella feels Sullivan is an excellent assistant as Sullivan moved on to Tampa Bay who was part of a Stanley Cup and has endorsed him many times as being more than ready to be head coach of another club.

3. Paul Maurice-I know a lot of folks will point to his cup run with Carolina but that team only had eighty three points in 2002 (thirteen behind the Isles) and were given third seed because they won the division. I know the word is he works well with prospects and gets along well with general managers (Jim Rutherford is one of the best) but what team has Paul Maurice ever made good for an extended amount of time? Since the Hurricanes' appeared in the 2002 Stanley Cup finals, their record had been horrendous with the club winning only seventeen games out of eighty before he was fired in season. His Leafs tenure was an outright failure which of course had more to do with his general manager's choice of players.

Sure he could be hired here and do a great job, but on paper this does not seem like a good hire. The relocation to Greensboro from Hartford bought him time, so did the Canes moving into it's permanent home as did the cup finals run before time finally ran out for him.

4. John Tortorella-This is a coach who had been with one club for a long time who has basically seen it all in his first full-time assignment. He has coached superstars, developed players into stars, won a Stanley Cup, finished 30th while pushing his clubs for all they can give and more with sometimes burning his clubs out as they fell apart or looked over matched come playoff time. He took a Tampa team that had done virtually nothing (aside from one playoff run) it it's history and turned them into a winner. Most of his players liked playing for him, he never had any public problems with former GM Jay Feaster and his reputation of being a troublemaker seems more of a media creation because he gives colorful interviews.

There were no complaints from Brad Lukowich or Ruslan Fedotenko about Tortorella when they signed here, despite Fedotenko's poor final season in Tampa where he was dropped on the third line.

If Charles Wang, Garth Snow and John Tortorella are all willing to take the growing pains, the criticism and buck the second year trend of head coaches around here and work in the prospects and stick with the plan, it's the right hire.

Given some of the outright strange moves by Tampa's new ownership keeping it's gm in limbo and bullying a player just signed off the roster, I'm inclined to see the club hire Tortorella as long as he can accept there will be no Martin St Louis or Vinnie LeCavalier on his first line come October. If Mr Botta is correct that DiPietro and Tortorella know and like one another that does not hurt.

He's also a big name coach for a team that desperate needs a bigger media presence and should fit right in with the club reaching out to the community.

5. Bob Hartley-If relationship with the gm here is the over-riding factor than the Isles might as well schedule the press conference. Hartley was one if not the lone outsider who endorsed Snow's hiring as general manager in 2006. Of course it will not be only about that but about track record and Hartley is another coach who has basically seen it all from Stanley Cups and amazing success in Colorado to struggling clubs rebuilding in Atlanta he did take to the next level, he's worn out his welcomes and comes well respected by many others. Will he buy into a youth movement here or did the playoff meltdown carry over or did Don Waddell's shortsighted moves catch up with him or did Hartley push for the short-sighted moves?

Either way the situation was so poor in Atlanta on a team with many talented offensive players he was gone after six games but left Atlanta as the most successful coach in team history who got a very quick hook last season. Hartley's presence did not keep Heatley in Atlanta for what that is worth and never got Lehtonen to the next level with a defense less than adequate that always played an offensive style.

This is a man who never played an NHL game for those wondering.

6. Joel Quenneville-Hard to argue with Quenneville's record as a great choice for a head coach other than that he has only taken his clubs to one conference final but is another who has long experience who is well respected but after a while organizations make changes because a coach took his club as far as management felt he could. How would he deal with a club that could miss the playoffs for years given he only had one spring without a playoff. Ted Nolan did not react well, how will Quenneville with the adversity losing can bring?

Fair to say Quenneville has had some fantastic talents, including Doug Weight during his career. He seemingly has never been part of a franchise with a lot of prospects competing for spots and has never coached in this conference.

7. Marc Crawford-A lot of long experience, a Stanley Cup in Colorado and helped turn around the Canucks with four playoff appearances but the message does grow old and coaches burn out teams and Crawford is that kind of coach. Like Quenneville has never coached in this conference but was brought into Los Angeles for a prospect team that struggled for two year and was fired by the general manager who hired him which has to raise questions for Garth Snow who did not have close to the franchise talents Crawford had with Los Angeles despite many young players producing well under this coach.

Gerard Gallant-This will likely be the least popular choice among Islander fans because of how poorly the Isles powerplay performed combined with his dismissal from Columbus, but Gallant like many Jacket coaches (including Ken Hitchcock) still has not had the right core of talent around him where he had a fair chance to show his abilities and was with Columbus for six years. He could not make it work as coach with Anson Carter and the addition of Fredrik Modin in a trade, or with Rick Nash.

Gallant took over for Doug MacLean midway through the 2003-04 season and finished with a 16-24-5 record. After the lockout the Blue Jackets went 35-43-4 in 05-06 but went 23-16-2 in the second half of the season after Nash returned from an injury but opened 5-9-1-0 when he was fired in November of 2006.

One thing for sure he will not be getting a star like Nash here nor did he get more out of Carter, Fedorov, Modin. Was his animated confrontation with former Islander Marc-Andre Bergeron be taken as a positive or negative?

Islander News Articles 7/28

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/28/2008 09:46:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has an article on the coaching search that confirms what Mr Botta wrote in his blog with Mike Sullivan and Scott Gordon up next for interviews with more on the time table for a hire.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's always funny reading some of these things. Team source, league source, it sure would nice if one time a writer said the name of that source because it's not as if this is some kind of major secret these men are interviewing.

Imagine if we had known in April of 2006, Garth Snow interviewed for the Isles general manager position, that's one all the sources missed completely so the media never got a chance to put that out there for the public.

Calgary Herald: Bruce Dowbiggin describers Bob Hartley as the perfect coach for the Isles because he is a fake coach for a fake team.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The Stanley Cup ring on Mr Hartley's finger sure is not fake.

For me Isles are a little fake right now especially Garth Snow for saying his relationship with Nolan was fine as he would be critical on one hand with performance and then say he wants to keep things a family and behind closed doors with the other, cannot have it both ways.

Learn the words no comment or be less accessible to the media. We have general managers in this league (and in New York sports) who are in the witness protection program when it comes to speaking to the media. Garth Snow has no obligation to speak with Newsday or any media outlet unless there is something to report.

Hockey Has a recap of Sunday's game at the Canadian prospect camp in Ottawa.

Another game will take place Monday at 6pm with camp concluding on Tuesday.

Quick Notables: Point Blank/Poll Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/27/2008 09:48:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Point Blank: Mr Botta checks in with a blog on several items including the coaching search and reports Mike Sullivan will interview for the Islanders head coach position on Monday and current Providence Bruins coach Scott Gordon will meet with Garth Snow on Wednesday. Marc Crawford and Gerard Gallant are expected to interview later in the week with Joel Quenneville having a day slotted at some point for an interview in the next few days.

Mr Botta has some speculation as to when a coach could be hired after second interviews.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Seems like all the big name coaches have no problem coming here to interview. I would guess all the major magazines for hockey will not even have a coach in it's Islander preview because many are written by late July/early August.

I hate to remind Mr Botta how tough it even was for Cablevision to even play fair with the Hummer challenge or he's underestimating the situation. It's been a long summer with virtually no Islanders content provided by Msg in terms of airing a game a week while the house team is on about half the day. My guess is newspaper content will be along the same lines.

I'm not going to lose sleep over it but my guess is the days of even coverage between clubs in Newsday is over which was a joke in the first place because Newsday's editor should have dumped all Ranger coverage and doubled up on the Isles.

Poll Update:
Heck of a race going on for the sixth spot between Freddy Meyer and Bruno Gervais with both players now both signed for the next two seasons. (three in Gervais case)

This club stays healthy on it's backline someone is going to be very disappointed come opening night. For those who recall last year with the light schedule after the first week everyone was healthy and three players were sitting around.

Aaron Johnson played sixty plus games with Colmubus and had to wait, Meyer waited so long he wound up on waivers while Berard and Bergeron were in and out depending on who was playing better.

Let's go with the Milbury plan.....NOT

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/27/2008 07:55:00 AM | Comment Here
Come on folks, you know that plan.

It's one you see endorsed every time a fan complains I have been waiting fifteen years for a playoff series win, I want a contender now, were a laughingstock (insert reason including weather) I'm tired of waiting.....ect

It's one folks sure were not complaining about in the summer of 2002 when they were buying tickets and will be thrilled with for a few months.

So lets get to work, go sign Glen Murray, call up Okposo's agent and tell him there is no spot for him and were looking to trade him to win now, no doubt San Jose will be happy to give up Patrick Marleau for a year before he goes unrestricted.

Now that we have Marleau for a few months we no longer need Nielsen, Colliton so lets get one of them out of here for Mathieu Schneider and put a second round pick into the deal as one of our infamous sweeteners.

No room for Jeff Tambellini, let's package him with Campoli with another second rounder and get Jason Blake back in here so Islander fans can boo him every night.

Of course that means we have to add McCabe because the defense is terrible. Bergenheim or Comeau with Gervais should make that happen with Leaf fans dancing in the streets.

Meet your Mike Milbury 2008-09 Islanders:


Guarantee there is someone who just read this and said that could be a good team.

So let's just get Milbury back in here and start giving away young players for aging veterans so the team can be trapped in mediocrity forever. When all these veterans all start breaking down or getting hurt it will be a heck of a four month plan.

There is still a first rounder and Josh Bailey to move at the trade deadline to keep things going. The best out of Marcinko, Figren and Joensuu should make for a great trade deadline rental.

I almost cannot blame Mike Milbury back in those days, one day he would be told he could finally spend and the next was told cut the budget. You honestly think you would not do the same or be worried about your replacement winning in a job you would never have kept if you went with youth for another five plus years with no guarantee of success?

Funny, but doing this just only enhances how stacked this team is with quality prospects moving forward and how good they have every chance to become if they stick with what they are doing if they avoid the Milbury plan at all cost.

Hopefully a few fans see it also. My impression is next season after absorbing the usual low expectations in pre-season predictions the club is in contention and all the so-called experts will have no part of it or tell us how surprised they are as X
coach gets the latest nomination for the early Jack Adams.

I guess the rest of the so-called experts can keep telling Milbury stories while the Isles keep winning.

Islander News Articles 7/27

Boston Globe: Fluto Shinzawa speculates about Scott Gordon-Garth Snow and that he would be a very good choice by the Isles and cites the usual NHL source for a quote that reports Snow wants someone to grow their youth.

The Republican: Fran Sypek's headline writer tells us Scott Gordon is a leading candidate for the Isles head coaching job while the writer tells us Gordon did an excellent job molding young Boston Bruins prospects into NHL-ready players.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So this is how it works, do a headline title Gordon a front-runner with no quotes from anyone because he is brought in for an interview?

Calgary Herald: Scott Cruickshank has an article on Duane Sutter which includes a few stories about Brent Sutter from his Islander days.

NY Post: Larry Brooks tells us why Bryan Trottier, Butch Goring among others should be hired as the new Islanders head coach and that candidates like Tortorella and Hartley will not work because they want to win now.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Just more proof how out of touch Larry Brooks is with the current Isles given Trots already said he is not interested which just makes this a waste of an article unless Butch Goring is added to the interview list. I do not think anyone has told the Isles yet they will not be competitive next season given how they were in a playoff spot for a good part of last season until injuries hit it's hard to see them not being in contention again if any of these prospects can give them anything in terms of consistent scoring.

Larry Brooks should know first-hand Trottier was sabotaged by Mark Messier who refused to let the club picked a new captain or take the fourth line role he wanted for Messier at his press conference. Given the Rangers returned to the playoffs as soon as Messier's leadership retired (without naming any captain) no doubt Trottier was correct, even if he would never win the media game against Messier's sportswriters which was also his undoing because they could never accept a former Islander dynasty player as their head coach.

Larry Brooks I have a feeling wants no part of John Tortorella in this market showing him up in press conferences, a former Ranger interim coach they let get away who won a championship.

Quick Hits:
NY Times finally tells us Mike York did not sign in Russia despite reporting he had and listed his transfer on their website begging the question why are there mistakes being made which also had misleading reports on a few other players signing?

They cover more hockey in Europe than in New York with their media writers/bloggers and cannot even get this correct for us? We saw this with Sergei Brylin also.

Updated 6:45pm Dan Rosen has an article on the league high five Islanders at Canada's National Junior Team Development with comments from assistant general manager Ryan Jankowski, Josh Bailey, Cory Trivino, Mark Katic. Travis Hamonic and Jared Spurgeon.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
My thanks to Adam for providing me the link so I could put it here for everyone. The video interview with Josh Bailey is from his draft night.

John Rolfe of SI Response (Updated 7/28)

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/26/2008 07:00:00 AM | | Comment Here
John Rolfe of SI responded to my e-mail, I thought I would share his response with my blog readers and give you my follow up e-mail to him.

Agree or disagree I respect Mr Rolfe for responding and thank him for his effort.
John Rolfe SI:
Thanks for the note.

My perspective, and what I tend to write about in my columns, is
different than the other hockey writers here. As for the Isles' 2008-09
prospects, plenty of that will be forthcoming from Allan Muir, Michael
Farber and others, who are much better with the Xs and Os and inside
scuttlebutt than I am.

I mostly write from a fan's feelings, experiences and perspective -- and
though it seems like I only bash the Islanders, they are still my
favorite hockey team. I grew up within walking distance of the Nassau
Coliseum and practically lived there through the dynasty years and into
the 90s. Getting married, having a family and moving off the island has
limited my attendance for obvious reasons, but I've continued to follow
them, often with great astonishment and dismay. After witnessing the
greatness of a team I've loved more than any other in any sport, I can't
quite believe the turmoil and struggle that has consumed the franchise
for so long. I was extremely hopeful and excited when the Isles hired
Neil Smith and Ted Nolan in 2006, and shocked when Smith left a month
later to be replaced by Garth Snow, who had served no front office
apprenticeship like Steve Yzerman is doing in Detroit. I think Charles
Wang has his heart in the right place, and wants to win, but I wonder
about his knowledge of hockey and if he too easily falls prey to guys
who talk a good game.

While I admired Snow for going for broke with the Ryan Smyth deal, I
think it's fair to say the jury is still out on his effectiveness as a
GM, though his taking the building-with-kids route is the sensible path
since top free agents aren't exactly falling all over themselves to come
to the Island. How good this latest crop of kids will be is anybody's
guess. Who foresaw Henrik Zetterberg becoming a Conn Smythe-winner after
he was drafted by the Red Wings in the seventh round in '99? As I've
said in my columns, anything can happen...but what's been happening with
the Islanders for the last 20 years has been rather amazing. It's not
just run-of-the-mill struggle. It's been crazy at times, and the Nolan
dismissal felt like the latest chapter. He may have had his
disagreements with Snow and DiPietro, but he was the kind of coach who
can get the most out of teams that have to give their utmost each night
in order to have a chance to win. To that end, I'd like to see the Isles
bring in John Tortorella, although he may be a little too high strung
for their young crew.

Hey, I know how annoying it is to see your favorite team criticized. It
pains me to write this stuff, but I find the story compelling given what
I witnessed in the early 80s. The Islander Follies gallery, by the way,
was the idea of a fellow Isles fan in our photo department who has known
only the struggle and the handful of modest successes like the recent
playoff appearances. I've heard from quite a few Isles fans who remain
extremely hopeful about this team, and I certainly hope their faith is
justified in coming seasons. They deserve a winner after all they've
been through. Unfortunately, it seems to be more the rule than the
exception in pro sports that teams put their fans through the ringer for
long stretches, and I think that's mainly due to astute management being
a rare commodity. The Isles' struggles have just been a little more
bizarre than most, at times anyway.

I really appreciate your taking the time to write in.
Best wishes, John Rolfe
My followup e-mail goes as follows:

Mr Rolfe, Thank you for responding.

First off you should know New York Islander Fan Central is a blog that covers our team through long experience going back before this team won it's first Stanley Cup in 1980, as far back as games in 1975 when they played on Wor channel nine in New York.

No blog works harder in the search for facts and truth whether positive or negative, but only asks that what is reported is fair.

The only thing that is coming from Mr Muir or Mr Farber is more of what you just did or Scott Burnside/Adam Proteau. These people could not go ten deep on the Isles current roster without it in front of them which is the problem. We never get the x or o from these writers just more of what you just did.

I have seen this article from you once a year, usually when something goes wrong and always you admit to loving the club and being a fan. I have to ask what's so bad about a club that has made it to the playoffs in four of the last six years? Compare this to Florida, Phoenix, Chicago, Toronto, the Rangers who have done nothing that the Isles did not do when they returned to the playoffs and a ton of clubs like Nashville or Columbus/Atlanta/St Louis, Los Angeles that have won virtually nothing.

Tampa just fired a cup winning coach for a broadcaster, kept it's gm in moth balls for a draft and free agency before sending him packing and thretended Dan Boyle out of town off a new long-term contract where he ripped the franchise. Did they sign so many players no one noticed?

Meanwhile everyone signed here or resigned with virtually no problem at some very good contracts including Hunter for five years and Witt for three years at below market value.

Dean Lombardi went to Los Angeles and just fired his first choice as coach the same year Snow and Nolan were hired. Lou Lamoriello fires coaches in first place in March, Colorado just fired Joel Quenneville to bring back Tony Granato. Brett Hull has as much experience as Garth Snow going in.

I don't know if Mr Wang falls prey to guys who talk a good game, if he did he would be far from alone. You really think Charles Wang wanted all this negative press, to pay Nolan 600k to stay home and pay a new coach on top of it? Even worse Nolan for what Wang did for him according to Chris Botta had problems with his veterans, with his prospects and did everything to act like a selfish man, some of those newsday reports by Greg Logan had a lot of mistakes and by the time other media outlets interpreted the story things just became even worse with more skewed fiction from fact.

Garth Snow according to Mr Botta is operating on the same one year contract Nolan was and had not been given an extension either, who gives any coach longer term than it's gm?

Of course the jury is still out on Snow but he's locked up the youth and has given them a spot on this roster. The plan Mike Milbury did not see through. Like Florida it could fail miserably but unlike Milbury's plan there is more than Mattias Weinhandl behind the current plan with a lot of first and second rounders who have been waiting since 2003.

The last twenty years have little to do with the last six. A period where this club had the fourth best turnaround in NHL history in 2002 and made the playoffs three other times, you cannot gloss over that and even note the Rangers have turned a corner but not the Isles or it's not a consistent standard.

I never have ANY problem with my favorite team being criticized but for me it has to be for the correct reasons or it comes off as unfair or from a viewpoint that lacks knowledge or just wants to pile on. The Rangers for eight years lost with double the Isles payroll with a ton of dissention and problems and did not take this kind of beating in the media, same for a lot of other franchises in this league that have struggled far worse than the Isles.

Just one other thing. The Isles since summer 2006 have never done better in free agency in the clubs history. Not in the eighties, nineties or in the years they had Yashin, Peca. Something folks in the media have not noted at all.

I really appreciate your taking the time to write back. I hope you consider some of what I have written here, it's time for a new angle, one that reflects 2008-09.

New York Islander Fan Central
Updated 7/28:

Mr Rolfe again responded with the following:

And thanks for your thoughtful response. You make a lot of great points. I can't speak for the other writers although I can say the Islanders saga has attracted a certain consistently negative media attention because of its duration and occasionally bizarre turns which make it a more widely compelling dryspell story -- and it is New York where foul-ups, bleeps and blunders quickly get the spotlight (see: the Yankees, Mets and especially Knicks). From time to time, our writers have looked at other franchises -- Jim Kelley frequently takes the Maple Leafs to task for their incompetence and Al Muir has gotten after the Blackhawks and Bruins, although not to the extent of putting a photo gallery together.

As for me, having experienced a dynasty as well as a team that went deeper than the first round of the playoffs with some regularity, I feel a certain frustration at the Islanders' ability to get untracked and stay untracked. That same feeling is shared by my younger Isles fan colleague in our photo department. Each change of ownership brought hope of better things that never materialized. After the great turnaround under Laviolette, the momentum was quickly lost, as it was with Nolan. Yeah, it's kneejerk thinking and the here-we-go-again story is getting old. I agree it's time to focus on the future and I'll be sure to have Al Muir who whoever does our team previews give an evenhanded assessment of the team's on-ice talent and prospects.

I appreciate your comments and our dialogue.
Best wishes,

Islander News Articles 7/26

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/25/2008 10:30:00 PM | | 2 Comments
Windsor Star: Jim Parker has an article on Josh Bailey with his comments as he reported for Canada's national junior team development camp in Ottawa, which began Friday and runs through Tuesday. Has a quick word on Islander prospect Travis Hamonic also in Ottawa for junior camp.

Islander/Sound Tigers/NHL Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/25/2008 04:51:00 PM | | | | 3 Comments
St Pete Times: Damian Cristodero blogs on what John Tortorella would bring to the Isles with the potential upside and downside. John Rolfe is his mail bag responds to the latest negative article on the Isles who got a few tough comments from some fans.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Two things caught my attention here.

One was when Mr Rolfe wrote he is a life long Islanders fan because it was something I have known because he does include that part every year when he does this kind of article but does not excuse his lack of articles on the current Isles.

Second was when he took what to me is a double-standard noting the Rangers have turned things around because they have made the playoffs three years in a row while ignoring the Isles did this also and made it four of six years.

If Mr Rolfe's standard's for turning it around somewhat is making the playoffs three years in a row than the Isles qualify and it's time for his to seperate the past from the present. I can appreciate the fact he is an Islander fan and frustrated at the club but that still means he has to be consistent with his standards for all teams.

I sent him an e-mail and asked why the double-standard and how come he does not note all the kids in Garth Snow's plan which is far different than Mike Milbury's plan and how come he's not telling us more about them which is what our fans need a lot more of with a lot less nineties history?

National Post/several sources: Report former Islander Mike York has signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
According to the New York Times and several sources Mike York a while back signed with Sibir Novosibirsk. (KHL)

Anyone else see a little payback for the hardball with Filatov's being suspended or is Columbus trying to become very old and slow down the middle with York and Peca unless York plays left wing?

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports in the Sound Tigers Ct Post blog Matt Keith has signed a one-year contract with ERC Ingolstadt.

Mr Wang, Mr Dey/whoever please do this for me

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/25/2008 02:18:00 PM | 2 Comments

Just one time, go conventional with the uniform above if a decision has not been made on a third jersey. For once no re-inventing the wheel. I can accept building with prospects, taking time to improve and most anything.

What I cannot accept is a new generation of fans throwing lighthouse's, bars that have never represented anything but John Pickett, John Spano, the gang of Four and Howard Milstein (who gave us those bars) on the latest incarnation of our incredible uniform and tradition any longer which frankly looks terrible and as poor an idea as the orange jersey.

Just one time go conservative, after introducing one of the above designs as the third jersey scrap the current uniform and bring it back full time next year.

And leave it that way for good.

You will sell a ton of jerseys and the large majority of the fans will love it. On the core of the Four Weekend you brought back the Lake Placid patch so someone does know the history in detail.

This team has all the tradition of a club that was around when hockey began in this country as a professional sport before 1926 when the NY Americans established the pro hockey tradition for all others to follow.

No US based hockey team had a longer or greater dynasty, no team in pro sports history won that many playoff series in a row, that uniform stands for something special that other clubs never did and a symbol of excellence. To me the Islanders and all these uniform chances since Bill Torrey left town is like changing the Montreal Canadians or Yankees uniform.

Just one time play it conservative. I guarantee it will go over huge and make a lot of money.

Most importantly it's the right thing for this franchise, the only thing for me.