Islander News Articles 8/13:

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/12/2008 11:34:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has general manager Garth Snow's comments as to why Scott Gordon stood out in the interview process, what he was looking for in a coach, the trend of minor league coaches being hired along with what this will mean for the veterans. The general manager also talks about the club's defensive system and goaltender Rick DiPietro's workload.

Mr Logan also reports assistant coaches Gerard Gallant, John Chabot and Dan Lacroix are expected to be retained and that naming his own staff was not an issue for Scott Gordon with the general manager having no issues with the assistant coaches.

Newsday: Greg Logan has Rick DiPietro's comments on the hiring of Scott Gordon and what it could mean for the club as defensive systems along with a coach who is also a former goaltender from Boston College system are discussed.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's article compares the trends with Peter Laviolette and the club in that era and looks at the background of the new coach and what his strengths are but feels Garth Snow made the right choice.

Sporting News: Craig Custance gives his take on the Islanders hiring Scott Gordon with the general manager's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Custance provided a lot of good coverage on Bob Hartley in this so it was interesting to read what he had here.

Sidebar on this blog has Garth Snow interview with CJ Papa from TV-55 and his Conference Call with media.

Updated Wednesday:
NY Post: Dan Martin feels hiring a coach without NHL experience is a risk for Garth Snow but has the general managers comments on the hiring.

Daily News: John Dellapina from the Ranger beat did an small article that had Gordon's comments from the Isles website but mostly talked about Ted Nolan and Garth Snow vs what differences Scott Gordon brings.

Boston Globe: Kevin-Paul Dupont's article has Garth Snow comments and what Scott Gordon will bring to New York as it's new coach.

NY Times: Stu Hackel mostly links to Islanders website and Newsday articles.

Providence Journal: Corey Bourassa has an article in the Bruns blog with files from the Associated Press.

Point Blank: Mr Botta gives his take on the hiring and some other items.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Great stuff from the Islanders here on the video press conference with the media as Garth Snow took questions with a camera on him. More often than not you see this done without video but for everyone you get a complete look at what is actually said vs what the writer later puts in his article.

Updated: Islander prospect Kyle Okposo was one of the presenters at the the Select 15 Camp last week with Cedar Rapids Head Coach Mark Carlson comments on how important it was to have him there. Former Islander general manager Neil Smith does an article about problems in the music industry and compares it to the NHL in that owners that made their bones in other industries, have sought radically different approaches to running their hockey franchises but most of the time they end up having to go back to the traditional model, but notes Dallas recent success.

New York Hires Scott Gordon as Coach

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/12/2008 07:15:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has Scott Gordon's comments along with General Manager Garth Snow who will formally introduce the new coach of the Islanders Wednesday at a 1pm press conference live on Islanders TV.

"Scott has been one of the top up-and-coming coaches in hockey and with good reason," said Snow. "Through his work in the minor leagues and most recently with Providence over the last eight years, he has gained an impeccable reputation. The entire Islanders organization looks forward to working with Scott."

"Garth has given me an unbelievable opportunity to coach in the NHL with the Islanders,” said Gordon. “From my time coaching in Providence, I’ve seen firsthand the talented young players in this organization. I look at the direction and the vision for this team and see a bright future.”

Newsday: Greg Logan reports the New York Islanders have hired Scott Gordon as their new head coach with more from the general manager.

Newsday also reports it's a multi-year contract.

Newsday: Scott Gordon's coaching record.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Garth Snow feels he is the right coach for this team at this time and given the prospects in the organization combined with how many things I read out of Boston about how well well regarded he is, how well he has done in Providence for years and how qualified he is combined with a defensive approach, it's hard to disagree.

Scott Gordon does not have a track record of moving as did some of the others but with that comes the question of how he will start with what is a veteran roster combined with the recent lack of success of goaltenders as NHL head coaches. His defensive approach will no doubt be a plus but he may find he has to open up to get any scoring out of his roster.

Scott Gordon also comes without the ring Bob Hartley had for winning a Stanley Cup.

I wanted Bob Hartley over Gordon but it's very tough not to argue with Snow's reasoning here for why he made what many will call a very good choice for a man overdue to be an NHL head coach and highly regarded. This is not a career AHL coach who has moved around and it's not a situation like Steve Stirling where he was in the organization as an instructor and had several roles before the Isles had an affiliate in Bridgeport despite how well Stirling did in his rookie season for New York.

Garth Snow here had to make a call here on who was the best choice for his team at this time, it's tough to disagree.

I also remember the problems in Boston when Peter Chiarelli fired Dave Lewis last summer. Many in Boston's upper management wanted Scott Gordon to be named head coach
(Mike Milbury received an interview if anyone recalls) other speculated Claude Julien was hired because of his ties to the gm but it was the right call for Boston last season and a great hire.

More Later:

: Has a brief update on the Isles hiring Scott Gordon.

Boston Globe: Fluto Shinzawa back on 7/21 in an update on Scott Gordon to the Isles reported Gordon was entering the final year of a two-year contract. The Bruins held an option on a third year.

A little Wikipedia action for those wanting a full overview of Scott Gordon here. along with his profile from the Providence Bruins website here.

Updated 9:00pm:
Boston Globe: Kevin-Paul Dupont has a quick update on Scott Gordon's hiring. Staff report notes in it's story Ben Walter and Andy Hilbert played for Scott Gordon.

Newsday: Greg Logan gives his take on the hiring of Scott Gordon (he preferred Paul Maurice) and refers to folks getting on the Isles the last few years as he did more on the history of the management committee as " fun " for anyone with a keyboard but tells us now the club has a structure like most other teams with the buck stopping with the general manager.

Mr Logan also tells us the only Islander blog in a Newspaper will only have infrequent coverage from here into September as he is heading back on vacation after tomorrow's press conference.

NYI Fan Central Commments:
Steve Zipay blogs on vacation to tell his readers how popular his teams blog is at Newsday and give them stat updates in August while our beatwriter is looking for the exit? I did not know he considered it fun to knock the team from behind the keyboard.

Updated 10:30pm:
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in the Sound Tigers blog gives his thoughts on the pick but his paper will not be at Wednesday's press conference.

Bridgeport Camp & Preseason Schedule

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/12/2008 03:44:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Announced training camp in Shelton from Sept. 29 – October 5th & pre-season schedule which included the following games:

The Sound Tigers will travel to Albany to take on the River Rats October 1st at a location to be determined.

Friday, October 3rd against the Hartford Wolf Pack, at the Northford Ice Pavilion in Northford, Conn. at 7 p.m.

Saturday, October 4th gainst the Lowell Devils, at The Rinks at Shelton at 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 5th, against the Hartford Wolfpack at the Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, Conn scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

Sound Tigers Website: Also has a release on camp and preseason.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Has to be noted the Sound Tiger roster players along with the prospects will also be heading to Moncton in September before Bridgeport camp opens. Groups get officially split up when the club comes back to the New York area but some Sound Tiger players will be part of a few preseason Islander games in Canada.

Season for the NHL is starting a week later this year.

Live NYI Fan Central Blog 8/12 1pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/12/2008 12:54:00 PM | Comment Here
My Thanks to Everyone for a great live blog again today, we went a little shorter on a weekday in August but as always a lot of good discussion.

Islander News Articles 8/12

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/12/2008 05:39:00 AM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Midland-Reporter Telegram: Len Heyward has more on the Islanders new affililation with Odessa as General Manager Joe Clark comments on the agreement which is for one year.

Ottawa Sun/several outlets: Report former Islander Jamie Rivers will return from Moscow Spartak in 08-09 and play for the Chicago Wolves.

St Pete Times: Lightning beatwriter Damian Cristodero blogs on Mike Sullivan and John Tortorella not making the final three with speculation on the future for both.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
As of the time I posted this update Boston Globe/Providence Journal, Toronto Star/Sun, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Craig Custance Sporting News & New York papers have nothing in their Tuesday early editions or blogs with anything new on Isles selecting a coach.

Sure would be nice if one time the New York Islanders website broke their own news at the same time for everyone.

Barrie Examiner: Glenn Wilkins has comments from former Islander Aaron Johnson on the circumstances that did not make it into Newsday.

While trying to remain diplomatic, Johnson admits the situation in the Islander boardroom leaves him scratching his head.

“(Ted is) a player’s coach, a guy like me, who goes out and competes every night, who shows respect for guys who are gritty and work hard. He was awesome to play for, and unfortunately, was caught in another tough situation this year, and now, he’s out of a job looking for another one. But I’m sure he’ll be back.”

“It seemed like (the Islanders) were in the right direction for a bit. I mean, from a player’s standpoint, everything was great, the chemistry was great with the guys, but there was so much pressure to win, and there was a difference of opinion between (General Manager) Garth (Snow) and Teddy, because there were no issues between Ted and the players; he was a great coach.

“The guys enjoyed playing for him and put out a good effort for him, but as a player, you don’t always see what’s going on behind the scenes, but, obviously, there was something there.”

Final Speculation on Next Coach

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/11/2008 04:07:00 PM | | | | 2 Comments
I know it has not been reported anywhere and everyone takes it as a given if someone interviews they absolutely will take the job if offered.

Garth Snow may not get his first choice here either if he has made up his mind which is someone no one has written about.

The potential coaches are people first and anything else second with family and financial considerations as well as relocating. A contract has to be worked out and given Neil Smith's circumstances that person no doubt will make sure it's binding and official from day one if they hired an agent. There can also be a question of that former club requesting compensation as the Isles needed permission just to interview.

Of course most clubs prefer to get any lingering commitment to a coach off their books but a team like Boston may want back that second round pick for Nokelainen to allow Scott Gordon to leave his spot in Providence. Peter Chiarelli had to go through this to get out of Ottawa but that was more about tampering claims and was not allowed to start in Boston until mid-July.

For all of the potential coaches there is also a question of a coaching staff, past practice here has seemingly been coach picks his own assistants. What will this mean for Ted Nolan's staff if a new coach wants his own assistants he feels comfortable working with?

Also a coach considering this job will want to know what Mr Wang's plan is if his Lighthouse Project is not approved whether I will have a job beyond his term as owner if he puts the club up for sale?

Finally that person has to decide if this is what they really want at this time for themselves (like anyone) and if the contract term is acceptable. Anyone going in knows coaches here last two seasons, it's Garth Snow's first hire and that may be unfair given ownership/gm changes but that is the history of this franchise back to Al Arbour.

Beyond Mr Botta's comment a while back Garth Snow to his knowledge has not been given a contract extension.

You look at a man like Paul Maurice and by any hockey/business standard the man has had two very tough years in Toronto on and off the ice with a general manager who wanted to fire him in season (John Ferguson) before the interim gm in Cliff Fletcher let him go. Sure we can talk about his overall record and what he would do (or fail to do) here but that's something that also could play into things for Paul Maurice.

Bob Hartley has had a nice break for himself and some separation from what happened in Atlanta, however he also has some players like Jon Sim and Andy Sutton to consider working with again and relocating along with the dollars and where his career is at this time.

Scott Gordon if he leaves a program in Providence on top will have to relocate and for now will inherit a club with really no prospects on his NHL defense with a lot of veterans to start the season up front in Guerin, Weight, Sillinger and a lot of older players on the backline in Sutton, Witt, Streit and Martinek. The role best suited to his skills may come in season if the club drops out of contention and many of those veterans at forward are traded/retire as more opportunities are available for prospects.

If he is the choice he will have a fourth line with potentially his former player in Andy Hilbert and Ben Walter. Richard Park does not make this a group of young prospects but of course all AHL clubs carry veterans.

We'll see, it is never as easy as Garth Snow picking up the phone and offering someone the job once he makes up his mind.

With that it's time the New York Islanders hire a coach.

Islanders announce new CHL affiliate

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/11/2008 02:08:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here

Central Hockey League: Announce the New York Islanders have entered into an affiliation agreement with the The Odessa Jackalopes of the CHL which also includes the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

General Manger Garth Snow & Sound Tiger President Howard Saffan have their comments along with Odessa general manager Joe Clark.

Sound Tigers Website: Also have a release on the agreement.

Odessa Website for those who would like to learn about the new affiliate.

Odessa American Online: Lee Scheide reports general manager Joe Clark is a former Islander scout and with coach Paul Gillis were working on this agreement since April.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in his Sound Tigers blog comments about the affiliation agreement with Odessa.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I created a new section for the Odessa Jackalopes below the Utah Section with team and roster links along with their coverage. Local newspaper does not have a direct RSS feed.

Islander/NHL Monday Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/11/2008 06:37:00 AM | | | | | | 2 Comments E.J Hradek does a full article on the Islanders coaching search Monday and feels Scott Gordon should be the pick with his reasoning that he is the better choice for a rebuilding over Hartley or Maurice who he does not feel has won much in his eight years.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Hradek is entitled to his viewpoint but it has to be written this is not a prospect defense and last I looked at the forwards it is not dominated by prospects either. The idea this is a total rebuild is way overblown going into 2008-09 when you look at this roster it has a lot of veterans to start the year that are expecting to compete and win now as Comeau, Bergenheim, Okposo and others work their way into prime roles. It could end up that way among the forwards if they drop out of contention early but this backline is locked up for another two years plus.

The Chronicle Herald of Nova Scotia: Monica Graham reports Jon Sim & Colin White from the Devils will host Hockey Day on Aug. 23 at the John Brother MacDonald Stadium in New Glasgow.

Players joining White and Sim on the pro team will be Pictou native Joey MacDonald along with Bruno Gervais of Antigonish.

This was from 8/8 in the Sporting News but Craig Custance provides some very good insights on Bob Hartley possibily becoming Islander coach not previously reported here that his interview also went very well with Garth Snow and that he would be great in the community when it comes to selling tickets and working with sponsorships but that it comes down to owner Charles Wang who Hartley has no relationship with. Mr Custance gives Garth Snow high marks for his diligence in the process with another un-named NHL coach saying he would be stunned if Hartley was not the pick with many around the league feel the former Thrasher coach is still the favorite.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Great stuff here from Mr Custance, he has ties to the former Thrasher coach covering the club in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and called him when his name surfaced about the Isles job opening but Hartley did not comment. I guess it's fair to ask how come Newsday or another local paper did not report his interview went well?

Nashville Tennessean: John Glennon has more on the Alexander Radulov situtation but even the paper in Nashville had prospect coverage of the Predators prospects in Lake Placid at development camp.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Interesting Nashville that gets a very unfair knock as a poor hockey makret provides coverage of a prospects camp in Lake Placid for their fans but with all those Islander prospects at the camp for Finland, Sweden and the US not one word was written?

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in the Sound Tigers blog has a few words on the final choices on the Isles coaching search.

Tuesday Live Blog & What's Next

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/10/2008 09:40:00 PM | Comment Here
Given the sort of reported final choices by an NHL source to Newsday I have a quick poll for everyone to make their own pick among the three choices with a fourth outside option just in case.

When the Isles announce a new coach, the poll ends. I kind of expect we will know by Tuesday at the latest and I think it will start leaking out by Monday afternoon who the choice will be.

Either way we going ahead with our live blog and chat for Tuesday at 1pm for everyone who would like to talk a little New York Islander Hockey, no registration required and everyone is welcome as always.

Been a while since we talked Isles with Nolan out and a new coach in and camp about a month away, chat will go for as long as folks wish to talk so it could be boom or bust doing it in August but past chats were a huge hit.

Sorry I could not provide more on the Team US camp out of Lake Placid, only one reporter from covered the event with USA hockey so we had that here.

By the end of this week I will be taking a little break from blogging because hockey season never really ended and it's vacation time. I will pre-schedule a few blogs while I'm gone. The news feeds, team feeds, blog box feeds always has the latest from everyone so this blog is always updating even if I'm not.

After that I will pick it up again with player profiles, whatever preseason predictions I can find along with whatever is happening. Camp will be here very soon, the spring and summer flew by as it's been over four months since the last game.

Who was my pick as coach?

I picked Bob Hartley. No one has lasted here beyond two years if they do not win as coach. My guess is neither does Garth Snow or his choice as his coach unless it's clear the program is on the right track.

Give me the guy with the ring, not the one who never really won anything in Paul Maurice, nice man I'm sure but this is not only about how well both gm and coach get along, it's about winning and no organization goes all prospects. People who work together very well also lose and go down together in flames.

If not Hartley, give me Gordon, he has a very impressive resume and is at that point where he's earned a shot at the right age. Mr Botta got it right to me when he wrote the Isles seven on defense is much better than folks will give them credit for. This team will be ok if they get any kind of scoring and powerplay production with any semblence of health regardless who is hired.

Sunday Notables: DiPietro/Mr Botta/Coach

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/10/2008 07:01:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Players Club Magazine via Islanders website: Ron Dicker has an article on Rick DiPietro family life with comments from the Islander, goaltender, his father, and defender Chris Campoli.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I would guess this is the same Ron Dicker who covered the Isles in the Times a few years ago which was the last time they had regular coverage in the paper, I only wish Newsday would do a few features about the players so the fans get to know them more.

It's coverage like that long ago that made me a big fan of certain players.

Point Blank: Mr Botta blogs on who he feels is the best choice among the so-called remaining three from an NHL source and seems to be more in favor of Paul Maurice or Scott Gordon but claims no insider knowledge and feels Bob Hartley would be a good hire as a roving instructor for the club.

NY Times: Stu Hacklel in the Times blog has a few thoughts but mostly works off of everything Mr Logan wrote and links to Newsday.

Not much else unless you count TSN or THN simply posting the Newsday report with a few words and no quotes. Boston Globe blogger is going on vacation they announced Sunday. Providence Journal had nothing new.

Islander News Articles 8/10

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/09/2008 11:58:00 PM | | | | | | 2 Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan reports the now infamous NHL source indicated Islander general manager Garth Snow has narrowed his list of possible coaches to Bob Hartley, Paul Maurice and current AHL Providence coach Scott Gordon and is expected to name one as the Isles' next coach early this week.

The rest is mostly background and personal speculation from Mr Logan about how they could work with Garth Snow.

No one is quoted again.

Sunday Boston Globe has a lot from Peter Chiarelli Sunday but nothing or Scott Gordon at this time or anything on a possible replacement coach for Providence.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
When Mr Logan write some will see Snow's hiring of Bob Hartley as choosing a buddy I would like to ask who given everyone takes Mr Logan's perceptions and spreads them all over North America now as gospel?

That buddy has a Stanley Cup on his resume and has been a proven winner and did improve the club in Atlanta.

If he wanted a buddy as head coach he already has one in Mike Dunham as his goaltending coach.

Only Garth Snow and the person eventually hired know how they will work together in 2008-09, that's a working relationship that will develop or fail beyond whatever interviews are done now. Bob Hartley has a Stanley Cup and a good record but eventually will be moving on unless his career resume changes. Paul Maurice has never done anything in terms of sustained winning record (besides a descent club in a poor division) but had a good playoff run on a weak Canes team in 2002, having written that he was well regarded by many in Toronto who even in leaving felt he was not given a fair opportunity with that club.

Scott Gordon has no NHL experience but is as well regarded as an AHL coach can be with a record to support it and far from the point Steve Stirling was when he was hired here despite how well Stirling did in 2004. He is a goalie and there do not seem to be many goaltenders who make successful NHL coaches in the recent past. (Glen Hanlon/Ron Low)

I suppose it's also fair to ask do the Isles have to compensate Boston for Scott Gordon and pick up part of Bob Hartley/Paul Maurice contract?

Andy Sutton may not be a big fan of a Hartley given he somewhat scaled back his role his final season in Atlanta. At least here he will have a goalie he can start, should be interesting to see how Mike Dunham reacts to this as well given how quickly it ended in Atlanta for Dunham.

Bottom line this all comes down to what Garth Snow is looking for in a coach, not the fans and not the media or the players paid to play.

We have read a lot from others about what Garth Snow needs to be looking for as we read things about a Barry Trotz kind of relationship in Nashville but in the end he will make his choice by his own standards because he has to work with this person.

Reality is coaches are hired to be fired sooner or later but the second year trend has been a killer here. Anaheim fired a coach in Mike Babcock who went to a final and won in Detroit this year. Randy Carlyle won a cup after Babcock left. Colorado fired Joel Quenneville to bring back Tony Granato after Colorado fired him a few years back.

A few more days and we will see. It looks like for now I picked a good day for a Tuesday chat here.

Newsday: Katie Strang has Doug Weight's comments about the circumstances in Anaheim in their system after he was traded and gives his comments as to what he feel he can do here along with a few words from team captain Bill Guerin about how the powerplay will be improved with Weight and Mark Streit.

NY Post: Mark Hale does an article with Doug Weight's comments about what he can bring to the club and how he feels this could be a good club and praised Garth Snow for how he is handling the search for a new coach.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had more breakdown on the Sound Tigers schedule and answered one of my questions that he would not be in Moncton for camp reporting but it's too far ahead regarding the November trip to Canada or the West Coast swing.

Doug Weight Speaks/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/09/2008 03:39:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Islanders TV: Has the press conference with Doug Weight which lasts about twelve minutes with his comments.

Islanders TV: Radio analyst Chris King also has a two minute interview with Doug Weight who explains why he signed with the club.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good stuff from Weight, we'll see if he can produce as he did two years ago which will be required if this is going to work in terms of winning. Hopefully the move back to the Eastern Conference and how familiar he is with Guerin helps.

Newsday: Is promising something from Doug Weight for the paper tomorrow with Katie Strang and more on the Isles coaching search from Mr Logan.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Katie Strang asked the majority of questions at the press conference so if you watch the ITV interviews you know the quotes for whatever article is written.

I guess this means Mr Logan's NHL source will finally tell us who is the finalist or the next Islanders coach or the general manager has something to say on the subject?

I guess Newsday sent Katie Strang to get a few words from Doug Weight after all despite the other Newsday blog.

I'm sure Mr Botta will have something soon and them we will know who the final choices are or he will have who will be hired.

You have to hand it to the Isles for making things tough on themselves.

Brett Farve is traded to the New Jersey Jets who train (for a few more weeks) at Hofstra next to the Nassau Coliseum (they are moving camp to NJ next year) and they bring him right into the city to meet the mayor and make sure the fans know he is Broadway Brett from New York for some publicity and he holds up a Broadway sign.

Everyone comes to the NEW YORK Islanders and they slap that Long Island label all over everything limiting their ability to attract media/fans for a New York team that actually plays in New York and make folks inside the city limits and around the tri-state area feel like they are rooting for the wrong team.

Can you imagine the Jets putting East Rutherford in every press release or statement coming out of their p.r department?

Not the best way for the New York Islanders to sell tickets which is one reason for all these events.

I guess Doug Weight wears ninety three or has a talk with Rick DiPietro, too bad the Isles could not get Farve to visit for a few minutes as other football players have done, sure would not have hurt given they got Michael Strahan to come over.

Times & Transcript: Has a few words from Bill Schurman, Summerside's director of community services about Bridgeport and Binghampton playing a regular season game on Prince Edward Island.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No comment here at all on any of the good folks from PEI/Summerside. I know the weeknight games do not sell in Bridgeport but playing two home games elsewhere is not an answer to improving fan support when you have a fan advisor board. You find a way to get more people in the building and start by winning more games which goes on team President Howard Saffan, taking away games is not an answer.

Will be interesting to see if the Ct Post allows Mr Fornabaio to travel and cover these games given they did not let him travel to training camp and cut his schedule for a few road games last season. No one wins here without his coverage. Reports former Islander Bryan McCabe may now be open to a trade with general manager Cliff Fletcher's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I wrote here the window for buyouts was between June 15th-30th, obviously that is not correct because players are bought out all the time. Maybe that was only after the lockout ended when the buyout did not count against the cap those first days?

It's amazing the Leafs will simply not buy him out or expect another club to take on that kind of salary at all for a declining player who could not help his own team and is simply not a very good defender. If the Leafs make all this revenue why not just do a buyout and move on with a cap hit? I guess Mr Fletcher feels there is a team out there who will agree to adding that kind of salary or his boss told him there will be no buyout under any circumstances at least until it gets to a point there is absolutely no where else to go.

McCabe has a no movement clause and can veto any deal, it will be interesting to see how far the Leaf media go to turn public opinion against him for wanting to play where he signed for the good of their favorite team improving?

There are no contracts the Isles can send to Toronto to offset such a trade without giving up a player of value. Unless the Leafs want to include Schenn or their first rounder next summer, Garth Snow should have no interest with his defense locked up for the next two seasons.

Daily Gleaner: Adam Bowie has an interview with Bobby Hull who comments the club his son Brett is co-gm with in Dallas may have made the finals if they had maybe a little more astute coaching?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So they father of the co-general manager in Dallas says if coach Dave Tippett were more astute they would have beaten Detroit. Meanwhile here a raised eyebrow comment is an explosive situtation in Newsday?

I wonder if the media in Dallas will turn this into a firestorm like we saw here. Dave Tippett cannot be happy at all with this nor should he be given he is a well respected coach and clubs losing does not necessarily mean anyone was not astute enough.

Sportning News: Craig Custance lists Jon Sim as one of the players returning who could provide some jump for their club with Sim's comments he wanted to play two months ago and is ahead of where he was last year with training.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
You may be asking why Sim has comments here it would be because Mr Custance worked for the Atlanta Journal Constitition while Sim played in Atlanta.

Islander News Articles 8/9

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/09/2008 12:32:00 AM | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan reports John Tortorella apparently is out of the mix for the Isles coaching job with the former Lightning coach declining to comment when contacted by Newsday. The usual infamous NHL source claims Garth Snow will narrow his list over the weekend and make a decision on a coach next week while Mr Logan speculates why Tortorella would not be the right fit for general manager Garth Snow's current club.

Newsday: In the Islander Newsday blog the adminstrator basically repeats the article.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I guess we'll see.

If there are second interviews coming the Boston papers, the AJC have nothing at this time nor did the Tampa papers have comment or anything from Tortorella.

An outside coach will want his own assistants, the latest was the gm planned to retain Ted Nolan's assistants. A coach like Tortorella with a Stanley Cup would have been a solid respected replacement for Ted Nolan and only the gm knows if he could have sat with that as an alternative or if Tortorella really was interested beyond an initial interview.

There is also a lot of off-ice things for an outside coach coming in which means coming here to work and live during the hockey season, sometimes these things go beyond hockey.

Who gets the job? Only Garth Snow knows who he is leaning toward. Right now it's fair to write only Bob Hartley or Marc Crawford have championship background but the later sounded like a man who already has his job for 2008-09.

Could be someone the media does not know about either who Snow has spoken with, nothing would shock me here short of Ted Nolan and Garth Snow having another chat.

A Few Friday Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/08/2008 02:53:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Yahoo Sports: Has the latest Islander team report.

Newsday: Jim Baumbach announces in his blog there is no one available at the paper to cover Josh Bailey or Doug Weight's debut appearance at the teams club's open house Saturday and are inviting bloggers to help them out?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So Anthony Rieber's boss cannot send him to Nassau Coliseum at 10am because he has to be across the street at Hofstra for a 1:30 pm Jet practice here.

Meanwhile Mr Rieber writes were going to call the Isles a laughinstock?

I know tomorrow's event in of itself is not a game or a big team announcement but it's a question of professionalism and yes, Newsday has had someone at all of these fan gatherings at the Coliseum.

This is just another reason why I take exception with Newsday coverage because for anything controversial or negative they go out of their way to cover it and hurt the club's perception which carries to all of North America but for other things like this which can only help the club they cannot be bothered to even have Mr Rieber show up a little early and cover both events. I did not see the Jets advertise in Newsday like the Isles did for tomorrow.

I wonder if the Post or even the News will see the opportunity to chat with Doug Weight first so someone from the professional media will be in attendance.

Who is this masked former Islander gm at the Rockport-Ipswich-Manchester-Essex co-op hockey program car wash which the Ipswich Chronicle reports on?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Imagine the turnout if Milbury did that in New York? Sure would raise a lot of money but he may need an armed escort to survive.

Late notables for Thursday

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/07/2008 09:14:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has an article on Bridgeport's schedule with team President Howard Saffan's comments why the club is playing two regular season home games in Canada.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio in his blog had some speculation on why Bridgeport is playing two games in Canada and that the Sound Tiger fans will be compensated for the missed games as he breaks down the trends in the schedule and compares it with last year's club.

Sound Released Bridgeport's schedule for 2008-09 which puts two November home games against Binghampton in Summerside and St John's NL. List all the other games scheduled for neutral sites which include a lot of games involving Albany and Portland.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Love the trip to the Western Conference, hope the Ct Post allows Mr Fornabaio to travel as he did in year one, total ripoff for the Bridgeport fans to lose two home games for sites the Isles play or practice in preseason.

CamWest News/Ottawa Citizen: Don Campbell reports the QMJHL may vote to elimitate it's import draft of players from Europe with the Ontario Hockey League set to address the import draft on Friday at annual meetings in Collingwood, Ont., the QMJHL will have it's annual meeting Aug. 20-24 in Victoriaville, Que.

Quick Hit:
Sean Hill signed in Switzerland, too lazy to provide a link nor does the former Islander comment. Another member of the 06-07 club that falls off the NHL map.

Former Islander Jan Hlavac will also be heading to Sweden.

Day off for US-Finland-Swedish prospects in Lake Placid Thursday.

New York Can't Win the Atlantic, Says Who?

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/07/2008 07:29:00 AM | Comment Here
You read some of these professional writers in cyberspace who are essentially outsiders who like to play insider maybe once a month as they come down with selective amnesia when that point comes about how the Isles have beaten their club head to head the last few seasons or how competitive they have been overall and you have to wonder where they are coming from when they automatically put the Isles out of any realistic contention in 2008-09?

Have they learned anything yet?

The New York Islanders have made the playoffs four of the last six season and even did it in 2004 with Oleg Kvasha centering the first line for the second half of 2004 with Weinhandl and Czerkawski on the wings and Steve Stirling as a rookie NHL coach.

If these experts do not follow the Isles at the very least they should be able to
remember the real reason the Isles dropped out of contention based on head to head games against their own clubs which for last season meant only writers from Boston, Florida and Montreal should have something to say about the Isles not having a chance.

The Canadians were the only club that had elements to their game where the Isles seemed overmatched last season by a club with speed and skill, still even then the Isles had a forty five shot loss against the Habs which even had Mike Sillinger questioning the media after one game.

Claude Julien's Bruins for the first time in about six years finally beat the Isles at their own game with his club's grit and character outplaying the Isles in four games and it was very impressive but not dominating.

Florida had the Isles number in four games but what can you say about a team that takes fifty shots and losses to backup Craig Anderson? That is not being overmatched.

Sure it fell apart in March last year for New York because a lot of things finally caught up with them (including four hundred man games lost to injury and a lot of veterans playing hurt) but by reading from some of these so-called hockey experts you would never know the team was in a playoff spot most of last season or had a six game winning streak that pushed them back to two points out of a spot at the trade deadline or despite it's obvious scoring problems/poor trends most of the time were around five games over break even.

New York did not even start losing until the flu decimated the club in January despite being the lowest scoring club in the NHL with a roster deep in red numbers for plus/minus and despite very poor special teams that had them next to last in pp goals with only forty eight and first in powerplay goals allowed with fifteen.

Last year New York was the lowest scoring club in the league with only a hundred eighty nine goals.

Still, even with all that they rallied with a six game winning streak in February sparked by Rick DiPietro's outstanding play capped by a 1-0 shutout against Tampa Bay and some overdue scoring.

So why will New York be out of contention early?

It must be the powerplay?

Kyle Okposo cannot match Satan's five powerplay goals in his spot? Doubtful.
No one will match Ruslan Fedotenko's eight powerplay goals? Possible but unlikely.
Mark Streit cannot match M.A Bergeron's eight powerplay goals? Not buying.
Trent Hunter will not match his two powerplay goals from last season? Nope.
Mike Sillinger cannot improve on his three powerplay goals?
Mike Comrie will not improve on his four powerplay goals?
Bill Guerin does not have another seven pp goals in him with Weight setting him up?

What's scary is you look at the Isles pp and it's virtually impossible to be worse given Bergeron's eight pp goals tied for the club lead with Fedotenko.

The plus minus will finish them early?
Because Kyle Okposo who led all forwards in plus/minus will get more time?
Or Sean Bergenheim (-3) and Blake Comeau (+1) will receive even more minutes on a roster where minus three was a great season.
Frans Nielsen for his limited minutes was a plus one in sixteen games.

No one will be able to best Bryan Berard's minus seventeen or Satan (-11), Fedotenko (-9), Bergeron (-14) Really?

Jeff Tambellini at minus nine you can make a case for being a problem but how much worse can he do with some minutes?

New York cannot score so they will not have a chance?
New York was the worst scoring club in the NHL a year ago and were in a playoff spot for most of the season even when they scored two goals fourteen games in a row almost when completely healthy in November-December.

Most of the forwards had stretches of twenty plus games without scoring or longer, is this mix of prospects who are only improving and veterans going to do any worse?

This group of kids and veterans cannot match last year's roster that had only eleven first period goals all season in mid-December? It would be tough not to match it or surpass it unless everyone struggles badly again.

New York defense simply not good enough?
On paper last year's group cut it's shots against by almost two hundred and had many high shot games against down the stretch. With Brendan Witt healthy, Sutton's strong finish, Meyer playing very well on defense, Martinek playing shutdown defense on Ovechkin and several top players with Campoli & Gervais a year better added to Mark Streit this group should improve dramatically if they can stay healthy.

If not Jack Hillen may be a very good alternative in a lot of areas.

Rick DiPietro not enough in goal?
Outside of Brodeur and despite Newsday's Greg Logan not being much of a DiPietro fan
who could not bother being around for the all-star game but referred to him as headstrong on 3/20 is the second best goaltender in this division until MA Fleury in Pittsburgh can carry his club for a full season, despite his solid playoff or Henrik Lundqvist can prove he can carry a team not playing a trap.

No goalie in the east faced less shots per game than Henrik Lundqvist last season
and still for three months in front of a trap went through a stretch from mid-December to mid-February going 10-10-4, with a .889 save percentage, if he was on this club the season would have been over by Christmas. Martin Biron had a respectful first season and a fine playoff for Philadelphia but still has not taken any step where he is a standout franchise goaltender but his upside could be in front of him.

So New York cannot compete in this division?

New York cannot beat Pittsburgh?
You would never know from some of these writers New York outside of a Brendan Witt bounce off his pad late in a tie game or a fifty shot loss would have beaten Pittsburgh head to head with a Georges Laraque shorthanded goal the difference in another Pens win combined with the infamous Simon stomp game which was 2-1. Isles ran through Pittsburgh 4-1 late in the season like they were the only club on the ice.

Not as if Crosby or Malkin put on any Bossy-Trottier displays and won any single game 8-1 last season outclassing the club and seem painfully short on the wing unless former Isles Fedotenko or Satan have big years to offset the losses up front unless Jordan Staal shifts position. A good chemistry mix on defense that displayed an ability to play the trap required when needed down the stretch and in the playoffs but not a dominating group of name players on the backline outside of Gonchar who is not getting younger or Whitney who has some solid upside.

Nothing to add on goaltending that was not written above.

New York cannot beat Philadelphia?
Flyers were the Atlantic team that had New York's number a year ago but most of the Flyer wins were the byproduct of some very poor special team play by New York and a good powerplay by the Flyers but most of the losses were self-inflicted which stopped some strectches where the Flyers looked like a club in freefall.

A good example of this was the January 19th game the Isles led 3-1 after the first period which had Ted Nolan furious at how poorly the club was playing (while leading) as some bounces off the unfriendly Coliseum boards led to some key Flyer goals that turned the game. Most of the late games had the early game trends, a five on three powerplay goal for Philadelphia followed by more powerplay goals or a mistake shorthanded by New York that turned the game in the Flyers favor.

Philadelphia's moves this summer on paper will not scare anyone outside of locking up Jeff Carter and they lost some core players. Coburn on the backline is a very good player but the Flyers have a defense prone to poor stretches with a club that is winning a lot of games in a row or losing a lot of games in a row that had to scramble to qualify and looked helpless at times and in freefall. Jason Smith's loss does not help. Their younger forwards should be improved but Gagne, Knuble have questions and Briere struggled with consistency.

New York cannot beat the Rangers?
Considering New York won twice late last season at Msg with it's team of prospects in March and April with Dubielewicz in net and dominated the early games things should not change much here. Bergenheim seems to save his best games for the Rangers and Okposo hardly looked lost his last game at Msg with Comeau setting him up to open the scoring.

Losing Ted Nolan could be a problem because he seemed to have Tom Renney's number head to head but the home team seems to have problems adjusting to the by-partisan crowds in both buildings in this series for several years. The Rangers despite the usual p.r spin about acquisitions have some major issues breaking up a defense that allowed the least shots per game in the East last season for a declining wildcard in Wade Redden or Dimitri Kalinin who struggled in Buffalo combined with losing it's only franchise scorer in Jagr with a general manager who sounded like he's tired of Tom Renney's trap and wants more offense. Straka's loss and the club's record with Avery speak for itself with the later commenting he knows he's on a better club now in Dallas as he said in his press conference.

Sure Cablevision can write a frontloaded contract for Sundin and subtract some prospects adding him to an aging Naslund but that seems like the old strategy that never worked and moves away from their strength which would be to go with Brandon Dubinsky, Nigel Dawes or Ryan Callahan. They already altered their strength which was the defensive chemistry that protected Lundqvist well last season when he struggled for months, now I guess the Chris Drury era begins in full which did fail on other NHL clubs. I guess Cablevision will find some cap space so Shananhan can talk to the media and they have a quotable player for their limited media space but that's a step backwards on the ice also at this point.

New York cannot beat the Devils?
New York only won six of eight games last season against the standard bearing club in the Atlantic for success with New Jersey winning only a forty seven shot game 2-1 in overtime against Joey MacDonald late in season combined with the game that snapped the Isles six game winning streak for the Devils first win of the season against on February 23rd. Fair to write there is no reason New York cannot compete again with New Jersey head to head given the current changes to both rosters.

This summer Devils again shook the mix and it can be argued Bobby Holik is hardly a better upgrade than Doug Weight (with Holik older by a few days) aside from past lineage unless Brian Rolston at his age will dramatically improve the Devils lack of scoring and questions on the backline.

The acquisition of Bryce Salvador to another Lamoriello head-scratching contract along the lines of Dainius Zubrus does not look promising but David Conte always has a few hidden gems that carry the club and after the success of a franchise talent like Parise with Gionta and Zajac the pundits pulling for a Devils downfall usually come away disappointed given the regular season results and the club's ability to get games to overtime and secure points.


The idea this club will not be in competition for a playoff spot does not seem realistic or a rush to judgement until they hit the ice and we see what flaws they have. If the veterans struggle some of them will be out of here quickly and Garth Snow has a lot of cap-space to make changes to the veteran core along with two second rounders. A few prospects are not going to have a spot either with prospects like Joensuu, Figren and Marcinko getting closer and will be available in deals because there is simply too much depth given the group of prospects following the ones already here.

Given everything I have reviewed if the club can stay healthy, if the veterans give them a little more on offense with Bergenheim, Comeau, Okposo progressing up front with Campoli, Gervais stepping up on defense with DiPietro providing his usual strong play anything can happen next season based on how the Isles match up against their Atlantic Division counterparts.

Including the New York Islanders winning the Atlantic.

Quick Notable on Ted Nolan

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/06/2008 07:47:00 PM | | | 4 Comments
Times & Transcript: Eddie St. Pierre has Bobby Orr's comments from the Bernie Boudreau Memorial Golf Tournament that Ted Nolan will get another NHL head coaching job because he's too good not to be hired by someone. The paper incorrectly adds Ted Nolan was fired but will be paid $650,000 for not coaching and reports for now the former Isles coach plans on doing some U.S. television work and looks at being hired as an NHL head coach by another club.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Nothing directly from the former coach but perhaps he was part of this event and kept a low profile or was not quoted.

It's going to be a p.r disaster for the club when they go to Moncton for camp without Nolan as coach and I expect some very negative coverage from the local paper given what he accomplished for Moncton combined with how he left New York.

Hopefully Ted Nolan does get hired by another NHL club, Los Angeles settled on Terry Murray so for now he will be sitting out unless a club makes a change or he wants to be an assistant.

It has to be noted Bobby Orr filed a grievance with the NHLPA over Rick DiPietro's fifteen year contract because he was fired before the deal was closed but still wants his agents fee here so it's possible he has some lingering issue with the Isles.

Quick Hit:
Funny how even in August Steve Zipay is blogging daily for his club, number crunching stats, comparing rosters, selling Sundin for his team and trying to fit him under the cap for his readers while even getting prospect quotes from Russia with a bunch of other things while Greg Logan sits in silence and gives us nothing hockey related on the Isles besides bringing up Rangers-Isles a week ago for a preseason schedule blog that had nothing to do with 2008-09.

But of course when it's something negative Greg Logan is all over it begging the question why can't Mr Logan do some blogs and give us information along the same lines?

I would like to know from our beatwriter how the changes in players effect the numbers, how Mr Petrov in Russia is doing with a few words and who the club could be targeting but Mr Logan does not do that for our fans.

Seems like our writer only comes out when the job requires it while the other blog gets the page views and information.

I know adding this in my blog upsets a few folks in the Greg Logan fan club but someone has to write it because it needs to be written until he works as hard as his counterpart at Newsday.

Our fans deserve better.

Isles at Team USA Camp

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/06/2008 04:15:00 PM | | | Comment Here
USAHOCKEY: Reports in Tuesday's US/Blue-Finland game, Islander prospect Jyri Niemi had a few penalties, including a hit from behind and a ten minute misconduct.

Blake Kessel also had a penalty.

In the second Tuesday contest which paired USA/White vs Sweden, Islander prospect David Ullstrom opened the scoring.

Wednesday's games:
Aug. 6 USA White vs. Finland 4p.m.
USA Blue vs. Sweden 7 p.m. Shawn P. Roarke is again live blogging from Lake Placid and answering questions as to what's happening in Wednesday's games with the line combinations.

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.